Suit blames Texaco for man's asbestos exposure, illness

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 6, 2009

Two Texas women have filed an asbestos suit against Texaco and Chevron on behalf of their recently deceased husband and father, claiming he wrongly died of pulmonary asbestosis and lung cancer.

Betty Lou Yawn and Sheila Newell -- the wife and daughter of Ronald Yawn, respectively -- allege Ronald Yawn developed the asbestos-related diseases while working for Texaco in Jefferson County.

During the course of his employment, Ronald Yawn was allegedly exposed to asbestos dust and fibers, which caused him to die "a painful and terrible" death on Oct. 9, according to the complaint filed April 1 in Jefferson County District Court.

The plaintiffs allege Texaco and Chevron knew asbestos-containing products could cause cancers, but still allowed their employees to work around the products.

The companies failed to warn workers of the dangers of asbestos and failed to take necessary engineering and safety precautions to ensure Ronald Yawn was not exposed to asbestos, Betty Lou Yawn and Sheila Newell allege.

They are seeking unspecified exemplary and punitive damages, plus interest, costs and other relief to which they may be entitled.

They are represented by J. Keith Hyde and D'Juana Parks of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson of the 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B183-698.

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