Benzene Injury Law

Benzene Injury Law Blog

Gasoline Tanker Driver Diagnosed with MDS

When gasoline tanker driver Elwyn Webb was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), little did he know that he’d start a costly fight between the defendants responsible for his tragic diagnosis.  Mr. Webb died in 2016, just three months after his MDS diagnosis. Mr. Webb’s wife and son filed a claim against the property owners and oil companies whose negligence led to his MDS.

Free Case Evaluation

    Gasoline tanker truck drivers are at an increased risk of developing blood and bone marrow cancers like MDS because they inhale benzene-containing vapors when they load up the tanker and when they unload at their destination. Benzene exposures are an established cause of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and MDS. Benzene can also be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. So when tanker drivers get gasoline on their skin, those exposures can also lead to AML or MDS.

    Mr. Webb worked for Coastal Transport Company (“Coastal).  His job was to load, transport and unload gasoline.  He picked up the gasoline at terminals and loading racks owned and/or operated by several defendants including Conoco, now Phillips 66 Company (“Phillips”). These companies are aware of the connection between the benzene in gasoline and the increased risk of cancer. 

    After being named in the lawsuit, Phillips contacted Coastal’s insurer, Canal Indemnity Company (“Canal”) seeking to be defended and indemnified. This basically means that because of contracts between Coastal and Phillips, Phillips believed that Canal was required to represent Phillips in the Webb lawsuit, and more importantly, cover any damages attributed to Phillips arising from the lawsuit. Canal denied Phillips’ request, arguing that under the contracts the benzene that Mr. Webb inhaled and absorbed through his skin should be classified as a “pollutant” and that injuries caused by a pollutant are not covered. Phillips argued that Mr. Webb was transporting gasoline, and that gasoline is not a pollutant. In the lawsuit between Phillps and Canal, it was of no matter to Phillips that the gasoline contained benzene and that this benzene was the cause of Mr. Webb’s MDS. 

    Canal and Phillips undoubtedly spent countless hours and significant amounts of money on a lawsuit over who bore the legal responsibility for the gasoline tanker truck driver’s myelodysplastic syndrome. Imagine how hard they will fight against you. If you or a loved one worked with or around petroleum products including gasoline, solvents, and degreasers and has recently been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome or another form of leukemia, call 1-800-BENZENE.  Speak with a toxic tort lawyer who will fight for you.

    Client Testimonials

    Find Out More From Our Clients

    Wrongful Death Case

    My family hired attorney Hughes for the wrongful death of my brother. Mr. Hughes worked very hard on our case, the results were excellent. I would recommend him to anyone needing an attorney, he is a very fair and kind person.

    - Carolyn, Chicago IL

    Unique Expertise

    Andrew took over my asthma claim with the railroad after a different law firm failed to meet expectations. Andrew’s unique expertise in the field of diesel related injury gave him the ability to build my case exceptionally well. When Andrew presented...

    - Steven, Chicago IL

    Professional and Trustworthy

    From my very first contact with Andrew we have found him to be compassionate, hard working and trust worthy. In the eight months we were associated with Andrew we feel he has also become a friend of ours...

    - Ronald, Chicago IL

    Worked Diligently

    For the past two years Andrew Hughes has worked diligently in helping me with my case against the Norfolk Southern R.R. During this time he has kept me thoroughly informed about my case his expertise led to me getting a generous settlement...

    - Client, Chicago IL

    Questions? We Can Help! Contact Us Today!