Widow sues over benzene exposure at Shell Norco refinery

Michelle Massey Apr. 25, 2011, 3:37am

The wife of a deceased Shell Norco refinery worker has filed a lawsuit that argues her husband's death was a result of years of exposure to benzene-containing products.

Lois Frank, individually and on behalf of her deceased husband Welman Frank, filed suit against Shell Oil Co., Shell Chemical, Travelers Ins. Co. and the Travelers Indemnity Co. on April 15 in federal court in New Orleans.

Frank worked at the Shell Norco refinery from 1972 to 2002 cleaning tanks in the "Coke Unit," the complaint states.

Frank was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002 and died as a result of the disease, the suit states.

The defendants are accused of fraudulent concealment, negligence, strict product liability, concealment, misrepresentation, fraud and unjust enrichment.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, disfigurement and embarrassment, physical impairment, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, physical impairment, physical and mental disability, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society, consortium, companionship, services, nurture and love and affection, wrongful death damages, survival damages, cancer, fear of cancer, increased risk of cancer, exemplary damages, court costs and interest.

Frank is represented by L. Eric Williams Jr. of Williams Law Offices in Metairie and Amber E. Cisney and Richard J. Fernandez of Law Offices of Richard J. Fernandez in Metairie. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00871

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