Colorado man's benzene case to be heard on dismissal

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 25, 2005, 12:00am

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian will hear a motion to dismiss a benzene suit against 91 defendants on the doctrine of forum non conveniens Friday, Dec. 2.

Dan Arnold of Colorado filed an 18-count benzene suit against 91 defendants in Madison County Circuit Court Sept. 9, alleging that his exposure to benzene and benzene-containing materials and products caused him to develop acute mylogenous leukemia (AML).

Arnold claims he was diagnosed with the illness in June 2004. He is seeking damages in excess of $1 million.

Some of the defendants include, Turtle Wax, WD-40, Union Carbide, US Steel, Honeywell, Dow Chemical and most major gas refining companies.

According to Arnold’s complaint, filed by Ted Gianaris and Timothy Thompson of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, venue is proper because one or more of the defendants do business in Madison County, and some of the claims occurred in Madison County.

In Arnold’s complaint, he states that he worked in Morris, Joliet, Mazon and Pontiac, however he received deliveries that originated from Shell Oil in Wood River and Clark Oil in Hartford.

Arnold claims during the course of his employment and during non-occupational work projects he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed benzene fumes emanating from products he was working with, which were sold or distributed by the defendants.

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 also is a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.

According to the complaint, Arnold will continue to suffer a disability and disfigurement, medical expenses, physical pain and mental anguish, impairment in the enjoyment of recreational activities and lost wages.

Arnold’s wife, Cindy, also claims she has suffered interference with, and impairment of their marital relationship and all of those elements of married life she was accustomed to receiving, including, support, devotion, care, society and consortium.

Matoesian will hear the motion at 9 a.m.

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Dow Chemical
2030 Dow Center
Midland, MI 48674

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