Refinery worker claims exposure to benzene led to development of leukemia

A former Alliance Refinery worker has filed a lawsuit that claims he was exposed to toxic levels of benzene while employed at the refinery and as a result he developed leukemia.

Hollis Boutain and Edna Faye Boutain filed suit against Radiator Specialty Co., Chevron USA Inc. as successor to Gulf Oil Corp., Exxonmobil Oil Corp., Oil Insurance Ltd. and Insco Ltd. on Aug. 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

Hollis Boutain began working at the Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse during its
construction in 1970 until 1977. He states he regularly worked with benzene, naphtha, xylene and toluene at the refinery.

He also claims he was exposed to benzene by the use of Liquid Wrench for home maintenance and at work from 1970 through 1978.

Boutain was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in September 2010, allegedly as a result of his exposure to benzene.

The defendants are accused negligence for not making Boutain wear proper respiratory protective equipment or protective clothing for dermal exposure, failing to warn him of the health hazards associated with benzene containing products and for failing to monitor the fume levels in the work environment.

Boutain is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, disfigurement and embarrassment, physical impairment, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical impairment, physical and mental disability, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, fear of cancer, loss of consortium, wrongful death damages and survival damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by L. Eric Williams Jr. of Williams Law Office in Metairie and Metairie attorneys Richard J. Fernandez and Amber E. Cisney.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01907

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