A Kentucky man who has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) has filed a lawsuit against 18 companies for damages in excess of $200,000. He claims that his condition was caused by benzene exposure suffered during his work as a pipefitter, oil burner, and maintenance and repairman.
MDS is considered a precursor to a rare type of cancer known as acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). In fact, about one-third of all patients with MDS eventually develop AML - a condition linked to benzene exposure, which often occurs in high risk jobs such as the ones worked by Earl Brumleve.
Individuals who work in high risk occupations should look into the various state and federal regulations that govern workplace benzene exposure. Employers generally have an obligation to minimize the risk to their workers, and it’s important that workers understand their rights. In instances where workers’ rights have been violated, a lawsuit may be an appropriate course of action.