Widow of Refinery Worker Files Asbestos Suit

A woman whose husband worked at Port Arthur, Texas’s oil refineries has sued Gulf Oil Corporation, alleging that they had a hand in her husband’s painful death from mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs and usually results in a quick demise.

According to an article in the Southeast Texas Record, Earnestine Alexander, the surviving spouse of Herman Alexander, filed her suit with the Jefferson County District Court on October 22.

The plaintiff’s original petition states that during Alexander’s employment as a laborer with the Gulf Oil Corporation at its Port Arthur refinery, he “used and was exposed to toxic materials including asbestos dust and fibers.”

“As a result of such exposure, Herman Alexander developed an asbestos-related disease for which he died a painful and terrible death on June 24, 2007,” the suit said.

The Port Arthur facility was Gulf Oil’s first refinery, started in 1907 after the Spindletop Gusher discovery. Gulf merged with Chevron in 1984. The local refinery is now operated by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

Mrs. Alexander and her lawyers accuse Chevron of failing to warn workers of the dangers of asbestos and failing to protect them from such dangers, the suit said, even though they were aware of the dangers of exposure to the toxic mineral.

“The defendants knew for decades that asbestos-containing products could cause the disease of asbestosis and asbestos-related cancers and still allowed their employees, such as Alexander, to work with and around asbestos products in the workplace,” the suit states.

“Furthermore, the defendants failed to take the necessary engineering, safety, industrial hygiene and other precautions and provide adequate warning and training to ensure that the deceased was not exposed to the asbestos-containing products.”

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