Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer

Nationwide Success

Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Investigating Shell Oil Refinery Asbestos, Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer Claims

There are many risks associated with working in a chemical production facility, including asbestos exposure. Oil refineries are no exception, and resent a multitude of health risks. In 1994, an explosion at the Belpre, Ohio Shell Chemical plant killed three employees. Throughout the nation, Shell Oil refineries exposure workers to toxic materials. 

Accidents have awakened many in the community about the hazards of working in and around chemical plants and oil refineries. However, the most common killers include inhaling toxic fumes and asbestos fibers that cause serious illnesses and cancers like mesothelioma.

Shell Oil refinery employees may have been exposed to asbestos and been unaware at the time. For many years, asbestos was considered the best insulator available for industrial plants because it is highly resistant to heat and fire. As a result, thousands of oil refinery workers were regularly exposed to dangerous asbestos materials.

Attorneys representing victims of cancer and other diseases argue that Shell knew as early as 1945 that asbestos causes cancer but did nothing to warn workers of the danger.

Refineries across the country took no precautions to protect workers from the dangers of airborne asbestos or inform the workers of these hazards. This negligence resulted in hundreds of refinery workers developing asbestos-related diseases.

Nearly any worker in a Shell Oil  refinery could be at risk of developing serious health issues, including pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated asbestos lawyer and personal injury attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.

Shell Oil Asbestos Exposure & Cancer Risk

Oil refineries like Shell often manage large amounts of piping that connect manufacturing and industrial buildings, and storage tanks. The insulation for pipes, as well other equipment such as ovens, tanks, boilers and pumps, are likely to contain asbestos.

At some factories, asbestos lined work areas and dining tables, and was even found in the clothing chemical workers donned to protect themselves from burns and fire.

Asbestos is especially toxic when it is disturbed through cutting, grinding, or naturally deteriorates over time. Maintenance Crews are at high risk; however almost anyone working on the grounds is likely to inhale the fibers, which can get lodged in tissue surrounding the lungs and cause potentially lethal damage. Shell Oil plants with an alleged high risk of toxic exposure include:

  • Belpre, Ohio
  • Martinez, California
  • Dominguez, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Geismar, Louisiana
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Marietta, Ohio
  • Toledo, Ohio 


Please complete the form below for a FREE consultation.


Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Disease

Mesothelioma and asbestosis can lay dormant for decades with symptoms cropping up many years after exposure. When they do present, symptoms may include the following:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble swallowing

    Shell Oil Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits

    In 2000, a Georgia jury awarded over $34 million to a man who claimed he developed cancer after working with asbestos at a Shell Oil refinery. The verdict included $25 million in punitive damages.

    The victim worked at a company that did roofing work at a refinery in Illinois in the late 1950s and 1960s. He said he developed lung cancer after working in “mists of asbestos” while removing insulation. He was one of thousands of workers and contractors who would visit Shell Oil plants during shutdowns to repair or install new refining units.

    The judge in the case agreed with the plaintiff lawyers that Shell had hidden important evidence regarding its knowledge of asbestos hazards that should have been turned over to the plaintiff’s lawyers before trial. Plaintiff investigators learned that Shell had 106 boxes of documents in the basement of its Houston headquarters that it had not revealed.

    Among the evidence was a 1937 document from the American Petroleum Institute warning about the hazards of insulation dust. Other evidence showed that Shell knew in 1945 that asbestos could cause cancer.

    Mesothelioma Settlements

    America’s chemical companies and some of the largest employers and most profitable corporations have a responsibility to provide employees with safe working environments. When they knowingly mislead and fail workers, they should compensate victims and families for the damage they have caused.

    Workers in Shell refineries who have developed lung conditions and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis or pulmonary fibrosis may have claims against their former or current employer. Do not hesitate to seek medical and legal assistance.

    photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing shell oil lawsuits
    A Voice for Those who have suffered
    Why are these cases important?

    Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.


    Questions about Shell Oil Asbestos Exposure

    What is Asbestos?

    Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fireproof properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.

    The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.

    Why is Asbestos Toxic?

    When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lung cancer and mesothelioma.

    What Materials Contain Asbestos?

    Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.

    Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

    If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.

    Why Did Companies Use Asbestos?

    Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous to the health. Asbestos was used at the following Shell locations:

    • Belpre, Ohio
    • Martinez, California
    • Dominguez, California
    • Marietta, Ohio
    • Toledo, Ohio 
    • Los Angeles, California
    • Geismar, Louisiana
    • New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Is it hard to win an asbestos case?

    The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.

    Why Hire the Lyon Firm

    Our Firm will help you find the answers. The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

    Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced  Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 19 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

    Resources/Dedication: The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

    Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure asbestos settlements.

    Your Right to Safety

    The Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Cases

    Asbestos can be found in factories, warehouses, hospitals, schools, homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military installations. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are 75 different jobs that can expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Thousands of American workers are still exposed to asbestos each year. 

    Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be thousands of new cases due to the latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos.

    Our Victories

    The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.


    Asbestos (Mesothelioma)


    Asbestos (Mesothelioma)

    © The Lyon Firm. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED