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Family files asbestos lawsuit against deceased father's employer

The family of a deceased man has filed a lawsuit against Texaco, Inc., accusing the oil company of exposing him to asbestos and thereby causing him to develop the mesothelioma that ultimately caused his death. The man worked for several years at Texaco's Port Arthur, Texas, refinery. He later developed mesothelioma and succumbed to the disease in June of this year.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed last month in Texas' Jefferson County, the wife and children of the former Texaco employee are claiming that the oil company 'maliciously' caused their husband and father's death. Specifically, the plaintiffs are alleging that Texaco officials knew that asbestos exposure caused mesothelioma and other cancers, but that they continued to expose their employees to asbestos without regard for their health.

The plaintiffs are claiming that Texaco acted with malice in allowing its employees to be exposed to the dangerous asbestos products, and are seeking exemplary damages. A court date has not yet been set.

Oil refinery workers are just one example of employees who worked in high-risk occupations during the height of asbestos exposure in the U.S. Others include construction workers, boiler mechanics, electricians, plumbers, pipe fitters, automotive and aviation mechanics, insulation installers, and U.S. military employees.

For some of these employees, the exposure to asbestos was minimal and caused little to no lasting damage. But for several others, the years of pervasive asbestos exposure caused irreparable harm in the form of asbestosis, mesothelioma, or lung cancer. In addition, such exposure can also harm the spouse and family of these employees, as asbestos fibers are easily transported home on clothing and work materials.

Source: Southeast Texas Record, "Asbestos suit blames Texaco for man's mesothelioma, death," David Yates, Aug. 29, 2011

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