The attorneys of the nine former employees are calling this a significant case. The lawsuit isn't against Uniroyal, but rather manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of benzene to the plant. There are 16 defendants listed in the lawsuit, companies from all over the country.
"It was principally the people who were tire builders. And there were other people, like maintenance staff, that had a good deal of skin contact with the gasoline-where the benzene is contained,” said Michael Brose, an attorney at Doar, Drill, and Skow.
Thousands of people have worked at Uniroyal, and the attorneys say they don't know how many other people may have cancer from being exposed to benzene. They did say about 30 other people have contacted them and may join the lawsuit.
"The injuries are serious, there's a great deal of medical expense, a lot of these people have suffered wage loss, and loss of earning capacity."
Attorneys say punitive damages in this case could be quite large. But one man says his mother was an employee at the plant for 14 years and no amount of money can make up for what he's seen his mother go through. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma three years ago.
"I guess it gives a little satisfaction for some to be held accountable for if they're learning the links between the disease and that,” said Troy Winrich.
We tried reaching Uniroyal for a comment and no one was able to make a statement as of yet. Now the defendants will have time to answer the complaint. And the attorneys will go from there.
Defendants listed in the lawsuit:
-Land O’ Lakes
-Exxon Mobil Corporation
-Sun Petroleum Products Company, Inc.
-Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation
-Union Oil Company of California
-Four Star Oil and Gas Company
-Standard Oil Company, Inc.
-American Oil Company
-Kerr-McGee Operating Corporation
-Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation
-Humble Oil and Refining Corporation
-Shell Canada, LTD
-Shell Chemical L.P.