Contract worker claims he was exposed to benzene at Dow Chemical plant

By Michelle Keahey | Jun 23, 2011

An Iberville Parish resident claims he was exposed to benzene at the Dow Chemical plant and has filed a lawsuit against the company after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

Ernest Ventress, Jr. and Betty Ventress filed suit against Radiator Specialty Co. and The Dow Chemical Co. on June 16 in federal court in New Orleans.

Ernest Ventress worked as a contract laborer for National Maintenance and for Turner Industries from 1971 until the late 1980s. During this time he performed contract labor at the Dow Chemical Co. in Plaquemines Parish. He was also employed as a contract worker for Jacob Field Services from the late 1980s until his retirement in 2005 at the Dow Chemical plant. He claims he was exposed to benzene, toluene and xylene, paint, solvents, gasoline, propylene, butadiene and Liquid Wrench while working at the facility.

He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma on July 1, 2010 as a result of his exposure to benzene and other chemicals, the lawsuit claims.

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

The plaintiffs are represented by L. Eric Williams of Williams Law Office in Metairie and Richard J. Fernandez and Amber E. Cisney of Richard J. Fernandez LLC in Metairie. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01419

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