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Case Summary – Rubber Industry Workers Diagnosed with Leukemia

Published on June 24th, 2020 by Andrew Hughes

The plaintiffs were brothers Gary and Randy Eaves. They both worked for the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company from the 1970s to the 2000s. Gary was employed as a tire handler and a tire spray booth operator in the curing department. Randy was employed as a first stage radial tire builder and a tire bias machine operator. Plaintiffs allege they were exposed to solvents and vapors that contained  benzene  throughout the course of their employment. 

Gary Eaves was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2013 at age 59 and died in 2015.  Randy Eaves was diagnosed when he was 59 years old with  myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)  that progressed to  acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Randy died as a result of AML in 2018. 

Workplace Benzene Exposure

The Plaintiffs claimed that the Defendant, Union Oil (owned by Ashland Inc.) manufactured the solvents the brothers used at work. They claimed that the Defendant knew or should have known that exposure to solvents that contain benzene was hazardous and carcinogenic. Plaintiffs claim that the Defendants failed to warn about the danger of benzene and failed to provide protective clothing and equipment. 

In 2019, a jury awarded over $21 million to the two brothers’ families.  

Rubber Industry Exposures to Benzene 

Benzene can be absorbed through the skin, ingested or inhaled. Those in the rubber production industry may be exposed to benzene and other chemicals through gases, vapors, fumes and chemical byproducts produced throughout the process. Rubber production involves operations such as milling, curing, finishing, and painting. Different stages of production may potentially pose a risk for exposure to benzene.

Rubber Industry Benzene Exposure

The rubber industry is complex and varies in tasks, products used, and processes. The wide use of chemicals can make it difficult to connect certain cancers with specific chemicals. However, studies have found that leukemia incidence is increased in the rubber production industry. Benzene-containing products are a known cause of leukemia and other bone and blood cancers.

Rubber Industry Illnesses 

Employees who worked in the rubber production industry may have an increased risk of developing leukemia and other benzene-related illnesses due to their exposure. If you or a loved one have been employed in rubber production and have been diagnosed with a form of leukemia you may have a claim. Call Benzene Lawyers at 1-800-BENZENE to learn more today.

We are providing the above-referenced case history to inform visitors about actual case fact patterns and rulings. Unless specifically noted, the cases summarized herein were not handled by attorneys at Hughes Law Offices.

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