A lawsuit alleging damages due to Benzene exposure was recently filed in Cook County Circuit Court Illinois by Steven J. Williams, an auto mechanic who has worked in repair shops since 1982. This man was frequently exposed at his work to products containing benzene or chlorinated hydrocarbons. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that starts in bone marrow. Williams claims his cancer was caused by exposure to carcinogens in diesel fuel, parts washer solvent, paint, belt dressings, and more.
Benzene is a sweet-smelling, flammable chemical that evaporates quickly. Auto mechanics are mainly exposed by breathing it in the air or absorbing it through their skin. Benzene accumulates in the bone marrow and causes the bones to produce cancerous white blood cells. Benzene is found in many products that auto mechanics use regularly, such as solvents (degreasers, cleaning agents, etc.) and car paint. Benzene is also found in gasoline, car exhaust, and cigarette smoke. In recent years, several benzene exposure lawsuits have resulted in multi-million dollar jury awards. For example, a railroad worker with leukemia was awarded $7.5 million in November 2016. The worker was exposed to benzene, creosote and solvents on the job.
Lawyers for the plaintiff accuse more than a dozen Defendants of failing to provide adequate warnings about the risk of cancer from benzene and exposure to diesel fuel, despite evidence dating back to the 1950s.The lawsuit was filed against Ashland Inc., BP Products North America Inc., Hess Corp., Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., The Sherwin-Williams Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., Axalta Coating Systems LLC, CRC Industries Inc., Rust-Oleum Corp., Radiator Specialty Co., Heritage Crystal Clean LLC, Shell Oil Co., ExxonMobil Corp. and Marathon Petroleum Corp.
John Tomlinson, a lawyer in our Toxic Torts Section, has filed and is investigating benzene exposure cases. If you need more information on this litigation, contact John at 800-898-2034 or by email at John.Tomlinson@beasleyallen.com.
Sources: Daily Hornet; and Cook County Record
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