Long-term benzene exposure in the maritime industry can adversely affect your health in several ways. Additionally, when the chemical is inhaled over a long period of time, as can happen to maritime workers who work around cargo containing benzene, serious health problems may arise. If you’ve been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other benzene-related cancers and illnesses, you could have a possible Jones Act injury claim. Call us to discuss this.
In this article:
Benzene was first linked to cancer in the late 1920s and is used throughout many industries in the United States. The maritime industry is no exception and many workers are in danger of benzene exposure. Tankermen on chemical barges are, particularly at risk. Symptoms of short-term benzene exposure are acute and debilitating but generally go away as soon as you get away from the chemical. However, if you are exposed often enough and long enough, the long-term effects of chronic exposure are extremely harmful, even life-threatening.
Benzene, a known carcinogen, is a chemical that is commonly used in the manufacturing of petroleum products such as gasoline, solvents, and crude oil. Benzene is also used to make other chemicals that are found in the following products:
Benzene begins as a yellow liquid but quickly evaporates into a sweet-smelling gas. Barges routinely transport products that contain benzene such as xylene, toluene, gasoline, and jet fuel. It’s not uncommon to find varying amounts of benzene in petroleum cargoes including
Long-term benzene exposure has been linked to several kinds of cancer and other serious illnesses. The time from chronic benzene exposure to onset of symptoms, known as the latency period, is extremely long, so you may not intuitively connect your diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other serious illness to benzene exposure, but it is important to see a doctor and document your exposure and your diagnosis. Doing so may enable you to receive compensation for damages (lost wages, cost of your medical treatment and suffering) under the Jones Act.
Non-Hodgkin’s is a cancer of the lymph system that has been linked to benzene exposure. NHL arises in the lymphatic system and causes the following symptoms:
Though Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma begins in the lymphatic system, left untreated, the cancer will spread to other parts of the body. Without proper diagnosis and care, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is fatal.
Many able-bodied seamen and tankermen worked on oil tankers and were regularly exposed to benzene years ago but are just now being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chronic exposure to benzene may have caused changes in these workers’ chromosomes, which lead to this type of lymphoma.
In addition to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, benzene exposure has also been linked to several other kinds of cancer and diseases including
It is important to remember that only certain types of cancer/illnesses have been linked to benzene, so if you are unsure whether your diagnosis qualifies, contact us.
Even short-term exposure to benzene is extremely harmful. Breathing in excessive levels of benzene can cause the following symptoms:
The time from exposure to a harmful substance to the onset of symptoms is known as the latency period. Because the latency period for benzene exposure is so long (5-15 years), seaman diagnosed with these illnesses may not think that their illness is related to benzene exposure. However, anyone who has been exposed to benzene for a year or more is at risk for its long-term, harmful effects. Even if it’s been many years since you were exposed to benzene, your illness may be a result of benzene exposure.
Vessels that are used for transporting liquid compounds which can pose a serious threat to the environment are often referred to as IMO III vessels. As of 2016, IMO III vessels accounted for over 50% of North America’s Chemical Tanker Shipment.
Working on vessels or chemical tankers that transport chemicals or benzene-containing products can pose serious risks to your health. If you’ve already been diagnosed with an illness linked to benzene exposure and you worked in the maritime industry, you may be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act.
Because it can take many years for benzene to make someone sick, you may not think your illness is due to benzene exposure. In order to help you think through your possible risk exposure, the below information provides you with a list of maritime companies that transport chemical, petroleum, crude oil products so you can be aware of your potential exposure while you’re working.
It also names specific vessels that have been involved in maritime incidents, some of which include bodily injuries as well as oil spills. If you’ve worked at one of these companies or on any of these vessels for long periods of time, you could be at risk for benzene-related cancer.
Finally, it reviews several cases that have been filed against maritime companies due to benzene-related health problems.
Working in the maritime industry can put you at increased risk for illness or death.
Researchers studying Norwegian seaman showed that those who worked on tankers carrying oil, oil products, and other chemicals had over twice as high a mortality rate as their land-working counterparts of the same age. These seamen died from two main issues: accidents and cancer. These studies show that seaman, especially those who work closely with benzene-containing cargo are more likely to get these life-threatening cancers:
In addition to increased cancer risk, one study found that exposure to benzene changes the chromosomes of sperm and can lead to infertility or problems with pregnancies.
The risks from benzene exposure are real and well-documented. Therefore, it’s smart to take them seriously if you’re a maritime worker on a tanker or other chemical transportation vessel.
