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McWilliams, Exxon, Benzene & Leukemia

toxic exposure, vinyl chloride, benzene, manganese, berylium, asbestos,benzene exposureMcWilliams, Exxon, Benzene & Leukemia: A recent case in the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit ruled on an appeal of verdict.

The McWilliams, Exxon, Benzene & Leukemia case documents what many people may face today that may have worked in or around the petroleum industry and the petrochemical industry (on oil rigs, oil platforms, boats, ships and vessels) and been exposed to Benzene – leukemia or air borne chemical exposure.  The court ruled: we hereby affirm the judgment in part, as amended, and reverse in part.

To find out more on the case, see Case No. CA 12-1288 – May 15, 2013.

A brief summary of the facts include:

  • In this case, Mr. McWilliams alleges that he developed acute promyelocytic leukemia as a result of exposure to benzene while gauging barges during twenty-seven years as a petroleum inspector employed by numerous independent contractors.
  • During five of those years, he worked on premises or vessels owned by the Defendants. None of the Defendants are domiciled in Louisiana, and all the work alleged to have led to Mr. McWilliams’ cancer took place in Texas.
  • In July 2009, Mr.McWilliams brought suit under maritime law and the Jones Act.Chevron U.S.A., Inc., Texaco, Inc., and Union Oil Company of California  appeal two judgments of the trial court below.
  • They appeal the trial court’s interlocutory judgment striking of all their defenses for violations of La.Code Civ.P. art. 1471. They also appeal the jury award of $12,000,000.00 in punitive damages, prejudgment interest on future damages, and the award of $458,419.87 in past medical expenses in favor of the plaintiff, MonteMcWilliams.
  • For the following reasons, we hereby affirm the judgment in part, as amended, and reverse in part.  


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 indutry and by the chlorine manufacturers. Benzene exposure may cause:

  1. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  2. Acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (ANLL)
  3. Secondary aplastic anemia
  4. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  5. Myelodysplasia
  6. Myelodysplastic syndrome, or
  7. Non-hodkins lymphoma
  8. Kidney problems

For More on benzene exposure, please follow this link: Benzene, Leukemia and Kidney 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., leukemia, AML, MDS, non-hodgkins lymphoma, kidney cancer, 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.