Exposure to Benzene - Leukemia Lawsuits

Kacy Hagerty: There has been a rise of leukemia lawsuits as a result of exposure to the industrial chemical benzene. Now, over the past several years, the folks at The Higgins Firm have been involved in several types of these types of lawsuits. Attorney Jim Higgins recently stopped by to tell us more about it, including who is the most at risk.

All right, Jim, great to have you back.

Jim Higgins: Thank you.

Kacy Hagerty: All right, talk me about these lawsuits. Explain to us a little bit about just the basis of the lawsuits.

Jim Higgins: Sure. So, we’ve been handling and - some cases involving a chemical called benzene. Benzene is a chemical that’s been around for a long time, and it’s used in a lot of factories; fuel, rubber factories, adhesive things like that. And, what we have is when there’s long-term exposure to benzene, it appears that it causes - and our experts say that it can cause certain kinds of leukemia.

And, so, we have gotten suits against some of the manufacturers that use these products. I don't think that they have proper warnings about - that benzene could cause these - that you got to take certain precautions around them. You know, we have factory workers and people who work, you know, in different fields for decades, and believed it’s this long-term exposure to benzene which has created leukemia, certain specific types of leukemia, like acute myeloid leukemia is the one that we’ve seen in a good bit.

Kacy Hagerty: Right, and a lot of time, they just don’t even know about the risk of getting leukemia from being around it. So, which workers are at most risks? Is it just factory workers?

Jim Higgins: Yes. Well, you know, there’s a lot of different ones. It’s mechanics. People work around fuel a lot. We’ve had the people that work in shoe factories. I mean, you know, it’s a chemical that’s used in a lot of different places. But, you know, one thing you said (the first of it) is correct, and there’s a lot of people who just don’t even know it. And, that’s - one thing that’s really tough is we’ve got this limited amount of time to pursue a lawsuit in Tennessee and, you know, people will get a leukemia diagnosis and it’s devastating.

Kacy Hagerty: Yes.

Jim Higgins: And, so the last thing that they’re thinking is, “I need to call a lawyer.” They need to, you know, go and get their medical care.

Kacy Hagerty: Absolutely.

Jim Higgins: But, in a lot of times, because it’s not like a car wreck or something that’s an acute trauma and it builds overtime, they don’t have any idea what was the cause of it, because sometimes people just get it, right?

Kacy Hagerty: Yes.

Jim Higgins: But, what I always tell folks if you’ve been in a factory, we’ve been around these chemicals for years, if you’ve got a leukemia diagnosis, they’re - you know, they should look into it. They should give us a call. They may have a claim. They may not. But, if they do, then you can have some help with medical bills, for your lost earnings, some help for your family, you know, and you can worry about getting medical care that you need.

Kacy Hagerty: Absolutely, so before we go, should they contact your office as soon as they get a diagnosis or should it be even before that if they’re working around benzene.

Jim Higgins: Yes. No, I mean, people will - always getting nervous when they work around chemicals. There’s usually not a need to call us, because we all are around chemicals. If you have worked around it, benzene, you got a leukemia diagnosis, then, I would suggest you call our office.

Kacy Hagerty: All right, well, you’re helping a lot of people, I know. Jim, thank you so much.

Jim Higgins: Thank you.

Kacy Hagerty: The Higgins Firm is serving Tennessee. Give them a call at 1800-705-2121 or go to the higginsfirm.com.