While anyone on board a benzene-containing vessel can be exposed to this carcinogen, tankermen, who work on and near tank barges, are most likely to come into contact with benzene when they inspect, load, pump, or connect the tanks onboard the barge. Certain other jobs aboard chemical & petroleum tankers could have greater exposure to benzene, some of these positions include
Because benzene is found in products commonly transported by barges, any seaman or worker onboard a benzene-contaminated barge needs to be protected from exposure. Exposure is most likely to occur through inhalation. However, some exposure through skin contact is also possible. Any exposure to benzene can cause unhealthy side effects, but long-term exposure is particularly harmful. And you may not know you have an injury until many years in the future.
These tank barges which carry benzene related chemicals are known as red flag barges. Even with precautions such as tank cleaning and benzene monitors, the risk of benzene exposure still exists because benzene residue accumulates in the seams and bottoms of tanks. Mariners sailing on tankers are required to take Benzene tests with their yearly physicals. Over time the body absorbs Benzene and produces S-phenyl mercapturic acid (S-PMA) as a byproduct. This byproduct can show up as a positive on the Benzene tests.
Benzene levels should be monitored, and if they exceed 1 ppm (parts per million), workers must regularly wear personal protective equipment (a respirator) in order to prevent exposure and serious illness.
Most commonly located in the holding tanks of these vessels, putting maritime workers especially at risk, benzene’s fumes can be present in the seams and bottoms of the tanks. Benzene can also be found in the transmission and vent pipes.
While harmful chemicals can exist on many kinds of vessels, the following vessels can have higher benzene exposure:
Even if your company hasn’t been involved in a benzene lawsuit, if you’re employed by a company that is known to transport benzene-containing products, you could be at risk. Review this list of companies that transport chemicals and crude oil/petroleum (all known to contain benzene) to see if your company makes the list.
This data was pulled from the "WATERBORNE TRANSPORTATION LINES OF THE UNITED STATES" (WTLUS) Calendar Year 2016 Volumes 1 through 3 consolidated. Published October 2017. The original report was compiled under the supervision of the Institute for Water Resources U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alexandria, Virginia.
|Company||Address||Operating Localities||NO-Vessels||Vessel Type||Vessel Name|
|2-W TOWING, INC.||P. O. Box 46, Houma, LA 70361||Mississippi River and GIWW of Louisiana,Texas and Alabama||1||Push boat||CAPT. WARREN|
|ALASKA TANKER COMPANY, LLC||15400 Nw Greenbriar Parkway Suite A400, Beaverton, OR 97006||Alaska and U. S. West Coast.||4||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||ALASKAN EXPLORER|
|AMERICAN COMMERCIAL BARGE LINE LLC||P. O. Box 610, Jeffersonville, IN 47130||Inland Waterways||915||Open Hopper Barge or Petroleum||ACBL 211|
|AMERICAN PETROLEUM & TRANSPORT, INC||646 Main Street, Port Jefferson, NY 11777||Rivers, Bays, Sounds, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Area Waterways||1||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||CHANDRA B|
|AMERICAN PETROLEUM TANKERS, LLC||9487 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32225||Null||6||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||BAY STATE|
|ANDREW MARINE V, LLC||101 Lee St., Vicksburg, MS 39180||U. S. Inland Waterways||1||Push boat or Petroleum||ANDREW GOLDING|
|APEX TOWING CO.||8235 Forsyth Blvd. Suite 400, St. Louis, MO 63105||New Orleans, LA to St. Louis, MO; Houston,||2||M/V CHEROKEE|
|B & R TOWING, INC||2233 Snowbird Dr., New Orleans, LA 70058||Mississippi Riverand Gulf Intracoastal Waterway||1||Tugboat||MISS KIM|
