The family of the late James Lee Purks have filed suit against the man's former employer, Texaco, alleging the company maliciously exposed him to asbestos.
Patricia, Robert, Gary and Bryan Purks filed the suit Aug. 4 in Jefferson County District Court.
According to the lawsuit, James Purks, employed as a pipefitter, worked at Texaco's Port Arthur refinery from 1952 to 1979 and was routinely exposed to asbestos fibers.
"As a result of such exposure, James Purks developed an asbestos-related disease, specifically lung cancer, from which he died a painful and terrible death on April 20, 2011," the suit states.
The suit alleges Texaco acted with malice by exposing workers to asbestos when it had actual knowledge of the mineral's harmful nature.
The Purks family is suing for exemplary and punitive damages.
The family filed a second suit on Aug. 4 relating to James Lee Purk's death. The second suit names distributors of the asbestos products used by the pipefitter.
Provost Umphrey attorney Collin Moore represents them.
Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court, has been assigned to the case.
Case No. B190-639