Monday, January 7, 2013

Lawsuit Blames Shell Oil for Death of an Illinois Man

The estate of Illinois man Derrick Dean Coffman is blaming Shell Oil Co. and its subsidiaries for his death from blood cancer associated with industrial chemical exposure.

Coffman is from Roxana, Illnois a town that has had issues with benzene and elevated levels of methane. 

According to news reports, several homes had to be demolished near the Wood River refinery, formerly operated by Shell after tests showed benzene contamination in the area.

The Village of Roxana also filed a lawsuit last March citing incidents over several years in which officials claim benzene and other pollutants contaminated the air, water and soil.

“Shell’s own testing and reports show that benzene and other toxic chemicals have spilled or leaked from the refinery onto the property of the Village of Roxana, contaminating the streets, alleys, rights-of-way, the ground water and, in particular, the Village’s Public Works Yard,” said Derek Brandt, of The Simmons Firm who is handling the case for the village. 

Benzene is among the 20 most widely used chemicals in the United States. The main route of human exposure to benzene is by inhaling contaminated air.

(Sources:, Press Release, The Simmons Firm)

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