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Survey of Benzene Verdicts and Settlements

Benzene cases have resulted in a wide range of verdicts and settlements. Bear in mind, some cases have resulted in “not guilty” verdicts where the sickened plaintiff received nothing. For your information, Hughes Law Offices has compiled a few benzene settlements and verdicts below.

As you can see, these cases often involve benzene along with other toxins. Please bear in mind that no two cases are alike, but these results should give you some guidance regarding the fact patterns of successful cases, including affected trades, the types of exposures, and illnesses attributable to benzene.

  • $3,200,000 verdict – helper/rigger/leadman on barges diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia via benzene exposure. Plaintiff exposed to benzene via solvents used to clean tools. Employer provided the solvents. Older versions of Liquid Wrench contained high mixtures of benzene.
  • $13,300,000 verdict – former BP employee was exposed to toxic vapors while working at the Sugar Creek oil refinery for 24 years. Decedent was diagnosed with the blood disorder polycythemia vera, a pre-leukemia condition that eventually developed into full-blown cancer. The jury found that decedent’s death was caused by her exposure to toxic vapors at work and ordered BP Corporation to pay her husband $13.3 million in compensatory damages. The jury also found BP Corporation liable for punitive damages, but the company settled for a confidential amount before the award was announced.
  • $7,500,000 verdict – gasoline tanker truck driver diagnosed with blood cancer following years of benzene exposure at defendant’s premises. Benzene was component of the fuel that he was loading and hauling.
  • $5,834,221.53 verdict – Plaintiff had a 39-year career with Sabine Towing. Throughout his career, plaintiff held various positions, including seaman, quartermaster, boatswain, third mate, second mate, chief mate and master. Plaintiff was diagnosed as having myeloproliferative disorder, a blood disease, which soon evolved into acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Plaintiff alleged that he developed the disease as a result of exposure to benzene and benzene-containing products while working for Sabine Towing.
  • $8,000,000 verdict – able-bodied seaman diagnosed with kidney cancer as a result of exposure to benzene and other hydrocarbons while loading and discharging crude oil and other products, cleaning tanks and measuring tank levels.
  • $3,520,000 verdict – In his 30s at the time, decedent was a contracted tanker truck driver who regularly transported toxic products. As a result, he was regularly exposed to chemicals containing benzene. Plaintiff claimed this exposure lead to the decedent’s diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome, which quickly developed into acute myeloid leukemia. Decedent died within a year of his diagnosis.
  • $1,500,000 settlement – plaintiff’s decedent had worked as a pump man aboard various tankers in the early 1970s and early 1980s where he was exposed to benzene. In 1994, about 15 years since his last exposure to benzene, the decedent was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Prior to and during that 15-year period, decedent had been a heavy smoker. Plaintiff passed away from AML in 1995. The widow brought suit against the vessel claiming her late husband’s AML was caused by his exposure to benzene while working aboard the tanker. The parties reached a $1.5 million settlement.
  • $7,500,000 verdict – CNW and UP trackman developed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) as a result of long-term exposures to creosote, degreasing solvents and lead. Railroad failed to provide necessary protective clothing.
  • $17,498,000 verdict – 48 year old petroleum inspector diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia via benzene exposure while working on ships and barges. Plaintiff brought products liability (failure to warn) case against refineries. Leukemia in remission at time of verdict.
  • Undisclosed settlement – plaintiff worked as a pressman at the Frankston Packaging Co. Plaintiff was diagnosed with refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts (RARS). He alleged his diagnosis was a result of being exposed to benzene and benzene-containing products in blanket washes, press washes, varnish removers, plate cleaners, roller washers and other solvents and chemicals that were manufactured by the various defendants.
  • $2,282,002 verdict – 40-year-old decedent spent most of his life working as a missionary and a pastor of a small church. However, to make ends meet, decedent spent one year working as an aircraft painter at McDonnell Douglas. Eleven years after he began working at McDonnell Douglas, he was diagnosed with acute myelomonocytic leukemia with eosinophilia. The survivor’s claimed decedent’s diagnosis was caused by exposure to benzene contaminated paints and solvents he used at McDonnell Douglas.
  • Undisclosed settlement – from 1965 through 1978, Plaintiff worked at Shell gas stations pumping gas and performing various mechanic tasks on automobiles using Shell Oil products. These products contained benzene. In 2009, Plaintiff was diagnosed with a form of leukemia allegedly due to his benzene exposure while working for Shell. The parties settled out of court.
  • $750,000 settlement – railroad machinist exposed to heavy concentrations of diesel exhaust in Norfolk Southern’s roundhouse in Roanoke, Virginia as well as benzene-containing solvents and degreasers diagnosed with multiple myeloma which resulted in his death three years after diagnosis.
  • $90,000 settlement – over decedent’s 33-year career as a lithographic printer, he was exposed to a multitude of various benzene-containing chemical products. The estate allege decedent’s exposure caused him to develop diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The parties settled for $90,000.
  • $950,000 settlement on eve of trial – 62 year old railroad trackman died of gastric cancer. Exposure to diesel exhaust, creosote, calcium chloride, herbicide and pesticides.
  • Undisclosed settlement – parties settled for an unknown amount after plaintiff was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and alleged it was due to his exposure to ethyl benzene and trimethly benzene.
  • $1,500,000 settlement – 49-year-old plaintiff worked as a safety attendant for Welltech Safety Services at the Chevron refinery in Richmond from August 2000 through September 2001. She was exposed to benzene, which allegedly cause her acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
  • $950,000 settlement on eve of trial – 38 year old railroad trackman diagnosed with Stage-4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Ongoing chemotherapy treatments. Exposure to diesel exhaust, creosote, calcium chloride, herbicides and pesticides.
  • Undisclosed settlement – from 1961 to 1976, plaintiff worked in oil and gas fields performing welding and other work for defendants. Plaintiff alleged that during his work he was exposed to benzene, welding fumes, and radiation, which caused him to develop Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
  • $824,000 verdict – Plaintiff, a printer in his mid-50s, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Plaintiff alleged his AML was caused by his regular exposure to printing solvents and inks containing benzene at work.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a benzene-related illness, email Hughes Law Offices at info@benzenelawyers.com or call (800) BENZENE (236-9363) today. Your time to file a claim may be running out.

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