Darren Brown

The family of a deceased refinery worker has filed suit against E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Chevron USA, claiming the chemical companies negligently exposed James Lee to asbestos during his career.

Representing Lee's estate, June Lee's wrongful-death suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on Feb. 12.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Lee, deceased, worked at Du Pont's Beaumont Works Facility. During his employment, Lee used and was exposed to toxic and carcinogenic dusts, including asbestos.

"As a result of such exposure, James P. Lee, developed asbestos related lung disease from which he died a painful and terrible death on April 3, 2007," the suit said.

"The Defendants knew for decades that said toxic and carcinogenic dusts, including asbestos could cause deadly lung disease and cancers and still allowed their employees … to work with and around such products in the workplace while knowing there existed to a substantial certainty that said workers would be exposed and would likely develop asbestos related disease from such exposures."

The suit continues by alleging DuPont and Chevron negligently failed to timely and adequately warn workers of the dangers of asbestos dusts, and also failed to take the necessary engineering, safety, industrial hygiene and medical precautions to ensure that Lee was not exposed to toxic and carcinogenic dusts.

Lee's family is suing for punitive damages, plus his mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and disfigurement.

The Lee family is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Darren Brown.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A181-219

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