Family Members Bring Suit Against Texaco

The family of a man who contracted pulmonary asbestosis and lung cancer has filed a lawsuit against Texaco and Chevron.
Betty Lou Yawn and Sheila Newell, the wife and daughter of Ronald Yawn, claim that he died as a result of exposure to asbestos while employed by Texaco in Jefferson County, Texas. The dust and fibers he inhaled while on the job, they allege, later led him to develop the asbestos-related diseases last October. The wrongful death suit is being brought not only against Texaco but also against Chevron, its parent company. The plaintiffs allege that the companies knew their products contained asbestos and could therefore cause the deadly diseases, but that they allowed the products to remain and allowed their employees to continue working in an unsafe environment. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber which is extremely strong, flexible and lightweight, and which can be woven into fabric or mixed into building materials such as concrete. It has a remarkable ability to resist heat, electrical conduction, salt water, and other chemical and biological changes. It has been widely used in building materials and insulation, as well as in automotive parts and other industrial capacities. When the asbestos fibers are released into the air, however, they can be breathed into the lungs, where they may cause damage years after the initial exposure. Among the most common diseases related to asbestos exposure are asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive form of cancer. According to the lawsuit, the companies did not take the necessary measures in order to ensure the safety of their workers, nor did they warn employees about the presence of asbestos in the workplace and the dangers thereof. Yawn and Newell are seeking punitive and exemplary damages, as well as interest, costs, and other relief. The amount which they are seeking has not been specified. The complaint was filed April 1st in Jefferson County District Court.