Wisconsin Man’s Death Blamed on Workplace Benzene Exposure

benzene exposure

Douglas Frase’s death at the age of 82 has been blamed on workplace benzene exposure after he worked at the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1952 to 1992.

Now his son and his widow are filing a lawsuit against dozens of companies that supplied their loved one’s former employer, ranging from Exxon Mobil Corporation, Shell Chemical and Shell Oil Company, BP Products of North America, and Texaco Downstream Property.

The pair are seeking compensation for the damages that they and Douglas suffered as a result of what they are calling the companies’ negligence. Mr. Frase died of myelodysplastic syndrome, an illness that has been blamed on exposure to toxic chemicals including benzene.

According to evidence submitted to the court, in the forty years that he worked at the tire company he rotated through a variety of responsibilities and locations, including having worked as a treadman, a conveyor attendant, storing and curing tires and tire building and loading.

Lawsuit Blames Multiple Products Used in Tire Manufacturing for Man’s Benzene Exposure

The benzene exposure claim made by Mr. Frase’s family reads in part, “Frase worked with and was exposed to toxicologically significant levels of defendants’ benzene, benzene derivatives, rubber solvents, solvent blends and other toxic and hazard chemicals … used directly and  indirectly in the manufacturing and cleaning of certain equipment and materials.” The family indicates that prior to his death, the 82-year-old Frase suffered from shortness of breath, unusual paleness, frequent infections and other uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms.

Mr. Frase’s family’s benzene exposure is not the first lawsuit filed against these companies over exposure at this factory.  A similar suit was filed in 2006 and then another in 2009. Both were settled out of court in 2016, just before the trials were about to be heard.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.