Steve Cancel says working as a seaman for more than 25 years exposed to him benzene, which resulted in lymphoma.

Cancel has cited the Jones Act in a lawsuit against Seacor Holdings Inc., Seacor Marine and Seabulk Tankers. The suit was filed in Jefferson County District Court on May 7.

The plaintiff's original petition states that from 1980 through 2007 Cancel worked as a seaman on board defendants' vessels used to transport various chemicals to and from refineries.

During Cancel's employment with defendants, the suit says he was needlessly exposed to benzene and products containing benzene.

Plaintiff claims that as a result of the exposure he was diagnosed with mantel cell lymphoma on Feb. 2, 2007.

He says defendants are guilty of negligence and committed fraud because they knew the exposure created an unreasonably dangerous risk of developing serious or life threatening illness.

Cancel is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses; loss of wages and the benefits of enjoying a full life. His wife, Suzanne Cancel, also seeks damages for loss of consortium and mental anguish from observing Steve's illness.

Randall Collins of the Law Offices of Herschel L. Hobson of Beaumont is representing the plaintiffs. They are demanding a trial by jury.

The case has been assigned to the 172nd Jefferson County District Court, Judge Donald Floyd presiding.

Case No. E179

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