|BETTER WAY LOGISTICS LLC||561 E. Western Avenue, Muskegon, MI 49442||Great Lakes||1||Tugboat||MICHIGAN|
|BLESSEY MARINE SERVICES, INC.||1515 River Oaks Road E., Harahan, LA 70123||Intracoastal Waterway (Texas to Florida); Lower||60||Push boat||BEN STRAFUSS|
|BMO HARRIS EQUIPMENT FINANCE COMPANY||11 North Water Street Suite 18290, Mobile, AL 36602||Null||1||Petroleum or Chemical Carrie||SULPHUR ENTERPRISE|
|BOSTON MARINE TRANSPORT, INC||256 Marginal St.;p. O. Box 492, East Boston, MA 02128||New York to Maine||2||Tugboat||PINUCCIA|
|BUFFALO MARINE SERVICE, INC.||P. O. Box 5006, Houston, TX 77262-5006||TX to Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Tributaries||21||Push boat||CJ STUDDERT|
|C S S ATLANTA, INC.||P. O. Box 1360, Gonzales, LA 70707||Mississippi RiverBaton Rouge to New Orleans||1||Push boat||CSS ATLANTA|
|CANAL BARGE COMPANY, INC.||835 Union St. Suite 300, New Orleans, LA 70112-1469||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Mississippi River System||28||Push boat||BULL CALF|
|CAPT. HARD TOWING, LLC||P. O. Box 2259, Dayton, TX 77535||Houston Ship Channel andSurrounding River Harbors.||1||Tugboat||CAPT. HARD|
|CAPT. JIM TOWING, LLC||P. O. Box 2259, Dayton, TX 77535||Houston Ship Channel.||1||Tugboat||CAPT. JIM|
|CARLINE’S GEISMAR FLEET, INC.||P. O. Box 1360, Gonzales, LA 70707||Mississippi River Baton Rouge to New Orleans.||2||Push boat||CSS ARKANSAS|
|CENAC MARINE SERVICES, LLC||P. O. Box 2617, Houma, LA 70361||Caruthersville, MO to Memphis, TN on Lmr; Catoosa,||34||Push boat||ALBERT CENAC|
|CENAC, AL TOWING, LLC||P. O. Box 1791, Houma, LA 70361||Inland and Intracoastal Waterway||2||Tugboat||AL CENAC|
|CHEVRON SHIPPING COMPANY, LLC||6101 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94583-5177||United States, WestCoast and Gulf Coast, Various Terminals||2||Petroleum||CALIFORNIA VOYAGER|
|CONOCO PHILLIPS CO.||600 N. Dairy Ashford, Ch-1062c, Houston, TX 77079-1175||Valdez, AK to U. S. West Coast - Los Angeles||5||Petroleum||POLAR ADVENTURE|
|CPD ALASKA, LLC||201 Arctic Slope Ave., Anchorage, AK 99518||Yukon River and Tributaries;||3||Push boat||AKU|
|CROWLEY MARINE SERVICES||1102 S. W. Massachusetts St., Seattle, WA 98134||Alaska / West Coast||2||Flat/Deck Barge||ARCTIC CHALLENGER|
|CROWLEY PUERTO RICO SERVICES, INC.||9487 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32225||containered goods & construction materials. Operating Localites include:||1||Petroleum||OHIO|
|CUMMINGS MARINE SERVICE||P. O. Box 13262, Memphis, TN 38113||Memphis Harbor (Idle).||1||Push boat||OLE JOE|
|D J P MARINE, LLC||2360 Fifth St., Mandeville, LA 70471||Inland Waterways; Tenn-Tom; Giww||6||Flat/Deck Barge||FMTA 115|
|DANIELLE MARINE TOWING VI, LLC||15587 East Main St., Cut Off, LA 70345||rimarily Houston,TX to Corpus Christi, TX||2||Push boat||CAPT. DAVE GUIDRY|
|ECHO TOWING SERVICE, INC||P. O. Box 446, Baytown, TX 77522||Intercoastal; Houston Ship Channel; Buffalo Bay||5||Push boat||CAPT. TOM ECHOLS SR.|
|EMPTY BARGE LINES, INC.||1980 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 1101, Houston, TX 77056||Mobile,AL to Brownsville,||2||Push boat||GROSBEC|
|ERIE ISLANDS PETROLEUM, INC||P. O. Box 457, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456||Put-IN-Bay, OH to Catawba Point, OH; Great Lakes||1||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||CANTANKERUS|
|FIVE M TRANS. CORP.||5008 Old Federal Road, Louisville, KY 40207||Louisville Harbor and Ohio River||7||Push boat||GAIL ANN|
|FLORIDA MARINE TRANSPORTERS, LLC.||2360 Fifth St., Mandeville, LA 70471||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Mississippi, Black Warrior,||27||Push boat||BELLE|
|FUEL BOAT HOLDINGS LLC||2480 South Clare Ave, Clare, MI 48617||Lake and River Harbors IN Vicinity of Chicago||1||Other Tanker||WILLIAM L. WARNER|
