Deffes, Shell, Benzene & non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Oil Tanker at TerminalDeffes, Shell, Benzene & non-Hodgkin lymphoma  (“NHL”): A case in the United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana ruled on a motion More Definite Statement.

The Deffes, Shell, Benzene & non-Hodgkin lymphoma  (“NHL”) case documents what many people (deck officers, mates, able bodied seaman, tankerman on various vessels in navigation) may face today that may have worked in or around the petroleum industry, chemical industry and the petrochemical industry (on oil rigs, oil platforms, boats, ships, oil tankers, seismic vessels, cleaning tanks, tankers and vessels) and been exposed to Benzene – leukemia, kidney cancer or air borne chemical exposure. 

The court ruled: the motion is DENIED.

A brief summary of the facts include:

  • Ms. Deffes brings this suit individually and as the legal representative of her late husband, Raymond Deffes.
  • Mr. Deffes died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in late 2014, allegedly as a result of repeated exposure to benzene.
  • Ms. Deffes filed suit against Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical LP (collectively Shell) alleging that from 1965 to 1989, because of his work as an electrician at Shell facilities, her late husband came into regular contact with benzene and benzene-containing products that led to his death.
  • The plaintiff alleges that her late husband was exposed to benzene while working at the Shell facilities in the Eastern District of Louisiana over the period of several years, that the defendants failed to warn or protect Mr. Deffes from exposure to benzene, and that he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and eventually died as a result of the defendants’ action or inaction.
  • She brings claims based on negligence, gross negligence, strict product liability, and Louisiana Civil Code article 2317, as in existence at the time of the benzene exposure. 

To find out more on the case, see Case No. 15-15 – March 16, 2015.OFFSHORE OIL RIG PLATFORM


Benzene is a clear, colorless aromatic liquid that is highly flammable and is used in many industries, including, the petroleum industry, the petrochemical industry, the steel industry, the industrial chemical industry, the alkalies manufacturing industry, the paint industry and by the chlorine manufacturers.

Benzene exposure for workers in many aspects of:

  • petroleum and gasoline refining
  • as well as barge workers
  • pipe-fitters
  • tanker-men
  • drum fillers
  • shipping and receiving personnel in the petrochemical industry
  • mechanics
  • machinists
  • other workers in a variety of general industrial occupations
  • chemists
  • laboratory technicians
  • chemical workers and instrument men
  • chemical truck and tank truck drivers
  • rubber workers
  • workers in the printing industry
  • dry cleaning industry
  • and others exposed to benzene in some form, including:
    • gasoline
    • crude oil
    • and benzene-containing chemicals, such as:
      • benzol
      • naphtha
      • toluene
      • xylene
      • reformate
      • raffinate
      • and many solvents and paint thinners

may cause:

  1. Leukemia
  2. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  3. Acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (ANLL)
  4. Aplastic anemia
  5. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  6. Myelodysplasia
  7. Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), or
  8. Lymphoma, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  9. Multiple Myeloma
  10. Kidney cancer
  11. Other potential problems

For more on benzene exposure, please follow this link: Benzene, Leukemia & Cancer.


At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases.

If you have been diagnosed with a serious disease (e.g., kidney cancer, leukemia, AML, CML, MDS, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, aplastic anemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (“NHL”) etc.) from benzene exposure, and need a benzene lawyer to help you file a benzene exposure lawsuit, contact our office at 1.844.329.5955.