U.S. Steel Corp. reached a settlement agreement recently with a former automotive mechanic and hobbyist who said that his work with benzene-containing products, including Liquid Wrench, caused him to develop Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS).
Minnesota resident Leonard Samuelson filed his complaint in a Minnesota federal court earlier this year, alleging that his career as an automotive mechanic and auto hobbyist required him to work with a number of products containing toxic benzene, including Liquid Wrench; Berryman B-12 Chemtool Carburetor, Choke, and Throttle Body Cleaner; and Berryman Brake Parts Cleaner. The lawsuit contended that his exposure to dangerous levels of benzene in the automotive products spanned 50 years, and caused him to develop MDS, a group of bone marrow disorders in which the bone marrow fails to produce enough healthy blood cells.
According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), more than 40,000 deaths happen each year due to chemical exposure at the workplace, making it the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. Many of these unfortunate deaths are the result of benzene exposure. As we have reported previously, studies have linked benzene exposure to leukemia, as well as other forms of cancer. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states that benzene causes acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and has been linked with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Counsel for the Plaintiff are William D. Harper and Jason L. DePauw of Harper & Peterson PLLC in Woodbury, Minn.; and Keith E. Patton and David J. Baluk of Shrader & Associates LLP in Houston.
John Tomlinson, a lawyer in our Toxic Torts Section, is investigating benzene exposure cases. If you need more information on this subject, contact John at 800-898-2034 or by email at John.Tomlinson@beasleyallen.com.
Source: HarrisMartin Publishing
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