David Yates Oct. 16, 2013, 11:38am

A September 2014 trial has been slated in a benzene suit blaming a dozen companies for a man’s exposure and death.

During his work as a “long-term employee” for Jefferson Chemical/Texaco Chemical Co., Jefferson County resident Donald Harrison’s spouse claims her deceased husband was exposed to benzene, causing him to develop non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

As previously reported, on Feb. 11, Donald Harrison’s wife, Joann Harrison, filed suit against American Cyanamid and 11 other companies in Jefferson County District Court, alleging they negligently exposed Donald Harrison to benzene despite being aware of the dangers.

Court records show that on Dept. 10 a discovery control plan was entered, slating the case for trial on Sept. 15, 2014.

The order further sets the discovery cutoff dated at Aug. 2.

According to the lawsuit, Donald Harrison worked at the Port Neches chemical plant during the mid 1970s as a contractor and “was occupationally exposed to various toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, including but not limited to, benzene, benzene-containing products and other carcinogens.”

As a result of his exposure to the various chemicals, Donald Harrison developed non-Hodkins Lymphoma, his wife claims.

The suit alleges the defendants negligently failed to warn customers and workers of the dangers of benzene despite having actual knowledge.

The other defendants include Cytec, Wyeth Holdings, Amoco Chemical Co., Amoco Oil Co., Atlantic Richfield Co., B.P. Amoco Chemical Co., B.P. Products North America, Chevron, Shell Chemical Company, Shell Chemical and Shell Oil.

Joann Harrison is seeking damages for her husband’s alleged medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages and for her own mental anguish, medical costs, loss of her husband’s society and household services and costs for nursing care.

Beaumont attorney Darren L. Brown of the Provost Umphrey law firm represents them.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. D193-930

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