Benzene Injury Law

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a benzene-related cancer that forms in plasma cells.  Plasma cells arise in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system because they provide antibodies which help fight infections and other diseases. Cancerous plasma cells are called myelomas. An individual with multiple myeloma has an abnormal build-up of myeloma cells in the bone marrow which eventually crowd out healthy cells, leading to fatigue, an inability to fight infections, and kidney damage. These cancerous cells also cause damage to bones, increasing the risk of broken bones.

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    Who is at Risk for Multiple Myeloma?

    Multiple myeloma often begins as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), a condition in which an abnormal protein is in your plasma cells. In the United States, about 3% of people over the age of 50 have MGUS. Although MGUS does not typically cause any problems, about 1% of people with MGUS will develop multiple myeloma.

    Further, it is well-documented in epidemiological studies that certain work-related exposures to toxins can lead to multiple myeloma. Excess cases of multiple myeloma have been observed in workers exposed to several toxic substances, including:

    • Benzene
    • Solvents
    • Engine Exhausts
    • Ionizing Radiation

    Individuals who work as mechanics, petroleum workers and pressmen (to name a few), are at increased risk for developing multiple myeloma. Lastly, multiple myeloma can have a long latency period, which means that a diagnosis can result from exposures that occurred many years earlier.

    What are the Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma?

    Signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma may include bone pain, nausea, fatigue, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, mental fogginess or confusion, weakness or numbness in legs, and excessive thirst.

    Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma

    To diagnose multiple myeloma, doctors may run blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests, or bone marrow tests.


    Treatment Options

    Although unfortunately complete remission is rare in multiple myeloma, standard therapy involves targeted therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, or corticosteroids. These treatment options can have serious side effects including premature diabetes, heart disease or neurological problems.  Chemotherapy agents have a wide array of risks, including renal insufficiency and peripheral neuropathy.

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    Benzene-related Multiple Myeloma Verdict and Settlement Results

    Verdict (California, 2000)


    The three decedents worked as the Southland Distribution Facility as diesel mechanics.  Between 1990 and 1991, they applied two floor coating products, Select Poly-Kote GC and Select Glaze GP 65, to the floor of the mechanic’s area at work and...

    Verdict (Rhode Island, 1996)


    From 1968 to 1972, plaintiff was in his late teens and worked as a tree sprayer.  He was allegedly exposed to unsafe levels of the toxic herbicide chemical 245T manufactured by DOW company. Plaintiff claims his exposure to the toxins...

    Settlement (Louisiana, 2011)

    Confidential Settlement

    Plaintiff laborers worked for Olin Kraft Plant. They used benzene and benzene-containing products on a regular basis to perform various tasks such as cleaning, washing, preparation, gluing maintenance, and other jobs.  Plaintiffs claim that as a result of their daily...

    Settlement (Louisiana, 2016)

    Confidential Settlement

    From 1968 to 1987, plaintiff worked as a millwright and millwright’s apprentice.  During his career, plaintiff used a product called “Liquid Wrench” which contained benzene.  Plaintiff was also exposed to toluene and xylene solvents, gasoline, propylene, and butadiene.  Plaintiff claimed...

    Settlement (California, 2012)

    Confidential Settlement

    Plaintiff worked as a mechanic for various companies from 1982 to 2008.  Plaintiff claimed he worked with Safety-Kleen solvents which contained multiple carcinogens and other toxic chemicals, including benzene.  He sustained serious injuries to his internal organs and was diagnosed...

    Settlement (Louisiana, 2009)

    Confidential Settlement

    From 1967 to 1986 and from 1996 to 1997, Plaintiff’s husband worked as a pipe fitter, mechanic and plumber.  Plaintiff sued defendants after her husband was exposed to defendants’ benzene and benzene-containing products during his career. Plaintiff alleged her husband’s...

    Hughes Law Offices is providing these case histories 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.

    The epidemiological studies show significant increased risk of mortality from multiple myeloma for individuals exposed to benzene. If you suspect that your multiple myeloma diagnosis or that of a loved one is related to previous toxic exposures, call 1-800-BENZENE today for your free consultation. All consultations are with an attorney.

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    Verdicts and Settlements

    Survey of Benzene

    Hughes Law Offices is providing case histories 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.
    See All Verdicts



    Helper/rigger/leadman on barges diagnosed with acute myeloid 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.



    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.



    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..



    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.



    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’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).

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