|GENESIS MARINE, LLC||919 Milam St. Suite 2100, Houston, TX 77002||All Inland and Western Rivers Waterway||1||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||AMERICAN PHOENIX|
|GOLDING BROTHERS MARINE, LLC||101 Lee Street, Vicksburg, MS 39180||All Western Rivers / Icw.||12||Liquid Cargo Barge||GBL 1530|
|GRANDVIEW BARGE LINES, INC||200 Speers Steet, Belle Vernon, PA 15012||Ohio & Monongahela Rivers.||3||Liquid Cargo Barge||JAR 4|
|H & S TOWING, INC.||18584 W. Main St. (Galliano, La);p. O. Box 156, Golden Meadow, LA 70357||Houma, LA||1||Push boat||MISS EMILY|
|HARDIN STREET MARINE LLC||100 12th Street, Catlettsburg, KY 41129||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Mississippi||17||Push boat||CANTON|
|HARLEY MARINE NY, INC.||P. O. Box 24005, Seattle, WA 98134||New York / New Jersey East Coast.||1||Tugboat||HMS LIBERTY|
|HENRY MARINE SERVICE, INC||P. O. Box 7650, Spanish Fort, AL 36577||Tombigbee River||5||Push boat||BEVERLY H|
|HIGMAN BARGE LINES, INC||1980 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 1101, Houston, TX 77056||Houston, Giww, New Orleans||84||Push boat||ABERDEEN|
|HINES FURLONG LINE, INC.||P.O. Box 150809, Nashville, TN 37215||Baton Rouge, LA -Houston;Catlettsburg||48||Liquid Cargo Barge||CHEM 3003|
|HORNBECK OFFSHORE SERVICES, LLC||103 Northpark Blvd Suite 300, Covington, LA 70433||Oceans and Gulf of Mexico||2||Petroleum or Chemical Carrie||HOS BAYOU|
|HORNBECK TRANSPORT, LLC||P. O. Box 326;27 Circle S Lane, De Witt, AR 72042||Mile 116 Arkansas River and Lower Mississippi River||1||Flat/Deck Barge||HBK 2010B|
|INGRAM BARGE CO.||4400 Harding Rd., Nashville, TN 37205||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Cumberland||139||Push boat||A. J. MORRIS|
|JAMES MARINE VESSEL CO||4500 Clarks River Rd, P.O. Box 2305, Paducah, KY 42002-2305||Cairo, IL to Knoxville, TN||1||Tugboat||JVESSCO 1|
|JAMES TRANSPORTATION, LLC||4520 Clarks River Road, Paducah, KY 42003||Cairo, IL to Knoxville, TN||4||Push boat||JERRY MCNEIL|
|JAR ASSETS, LLC||2360 Fifth St., Mandeville, LA 70471||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Mississippi,||2||Push boat||H. B. 1|
|K SHIP 3 LLC||1 Bala Plaza East, Ste 600, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-1496||U S Gulf.||1||Liquid Bulk Tanker||SEAKAY SPIRIT|
|KINDER MORGAN ARROW TERMINALS L. P||P. O. Box 379, Ghent, KY 41045||Ohio River From Markland Dam South to Madison||1||Push boat||EDDIE B MARSH|
|KINDER MORGAN PETCOKE||3100 Penn City Road, Houston, TX 77015||Houston and Baytown, TX.||4||Open Hopper Barge||KMJ 1|
|KIRBY INLAND MARINE, LP||55 Waugh Drive Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77007||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway; Mississippi||156||Push boat||ACHILLES|
|KIRBY OFFSHORE MARINE HAWAII, LLC||55 Waugh Drive Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77007||Pacific U. S. Ports||1||Push boat||LAVACA|
|KIRBY OFFSHORE MARINE OPERATING, LLC.||55 Waugh Dr., Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77007||Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean and Eastern U. S. Ports.||11||Tugboat||AMBERJACK|
|L & L MARINE TRANSPORTATION, INC.||P. O. Box 931, Harvey, LA 70059||Intracoastal Waterway West & East.||4||Push boat||ANGELA RAE|
|LE BEOUF BROS. TOWING, LLC||P. O. Box 9036, Houma, LA 70361||Inland and Intracoastal Waterways||43||Push boat||AMERICAN FREEDOM|
|LORRIS G TOWING II CORP.||15587 East Main Street, Cut Off, LA 70345||Corpus Christi, TX to Panama City||1||Push boat||LADY G II|
|LYONDELL CHEMICAL COMPANY||P. O. Box 4246, Houston, TX 77210-4246||Houston, TX to Charleston, WV Via Mississippi||9||Liquid Cargo Barge||CC 132|
|M/G TRANSPORT SERVICES, L.L.C.||3838 North Causeway Blvd; Three Lakeway Center, Suite 3080, Metairie, LA 70002-8339||Intracoastal Waterway; Mississippi and Ohio River System||176||Open Hopper Barge||M/G 181|
