Asbestos caused husband's death, new Madison County suit claims

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 14, 2006, 10:08am

Sue Welch filed an asbestos lawsuit in Madison County claiming 73 defendants who manufactured asbestos products caused her husband Jack's death on March 11, 2005, just 15 days after learning he suffered from mesothelioma.

Welch is represented by Randy Gori of Goldenberg, Miller, Heller, & Antognoli in Edwardsville.

She is seeking at least $300,000 in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

Some of the defendants include Bondex International, Ford Motor Company, Goodyear, John Crane, Mobil Oil, Owens-Illinois and Union Carbide.

According to the complaint filed March 10, Jack had been hindered and prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment, thereby losing large sums of money which he otherwise would have earned. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma on Feb. 24, 2005.

Welch was employed from 1957 to 2001 as a laborer at various locations.

While employed, Welch claims her husband was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from products he was working with or around.

"The defendants knew of or should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous, and highly deleterious effect upon the health of people inhaling, ingesting, or otherwise absorbing them," the complaint states.

Welch alleges the defendants are guilty of willful and wanton misconduct. She claims Jack had to undergo costly medical treatment and that he suffered great physical pain and mental anguish as a result of his asbestos exposure.

She also claims Jack was hindered and prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment losing large sums of money he would have otherwise earned.

Welch alleges that the defendants failed to exercise ordinary care and caution for his safety by including asbestos in their products, even though it was completely foreseeable and should have been anticipated that people working with or around them would inhale, ingest, or otherwise absorb great amounts of asbestos.

Defendants included asbestos in their products even though adequate substitutes for asbestos were available, and they failed to provide warnings of the dangers of working around asbestos, according to the suit.

Welch claims that the defendants engaged in the following deliberate, intentional and wanton omissions or commissions:

  • Furnished asbestos-containing products to Jack for use in his duties at the facility;

  • Failed to inform Jack about the known dangers of asbestos exposure at the facility;

  • Failed to inform Jack of its known potentially hazardous work place as a result of asbestos exposure;

  • Failed to replace asbestos products while substitutes were available by 1930; and

  • Made Jack work in dangerous areas of the facility knowing that it posed a significant health hazard to people because of the friable and deteriorating condition of asbestos products.

    Welch also claims that Jack's death has deprived his family of his means and support he provided and also that his family spent substantial sums of money for his funeral and burial.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.

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    Ford Motor Company
    1 American Rd
    Dearborn, MI 48126

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