Couple sues 44 companies over man's alleged benzene exposure

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 11, 2011


A Beaumont man claims he developed multiple myeloma after working for more than 20 years at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Plant, where he was allegedly exposed to benzene and butadiene.

George Washington Sr. and his wife, Anita, filed a lawsuit March 31 in Jefferson County District Court against 44 defendant companies.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Honeywell International, American Oil Co., Atlantic Ritchfield Co., BP Amoco Chemical Co., BP Products North America Inc., ConocoPhillips Co., Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP, Chevron USA Inc., Continental Oil Co., The Dow Chemical Co., Eastman Chemical Co., E.I. Dupont de Neumours and Co., El Paso Tennessee Pipeline Co., EPEC Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., ExxonMobil Oil Corp., Huntsman Petrochemical LLC, Midwestern Gas Transmission Co., Mitsubishi International Corp., Mitsui and Co. USA Inc., Mobil Oil Refining Corp., Monsato Co., Occidental Chemical Corp., Oxy USA Inc., Pharmacia Corp. f/k/a Monsato Co., Sabic Americas Inc., Shell Chemical LP, Shell Oil Co., Solutia Inc., South Hampton Refining Co., Sunoco Inc (R&M), Sun Oil Co., Tenneco Inc., Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., Texaco Inc., Texas Petrochem USA Inc., Texas Petrochemicals LP, TPC Group LLC, TPC Group (Holdings) Inc., Union Oil Company of California, Univar USA Inc., Williams Olefins LLC f/k/a Union Texas Petroleum Corp. and Westlake Chemical Corp.

The suit alleges Washington developed the blood disorder after he was exposed to the chemicals benzene and butadiene while working for Goodyear in Beaumont from 1972 until 1996.

Because of his disease, Washington experienced pain, suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment and disfigurement and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

Anita Washington lost her husband's household services and consortium, the suit states.

The couple blames the defending companies for causing injuries, saying they negligently failed to warn of the dangers of the chemicals, failed to test their products, failed to provide Washington with recommendations as to proper apparel to wear when working around the chemicals and failed to instruct Washington in the proper handling of their products, the complaint says.

In their complaint, the Washingtons seek an unspecified judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional requirements of Jefferson County District Court, plus costs, pre-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

D'Juana Parks, J. Keith Hyde and Dale Hanks of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E189-683

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