|MAERSK LINE LIMITED||2510 Walmer Ave Suite C, Norfolk, VA 23513||Foreign||2||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||MAERSK ATLANTA|
|MARINE INLAND TRANSPORT, LLC||6423 Collins Ave. #1804, Miami Beach, FL 33141||Mississippi River, Ohio River, Mississippi River||1||Liquid Cargo Barge||CBC 387|
|MARINE OIL SERVICE, INC.||1421 South Main St., Norfolk, VA 23523||Norfolk Harbor, Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries||1||Liquid Bulk Tanker||ROLF WILLIAMS|
|MARINE TRANSPORT CO. OF TEXAS||Box 13262, Memphis, TN 38113||Memphis, TN.||3||Push boat||MARINE DIAMOND|
|MARITIME PETROLEUM ASS0C., LLC||2015 Sw 20th Street Suite 214, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315||Intracoastal Waterways of Fort Lauderdale and Miami||3||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||DELIVERANCE II|
|MCALLISTER TOWING & TRANSPORTATION CO., INC.||17 Battery Place, New York, NY 10004||New York Harbor and Tributaries||1||Crewboat, Supply, or Utility Vessel||POINT COMFORT|
|MCALLISTER TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC.||17 Battery Place, New York, NY 10004||New York Harbor and Tributaries;||1||Push boat||SHANNON MCALLISTER|
|MCKINNEY MARINE||P. O. Box 3869, Baton Rouge, LA 70821||Mississippi River, Gulf IntracoastalWaterway of Louisiana||1||Push boat||MAC ANDREW MCKINNEY|
|MCKINNEY TRANSPORTATION LLC||P. O. Box 3869, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3869||Lower Missippi River & Intracoastal Waterway.||1||Push boat||JACKSON MCKINNEY|
|MILLENNIUM MARITIME, INC.||910 Sw Spokane Street, Seattle, WA 98134||West Coast U.S.A. and Harbors and Tributaries||1||Tugboat||GRIZZLY|
|MORAN TOWING & TRANSPORTATION CO., INC.||50 Locust Ave., New Canaan, CT 06840||New York Harbor, Long Island Sound,||21||Tugboat||ALICE MORAN|
|MOTHERSHEAD, RUSS ALLEN, TRUSTEE OF THE RUSS ALLEN MOTHER||26655 U. S. Highway 61;p. O. Box 1717, Cape Girardeau, MO 63702||Mississippi River and Its’ Tributaries.||2||Flat/Deck Barge||HBM 4512B|
|MURRAY AMERICAN RIVER TOWING||1200 Maronda Way, Suite 100, Monessen, PA 15062||Allegheny, Kanawha, Monongahela||10||Push boat||CAILEY MOORE|
|MURRAY AMERICAN TRANSPORTATION, INC.||1200 Maronda Way, Suite 100, Monessen, PA 15062||Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers.||214||Open Hopper Barge||C 491|
|O’NEAL & SONS, INC.||48 Main Street, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860-0295||Between Eastport, ME and Cape Elizabeth, ME.||1||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||CAPT. RAY O’NEAL|
|OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION ANDRIE INC||561 E. Western Avenue, Muskegon, MI 49442||Great Lakes.||1||Tugboat||SPARTAN|
|OLYMPIC TUG & BARGE||910 Sw Spokane St.;p. O. Box 24006, Seattle, WA 98124||Between the Boundaries of the Puget Sound||11||Tugboat||ALYSSA ANN|
|OSG SHIP MANAGEMENT||302 Knights Run Suite 1200, Tampa, FL 33602||U. S. Gulf; U. S. East Coast; U. S. West Coast||14||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||OVERSEAS ANACORTES|
|PHILADELPHIA POINT FLEET||P. O. Box 1360, Gonzales, LA 70707||Fleeting at Mile 182.5 Lower Mississippi River||3||Push boat||CSS CHICORA|
|PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND OIL SPILL RESPONSE CORP.||P. O. Box 109;ms 730, Valdez, AK 99686||Prince William Sound, AK Between Port Valdez and Hinchenbrook Entrance.||1||Crewboat, Supply, or Utility Vessel||MINERAL CREEK 460|
|PROGRESSIVE BARGE LINE, INC.||P. O. Box 99, Westwego, LA 70096-0099||Mississippi River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways||8||Push boat||FREEDOM|
|REINAUER TRANSPORTATION CO. LLC||1983 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10302||New York Harbor, Long Island Sound||25||Tugboat||AUSTIN REINAUER|
|RIVER CITY TOWING SERVICES, INC.||P. O. Box 1300, Denham Springs, LA 70727-1300||Mississippi River, Upper Mississippi River, Illinois River||16||Liquid Cargo Barge||FT 22|
