Jackson, Murphy Exploration, Benzene & Leukemia

Oil Tanker at TerminalJackson, Murphy Exploration, Benzene & Leukemia: A case in the United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana ruled on a motion to dismiss.

The Jackson, Murphy Exploration, Benzene & Leukemia case documents what many people (deck officers, mates, able bodied seaman) 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, tankers and vessels) and been exposed to Benzene – leukemia, kidney cancer or air borne chemical exposure.  The court ruled: Defendant’s motion should be GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED PART.

A brief summary of the facts include:

  • This matter arises from claims of unseaworthiness and for maintenance and cure under general maritime law as well as a negligence claim under the Jones Act.
  • Ms. Jackson brings these claims on behalf of the decedent, Franklin Ronald Jackson, Sr. (“Mr. Jackson”), who passed away on September 19, 2012 after having been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (“leukemia”) in April 2011.
  • Ms. Jackson alleges that Mr. Jackson was exposed to benzene during his employment with the various named defendants between the years of 1961 and 2006.
  • Pertinent to the instant motion, Ms. Jackson alleges that Mr. Jackson was exposed to benzene while working on various vessels in the Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company (“ODECO”) Fleet between 1964 and 1968.
  • As a result of this exposure, Plaintiff argues that she is entitled to recover damages and to an award ofmaintenance and cure.
  • Murphy filed the instant motion to dismiss on October 15, 2013.
  • A seaman injured in the course of employment has a claim for maintenance and cure.” Kendrick v. Maersk Line, Ltd., No. 04-1147, 2006 WL 2662996 *4 (E.D. La. Sept. 15, 2006) (Fallon, J.).
  • A claim for maintenance and cure, however, “has no basis in the absence of a showing that the [illness] began while [the seaman] was in the service of the [defendant].” Miller v. Lykes Bros.-Ripley S.S. Co., 98 F.2d 185, 186 (5th Cir. 1938).
  • Further, once it is established that a seaman is entitled to maintenance and cure, he is only entitled to receive such benefits from the time that he is rendered unfit for duty until he is either fit for duty or until he has reached maximum cure. See Kendrick, 2006 WL 2662996 at *4-*5.
  • “Maximum cure is the point at which it is probable that further treatment will not result in betterment of the seaman’s condition.”

To find out more on the case, see Case No. 13-5864 – December 13, 2013.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 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.