Kinder Morgan to Pay $7.5 Million In Wrongful Death Case

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A Clark County Nevada District Court jury has awarded the family of Nevada truck driver, Rick Lewis, $7.5 million in a case where the Lewis family accused Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. of failing to monitor its operations for benzene exposure during routine operations, disregarding normal safety and industrial hygiene practices, and failing to warn its employees and contractors about the hazards associated with benzene exposure.

The lawsuit said that Lewis was exposed to benzene while working as a gasoline tanker-truck driver at a Kinder Morgan bulk loading facility, where he loaded gas on a daily bases and delivered it to various retail outlets. This exposure lead Lewis to develop Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a disease of the bone marrow which causes the abnormal production of blood cells and platelets. It is generally incurable and requires chemotherapy, transfusions, and bone marrow transplants. Benzene is a known carcinogen which can cause various forms blood and bone marrow diseases and leukemia. Mr. Lewis was diagnosed with MDS in March 2008 and died in May 2009 at the age of 58.

The lead attorney for the Lewis family said “The jury’s verdict confirms that Kinder Morgan acted in a negligent manner in distributing benzene-containing gasoline without ever warning of the dangers associated with benzene exposure. The verdict underscores that corporations have a duty to workers to protect them from hazards associated with their facilities and products. Although we cannot bring Mr. Lewis back, we hope that this verdict will send a message that these inactions will not be tolerated.” disclaimer: This article: Kinder Morgan to Pay $7.5 Million In Wrongful Death Case was posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 at 7:02 pm at and is filed under Toxic Substances Lawsuits.