Yolanda Martinez Jul. 26, 2013, 4:16pm

NEW ORLEANS - The son of a former employee for companies that transport oil and gas on the Mississippi River is suing, claiming work conditions contributed to his father’s terminal cancer.

Willie J. Jones Jr. filed suit against Penn Maritime Inc., Crowley Marine Services Inc. and Intrepid Personnel &Provisions Inc. in the Orleans Parish Central District Court on May 20.

The plaintiff's, Willie Jones Sr. was an Able Bodied (AB) Tankerman for the shipping company defendants.  The suit claims that through his work Jones was exposed to benzene, petroleum and hydrocarbons. The exposure to chemicals allegedly led to a diagnoses of renal cell carcinoma in August 2009 and metastatic brain cancer in November 2012.

The defendants are accused breaching duty of care for exposing workers to carcinogenic chemicals.The suit claims they failed to provide adequate protective or respiratory equipment and did not enforce health and environmental safety policies.

Damages in an unspecified amount are sought for loss of earnings and benefits, mental and physical pain and suffering and medical expenses.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert D. McMillin of the New Orleans-based Smith Stag LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Case No. 2013-05867

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