Kidney Cancer, Benzene, SeaRiver and Shelby   Recently updated !

Shelby, SeaRiver, Benzene & Kidney Cancer: A case in the Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division Three ruled on a recent appeal from the final judgment after the jury awarded plaintiff.

The Shelby, SeaRiver, Benzene & Kidney Cancer case documents what many people (deck officers, mates, able bodied seaman) may face today that may have worked in or around the petroleum industry, chemical industry and the petrochemical industry (on oil rigs, oil platforms, boats, ships, oil tankers, tankers and vessels) and been exposed to Benzene – leukemia, kidney cancer or air borne chemical exposure.  The court ruled: we affirm the judgment.

A brief summary of the facts include:

  1. Mack Shelby $8 million in damages for harm sustained from exposure to petroleum products containing benzene and other hydrocarbons while employed as an able-bodied seaman by defendant SeaRiver Maritime Inc., formerly named Exxon Shipping Company (SeaRiver).
  2. SeaRiver seeks reversal of the judgment on grounds that include insufficient evidence of causation, excessive damages, and attorney misconduct during closing arguments.
  3. In 1987, plaintiff became employed by Exxon Shipping Company, which was later renamed SeaRiver. Prior to this time, plaintiff served four years in the Navy and 12 years as an able-bodied seaman with Sabine Towing.
  4. Initially, from 1987 to 1991, plaintiff worked as an able-bodied seaman on SeaRiver tankers, including the Galveston, transporting crude oil from Alaska oil fields to California refineries.
  5. Plaintiff’s tasks on these tankers included loading and discharging crude oil and other cargo, connecting hoses, cleaning tanks, and measuring oil levels in the tanks and then topping them off, a process known as “ullaging.”
  6. In 1991, plaintiff began working on the Wilmington, a tanker that transported a variety of chemicals, including heart-cut reformate, methyl ethyl ketone and naptha, up the Atlantic Coast from Louisiana to New York. After 1994, the Wilmington carried heart-cut reformate, a particularly toxic chemical, on every trip.
  7. In 2003, plaintiff was diagnosed with kidney cancer, ultimately requiring removal of his right kidney.
  8. To find out more on the case, see Case No. A122449 – February 18, 2011.


At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases.

If you have been diagnosed with a serious disease (e.g., kidney cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, aplastic anemia etc.) from benzene exposure, and need a benzene lawyer to help you file a benzene exposure lawsuit, contact our office at 1.844.329.5955.