|SAN JACINTO TOWING, INC.||1802 Lafferty Rd., Pasadena, TX 77502||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway of Louisiana||1||Push boat||CAPT. BILL MANTLE|
|SAUSE BROS||155 E. Market Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420||Pacific Coast, Hawaii & All Pacific Rim Ports.||1||Crewboat, Supply, or Utility Vessel||HERMOSA|
|SEA CREST, LLC||1345 Avenue of the Americas 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10022||Ports IN the Contiguous U. S. A. and Caribbean.||1||Liquid Cargo Barge||SEA CREST|
|SEABULK OFFSHORE, LLC||7910 Main St. 2nd Floor, Houma, LA 70360||All Major and Minor Ports Between Mobile||2||Crewboat, Supply,||MICHAEL CROMBIE MCCALL|
|SEABULK TANKERS, INC.||P. O. Box 13038, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316||U. S. East, Gulf and West Coasts, Including Florida||3||Liquid Bulk Tanker||SEABULK ARCTIC|
|SEAJON LLC||2200 Eller Dr.;p. O. Box 13038, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316||Great Lake Ports and St. Lawrence Seaway.||1||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||CONSTITUTION|
|SEARIVER MARITIME, INC.||Srm-Emb-4.119;p. O. Box 1512, Houston, TX 77251-1512||Atlantic, Pacific Coasts and U. S. Gulf Coast.||1||Petroleum or Chemical Carrier||S/R AMERICAN PROGRESS|
|SETTOON TOWING, L.L.C||P. O. Box 279;1073 Hwy. 70, Pierre Port, LA 70339-0279||Morgan City - Port Allen Route, Privately Owned Oil Field Canals||19||Push boat||ALBERT J. SETTOON|
|SLIDELL TOWING||P. O. Box 3869, Baton Rouge, LA 70821||Lower Mississippi River and Intracoastal Waterway||1||Push boat||CAJUN HUSTLER|
|SOUTHERN TOWING CO||1874 Thomas Road, Memphis, TN 38134||Mississippi River System and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway||23||Push boat||BAXTER SOUTHERN|
|ST. TAMMANY PARISH DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT||21489 Koop Drive Ste 7, Mandeville, LA 70471||Gulf Intracoastal Waterways and Mississippi, Black Warrior||11||Push boat||A. B. YORK|
|TEXAS PETROLEUM INVESTMENT COMPANY||5850 San Felipe Suite 250, Houston, TX 77057||Inland Coastal Waters of South Louisiana||6||Crewboat, Supply, or Utility Vesse||MISS CAROLE|
|THE TUG CHERYL K., LLC||P. O. Box 2804, Onalaska, TX 77360||Intracoastal Waterways - Corpus Christi to Mobile||1||Push boat||CHERYL K|
|THE TUG SARA K., LLC||P. O. Box 2804, Onalaska, TX 77360||Houston / Galveston and Houston Ship Channel Fleet||1||Push boat||SARA K|
|TIDEWATER BARGE LINES, INC.||P. O. Box 1210, Vancouver, WA 98666||Willamette, Columbia and Snake Rivers||16||Push boat||BETTY LOU|
|USS CHARTERING, LLC||399 Thornall Street 8th Floor;p. O. Box 2945, Edison, NJ 08837||U. S. Gulf Load Ports to U. S.East Coast Discharge Ports||2||Chemical Carrier||CHARLESTON|
|VANE LINE BUNKERING, INC||4925 Ft. Miﬄin Road, Philadelphia, PA 19153||From Eastport, ME to Brownsville, TX;||1||Crewboat, Supply, or Utility Vessel||CHRISTIAN|
|VANE LINE BUNKERING, INC||2100 Frankfurst Ave., Baltimore, MD 21226||New York, Delaware River, Chesapeake Bay||14||Push boat||ALEXANDER DUFF|
|VESSEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC.||9487 Regency Square Blvd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32225||U. S. West Coast and Brinski, Columbia Primarily||14||Push boat||GUS E|
|WARNER PETROLEUM CORPORATION||5431 West Jeﬀerson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48209||Mile 5 of the Yazoo River Diversion Canal||1||Flat/Deck Barge||FAUST 31|
|WATERFRONT PETROLEUM TERMINAL CO||5431 West Jeﬀerson Ave (Detroit);2480 S. Clare Ave, Clare, MI 48617||Great Lakes Area||1||Tugboat||COLOMA L WARNER|
|WEPFER MARINE OF GREENVILLE, LLC||P. O. Box 1378, Greenville, MS 38702||Mississippi River - Greenville, MS Area||3||Push boat||MAGGIE LEAVELL|
|WEST WIND TOWING, LLC||P. O. Box 2259, Dayton, TX 77535||Houston Ship Channel and Surrounding Areas||1||Push boat||WEST WIND|
