16 companies named as defendants in benzene suit

By David Yates | Feb 14, 2013

China residents Robert and Brenda Fontenot are suing Goodyear Tire & Rubber, along with 15 other companies, for allegedly exposing Robert to benzene throughout his career.

The suit was filed Feb. 4 in Jefferson County District Court.

The other defendants named in the lawsuit include ExxonMobil, ExxonMobil Oil, Mobil Oil, Chevron USA, Texaco, Huntsman Petrochemical, Total Petrochemicals, Shell Oil, Shell Chemical, Atlantic Richfield, BP Amoco, BP Products North America and Union Oil Company of California.

According to the lawsuit, Robert worked as a contractor in Southeast Texas, where he was occupationally exposed benzene.

As a result, he developed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

The suit accuses the defendants of manufacturing, selling and using benzene products without warning Robert of the danger.

Alleging the defendants acted in disregard of Robert’s wellbeing, the plaintiffs are suing for punitive damages.

Attorney Keith Hyde of the Beaumont law firm Provost Umphrey represent them.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. D193-890

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