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Leukemia Verdict for Oil Refinery Millwright

Published on May 27th, 2020 by Andrew Hughes

The decedent was employed as a millwright at the Delaware City oil refinery for the Defendant, Texaco, from the early 1970s to 1988. In June 2003, he died as a result of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML).

This was a wrongful death action filed by the millwright’s wife. She alleged that her husband’s benzene exposure and leukemia was a result of the Defendant’s negligence. She claimed that Texaco failed to warn him about the dangers of benzene and that they did not provide a safe work environment. 

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The decedent’s job as a millwright required him to disassemble and clean chemical pumps, valves, and compressors, often in an area known as the “reformer unit.” Two of his co-workers shared their experiences working at the refinery, including information about the number of pumps they worked on, the spillage of chemicals that occurred, and their concerns about the amount of benzene they were exposed to. The Plaintiff produced a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which confirmed that several pumps in their workplace contained 100% pure benzene, and that the average concentration of the chemicals in their work area was 71% benzene. 

In 2007, a jury found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded her over $3,426,000. This amount was later reduced by 17% because the jury found the decedent to be partially liable. Texaco’s post-trial motions were unsuccessful. 

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Oil Refinery Illnesses

As a result of their benzene exposures, employees who worked in the oil refinery industry have an increased risk of developing leukemia. Current and former oil refinery workers diagnosed with leukemia may have a claim. 

Hughes Law Offices is providing this case history to inform visitors about actual case fact patterns, settlements, verdicts, and rulings. Unless specifically noted, the cases summarized herein were not handled by attorneys at Hughes Law Offices.  If you believe that you have a case similar to this one, feel free to call 1-800-BENZENE and speak with an attorney today.

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