|WESTLAKE CA & O, A DIVISION OF WESTLAKE VINYLS, INC||P. O. Box 527, Calvert City, KY 42029||Gulf Intracoastal Waterway--Mississippi, Ohio||1||Liquid Cargo Barge||WCAO 111|
|WESTOIL MARINE SERVICES||P. O. Box 24005, Seattle, WA 98134||West Coast U. S. A. and Harbors||2||Push boat||ROYAL MELBOURNE|
|WHITETAIL VESSEL CO., LLC.||4500 Clarks River Rd; P.O. Box 2305, Paducah, KY 42002||Cairo, IL to Knoxville, TN||12||Push boat||ADDI BELLE|
|WILLAMETTE CHAMPION, LLC||910 S W Spokane St., Seattle, WA 98134||Columbia & Willamette Rivers||1||Push boat||SCOUT|
Another way to determine if you’ve been exposed to benzene is to consider vessels that were involved in a maritime casualty incident. While some exposure may happen in the course of regular transport if an accident happens on a vessel carrying benzene-containing products, the chances for exposure skyrocket.
According to USCG marine casualty data from January 2002 – July 2015*, the following vessels were involved in a marine casualty incident related to chemical exposure; some of them were involved in several incidents. Check the list below to see if you or loved one worked aboard one of these vessels. If you did, and you have been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, acute myelogenous leukemia or other benzene-related illnesses, you may be able to file a Jones Act claim.
Vessels Involved in Maritime Incidents January 2002 – July 2015
* The Marine Casualty and Pollution Database contain data related to marine casualty investigations reportable under 46 C.F.R. 4.03 and pollution investigations reportable under 33 C.F.R. 153.203. The data reflect information collected by U.S. Coast Guard personnel concerning vessel and waterfront facility accidents and marine pollution incidents throughout the United States and its territories.
Employers are required to protect workers from exposure to benzene, and those which fail to do so are negligent. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a benzene-related illness, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, acute myelogenous leukemia and have worked in the maritime industry, you should speak with a maritime lawyer.
Several companies have been taken to court for benzene exposure resulting in serious illness or death. To provide you with some examples of past benzene cases, we’ve summarized a few of these cases below. If any of these scenarios seem familiar to you, especially if you or a sick loved one has worked for a company named in benzene-related lawsuit, see if you are eligible to file a Jones Act Claim. Contact us for a free consultation.
Kirby Inland Marine (aka Dixie Marine/Hollywood Marine)
In 2001, two employees of Kirby Inland Marine filed a lawsuit claiming that benzene exposure made them seriously ill. Heath Knight and Thomas Ingerman both worked as tankerman for Kirby Inland Marine and were exposed to benzene in the course of their work. Knight was employed between 1987 and 1995, and Ingerman worked for Kirby Marine between 1993 and 1994. Both tankermen were diagnosed with cancer in the late 1990s — Knight with Hodgins lymphoma and Interman with bladder cancer. Both cancers have been linked to benzene exposure. Since the exposure was work-related, the plaintiffs sought damages under the Jones Act.
El Paso Corporation, Coastal Tug and Barge, Inc., Exxon Mobil
In 2002, the family of seaman Frank Maggio filed suit against El Paso Corp./Coastal Tug & Barge Inc. Mr. Maggio worked for Exxon Mobil as a seaman from 1964 and 1993, but he didn’t get cancer until 1999, when he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AMl). He died of the disease in 2001. Benzene exposure causes AML, and the seaman’s family claimed that he suffered long-term benzene exposure during his nearly 40 years as a maritime employee. They sought damages not to exceed $10 million.
BP Exploration and Production, Inc.
