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Published on February 22nd, 2022 by Andrew Hughes

As a result of exposures to benzene, workers in Louisiana’s many industrial settings may be at elevated risk for leukemia. Benzene is an organic, clear chemical with a sweet aroma. Benzene was historically present in petroleum-based products, including lubricants, degreasers, and thinners.

Illnesses Caused by Benzene Exposures

Benzene is a Class 1 carcinogen that causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and other bone and blood cancers. The lawyers at Hughes Law Offices are experienced leukemia lawyers serving Louisiana workers sickened by benzene exposures.

Who is at Risk for Leukemia from Benzene?

Oil refinery workers and tradesmen who work in chemical facilities are at a higher risk of developing leukemia and multiple myeloma. Most pipefitters, engineers, boilermakers, and machinists in chemical facilities had benzene exposures. Mechanics, gasoline tanker truck drivers, and printers were commonly exposed to benzene. Brake cleaners, gasoline, inks, and penetrating oils have all contained benzene. Individuals involved in transporting chemicals by ship and barge are also at risk. Hooking up hoses and checking tank levels are common routes of exposure. Many Louisiana workers are still being exposed to hazardous levels of benzene today.

Louisiana Industries where Benzene was Present

Almost 55,000 Louisiana residents work in the maritime industry. No state employs more captains, mates, or marine oilers than Louisiana. Louisiana also has nearly 20% of America’s refining capacity.  Louisiana exports about 75% of the gasoline it refines. But less than 5% of the raw petroleum comes from in-state sources. That means pipes, pumps, and valves need to to move oil and refined products. Workers are needed to set up and maintain that infrastructure. And barge loading and unloading of the fluids also puts workers at risk.   Additionally, Louisiana’s many gas station attendants and mechanics are at elevated risk for leukemia. Countless other workers have spent years around benzene-containing products.

Is Louisiana a Good Place to file a Benzene Leukemia Lawsuit?

The short answer is yes, Louisiana courts hear benzene cases regularly.  Why is that?  There are a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons is related to experts. In order to prove up your case, leukemia law firms like Hughes Law Offices need to retain a team of experts. These experts are used to help connect your benzene exposures to your resulting illness. In Louisiana, the laws regarding the admissibility of experts to testify are relatively favorable to plaintiffs. The strength of your benzene case is often based on the strength of the expert team assembled by your lawyers. It is of the utmost importance that your lawyer knows which experts to retain in every case.

We May Be Able To Help

Benzene-related claims are difficult cases. Hughes Law Offices has experience with benzene cases in Louisiana. If you or a loved one has worked around benzene and been diagnosed with leukemia, call 1-800-BENZENE today and speak with a lawyer.

Louisiana Benzene Leukemia Verdicts and Settlements

Benzene settlements and verdicts vary by disease, jurisdiction, handling attorneys, and defendants. 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 these Louisiana benzene verdicts and settlements below:

  • $5,834,221 verdict – The plaintiff was employed by Sabine Towing for 39 years working as a seaman, quartermaster, boatswain, third mate, second mate, chief mate, and master. Over the course of his career he was exposed to benzene and benzene-containing products being transported on Sabine’s vessels. As a result of his exposures, he developed myeloproliferative disorder which quickly evolved into acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). He died shortly thereafter and his wife filed the lawsuit on behalf of his estate. The jury found Sabine Towing responsible, along with Chevron, Conoco, Marathon, and Dow Chemical.
  • Confidential Settlement – Hughes Law Offices and partner counsel obtained a confidential settlement for a laborer and painter/sandblaster diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The plaintiff worked at a large refinery near New Orleans and was exposed to benzene through crude oil, toluene, solvents, gasoline, and pure benzene. He worked at the refinery in the 1980s and the 2000s. He argued that the owner of the refinery was liable for his injuries. Liability arguments included the refinery’s failure to properly warn him about the dangers of benzene. We also alleged that the refinery failed to provide proper protective equipment for work with benzene-containing chemicals. Refinery and petrochemical facility owners must provide a jobsite free from unreasonable risk to the contractors working there.

Hughes Law Offices is providing case histories to inform visitors about actual case fact patterns and rulings in your area. Unless specifically noted, thee cases summarized herein were not handled by attorneys at Hughes Law Offices.

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