Kentucky plaintiff claims pancreatic cancer from benzene, butadiene exposure

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 20, 2007, 8:39am

A Kentucky man filed suit against 11 defendants in Madison County Circuit Court June 18, alleging his exposure to benzene and butadiene caused pancreatic cancer.

Jeffrey Looper claims he was employed as a tire builder and utility man at General Tire and Rubber Company in Mayfield, Ken. from 1985 until 1997.

He claims that during the course of his employment he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed benzene and butadiene which was designed, manufactured, sold or distributed by the 11 defendants that include BP Amoco, Chevron, Continental Tire, Shell Oil and ConocoPhillips.

Looper claims he was diagnosed with pancreatic caner on Dec. 22, 2004, and was told that his disease was related to his exposure to benzene and butadiene.

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.

Butadiene is an industrial chemical used as a monomer in the production of synthetic rubber.

Looper claims the defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution for the safety, health and welfare of him but failed in that duty by including benzene and butadiene in their products even though they would have a toxic and highly deleterious effect on the health of the person handling them.

He also claims the defendants failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions on benzene and butadiene, failed to recommend users to use personal protective equipment, and failed to recall or cease using benzene and butadiene.

Looper claims his disease has disfigured and disabled him, caused pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.

Represented by David Jones of East Alton, Looper is seeking damages in excess of $150,000, plus costs of the suit.

His wife Laura Ivie Looper is also seeking damages in excess of $50,000, claiming she has been deprived of Jeffrey's consortium, love, affection and care.

James Owens of Paducah also represents the Loopers.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

07 L 549

More News