In 2015, several Louisiana plaintiffs filed suits against BP Exploration and Production citing benzene exposure as the cause of their illnesses. In 2010, an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig created a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As part of the clean up efforts, maritime workers were contracted as oil spill cleaners. These workers came into contact with crude oil by touching and inhaling the vapors. The crude oil in the spill contained benzene. Some seamen removed tar balls, skimmed oil off the surface of the water, or loaded/cleaned the cleaining booms; others captained the vessels which assisted in the clean up efforts. The workers suffered from different illnesses including acute renal failure, hemophilia, and skin and respiratory issues. Each of these issues has been linked to benzene exposure. In all cases, the seaman sought damages from BP under the Jones act including medical expenses and (in the case of the seaman who died) funeral expenses.
Manhattan Tankers Company Inc./Exxon Mobil Corporation
An even more recent case of benzene-related illness is that of Jose Vivas, a seaman and merchant mariner who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in 2017. Mr. Vivas worked as a seaman from 1968 to 1972. During this time, he was regularly exposed to cargos that are known to contain benzene such as cleaning solvents, liquid petroleum and fuel. In this Jones Act case, Mr. Vivas seeks to be compensated for medical expenses, physical and mental suffering, and earnings lost as a result of his illness.
In each of the above cases, the plaintiffs were exposed to benzene while performing their duties as a maritime worker. Sometimes, as in the case of the BP oil spill, the exposure resulted from an accident at sea. In other cases, these workers came into contact with benzene as a matter of course. Keep in mind that while the oil spill occurred more recently, several of these plaintiffs were exposed upwards of 30 years ago. This is an important fact to remember because the long-term illnesses caused by benzene are extremely serious, and you might not immediately link the cancer to benzene exposure. If you are sick, and your company has already been named in a lawsuit for benzene exposure, you may want to contact us for a consultation.
If you are a maritime worker who has been diagnosed with a benzene-related illness, and you have been exposed to benzene on a red-flag barge, you may be eligible for a personal injury claim under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is federal legislation that protects seamen who are injured at work on a boat, barge, or vessel. Under the Jones Act, employers are required to create a reasonably safe working environment on vessels where seaman work. Failing to do so constitutes negligence and any on-the-job injuries that result from this negligence fall under the provisions of the Jones Act.
Part of ensuring a safe working environment means protecting workers on vessels from benzene. Benzene exposure is a type of toxic exposure injury and therefore, certain illnesses resulting from benzene exposure fall under the protection of the Jones Act. If you have been diagnosed with one of these illnesses and you were exposed to benzene, you may be eligible to file a Jones Act claim.
I’ve Been Diagnosed with Cancer. Should File a Claim?
In order to be eligible for benefits under the Jones Act, you or your loved one needs to first, be a maritime worker and second, be diagnosed with one of the illnesses to which benzene exposure has been linked. The first step you should take if you think you are experiencing benzene-related illness is to get properly diagnosed. Visit your doctor and make sure to tell your doctor you were exposed to benzene in your role as a maritime worker. Without a diagnosis, you cannot file a Jones Act claim.
Under the Jones Act, you may be eligible to receive compensation from damages that result from maritime-workplace benzene exposure. Medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and mental anguish are all covered under the Jones Act, so act now if you think you are eligible to file a claim.
If you think you are eligible to file a Jones Act claim, contact us for a free consultation.
I’ve been retired for a long time, I was exposed to benzene years ago. Can I still file a Jones Act claim?
Yes, normally the statute of limitations is three years, however, because of the latency period of these illnesses, these kinds of cases can still be filed.
I’ve worked around a lot of benzene. Can I file for a Jones Act claim before I’ve been officially diagnosed?
No, in order to prove your case, you’d need to prove that you’re currently injured or ill. Unless you’ve been showing symptoms, it would be difficult to prove that you’ve suffered damages.
I was exposed to benzene yesterday at work, and felt dizzy, do I have grounds for a claim?
Probably not, unless being exposed to the chemical made you hurt yourself in some other way, the symptoms you experienced were temporary and not grounds for a case. You would need to have long-term exposure (a year or more). However, if you are experiencing side effects from benzene exposure, you need to tell your employer immediately and get protection from benzene at work. The longer you are exposed to benzene, the more likely you could experience a serious long-term health problem.
My husband died after being exposed to benzene at work. Can I file a claim?
Yes, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim or a Death on the High Seas Act depending on how and where your husband died. However, your husband’s death would need to be related to an illness to which benzene exposure has been linked.