April 19, 2017 — An auto mechanic with cancer has filed a lawsuit against 14 companies who sell gasoline, solvents, paint, and other products that contain the toxic chemical benzene for failing to warn about health hazards.
The lawsuit was filed by Steven J. Williams, an auto mechanic from Illinois who has worked in repair shops since 1982. He was routinely exposed to carcinogens like benzene and chlorinated hydrocarbons on the job.
He claims he developed cancer from exposure to diesel fuel, parts washer solvent, paint, belt dressing, and other benzene-containing products with no warnings about their potential health hazards.
Mr. Williams was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer associated with benzene that starts in the bone marrow. The symptoms include chronic fatigue, pain, shortness of breath, and anemia (low blood count).
Benzene is a sweet-smelling, flammable chemical that is found to a wide variety of products. It also occurs naturally in crude oil and is added to gasoline and diesel fuel. Benzene evaporates quickly in the air and it gets in the body by breathing or absorption through the skin.
The primary source of benzene exposure in a repair shop is by breathing it in the air, but benzene is also absorbed through the skin. In the body, benzene metabolites accumulate in the bone marrow, where they cause the bones to produce cancerous white blood cells. These cells do not fight infections very well and they crowd out healthy cells.
Williams is seeking a 12-person jury trial and damages of more than $50,000. In recent years, benzene cancer lawsuits have been awarded multi-million dollar jury verdicts, including a $7.5 million payout to a railroad worker who was exposed to benzene in creosote.
The lawsuit was filed on February 1, 2017 in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois — Case No. 2016-L001056.
The defendants are Ashland Inc., BP Products North America Inc., Hess Corp., Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., The Sherwin-Williams Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., Axalta Coating Systems LLC, CRC Industries Inc., Rust-Oleum Corp., Radiator Specialty Co., Heritage Crystal Clean LLC, Shell Oil Co., ExxonMobil Corp. and Marathon Petroleum Corp.
Do I have a Benzene Cancer Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting benzene induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Toxic Chemical Exposure Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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