Armor All seeks to transfer venue in benzene case

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 21, 2005, 9:07am

Jay Koehler

Armor All and six of 68 other defendants will ask Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian to transfer a benzene lawsuit filed by Damon Sinars to another venue based on forum non conveniens at 9 a.m. on Sept. 27.

Sinars, who filed suit June 21, claims he was exposed to benzene and benzene-containing products manufactured or sold by companies such as Armor All, BP Amoco, Chevron Texaco, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil, Turtle Wax, WD-40 and Whirlpool.

Sinars alleges that the defendants’ agreed to suppress or minimize knowledge of the hazards of benzene, so they could market products they knew were dangerous.

According to Sinar’s complaint, the defendants' benzene products:

  • Contained toxic benzene even though alternatives were available;
  • Did not contain any or adequate warnings about the dangers of inhaling, ingesting or otherwise absorbing benzene; and
  • Did not contain instructions concerning the safe methods of working with and around the benzene products.

    Sinars claims his exposure to benzene caused him to spend money on healthcare services and suffer great physical pain and mental anguish. He also states that he has been hindered from pursuing his normal course of employment, causing a loss of wages.

    Sinars is represented by Ted Gianaris and Kenneth Brennan of SimmonsCooper of East Alton.

    Jennifer Sinars, Damon’s wife, also is seeking damages alleging the defendants’ conduct interfered with her marital relationship, suffering an impairment of all the elements of married life she was accustomed to receiving, including support, devotion, care, society and consortium.

    Benzene is an aromatic hydrocarbon that is produced by the burning of natural products. It is a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels and is used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.

    Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.

    Armor All will be represented by Jay Koehler of Swanson Martin & Bell in Chicago.

    Sinars is seeking at least $900,000 in damages claiming the defendants were responsible for him developing Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    05 L 575

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