GRETNA – A Jefferson Parish man is suing a number of oil companies and a drilling pipe cleaning company for allegedly exposing him to radioactive materials he claims resulted in his contraction of prostate cancer.

Willie Mason filed suit against Exxon Mobil Corporation, Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation, Chevron USA Inc., Conocophillips Company, Shell Oil Company, Marathon Oil Company and Intracoastal Tubular Services in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 30.

Mason claims he was employed by Intracoastal Tubular Services from 1973-80 and the Brown & Root pipe yard from 1980-82. The plaintiff alleges that during the course of those jobs he unknowingly came into direct contact with oilfield generated radioactivity (OGR), which is naturally occurring radioactive material created as a side effect from the the drilling process. Mason asserts as part of his job as a drill pipe cleaner radioactive particles from the pipes were pulverized and distributed through the air in the pipe yard, which resulted in him inhaling the hazardous material and being exposed to unsafe levels of radiation.

The defendant is accused of not warning of the danger presented by OGR, failing to properly supervise pipe cleaning contract defendants, failing to properly warn in regard to GOR violation, failing to test for OGR, failing to dispose of OGR waste, failing to place identification on OGR contaminated pipe, failing to properly mark OGR contaminated work areas and acting in a careless and negligent manner.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for fear of cancer, prostate cancer, physiological injuries, physical pain and suffering, increased risk of contracting cancer, medical monitoring, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income, loss of wage earning ability and medical expenses.

Mason is represented by Jeremiah A. Sprague of the Marrero-based Falcon Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Michael P. Mentz.

Case no. 726-508.

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