Kansas City worker's estate files asbestos case in Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 5, 2007, 5:02am

The estate of Robert Briggs filed an asbestos suit against 94 defendant corporations in Madison County Circuit Court Feb. 28, claiming his disease was wrongfully caused.

According to the complaint, Briggs was employed as a laborer at Owens Corning and at Jay Wolfe Pontiac in Kansas City, Kan.

Briggs died from mesothelioma on March 21, 2005.

His estate 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.

The estate claims the defendants intentionally or with a reckless disregard for Briggs safety:

  • included asbestos in their products, when the defendants knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers would have a toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon her health;

  • included asbestos in their products when adequate substitutions were available;

  • failed to provide adequate warning to people working with and around the products of the dangers of inhaling, ingesting or otherwise absorbed fibers in them;

  • failed to provide adequate instruction concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos products; and

  • failed to conduct tests on the asbestos-containing products, manufactured, sold or delivered by the defendants in order to determine the hazards to which workers might be exposed.

    "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.

    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.

    Briggs' estate claims he had become disabled and disfigured, became liable for medical expenses, experienced great physical pain and mental anguish, and had been prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment, losing large sums of money.

    Sarah Randle, the administrator of the estate, is also seeking damages claiming her brother's illness has deprived her of the companionship, society and services of her brother.

    Represented by Randy Gori of Edwardsville, the estate is seeking damages in excess of $200,000 plus punitive damages in excess of $100,000.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel J. Stack.

    07 L 195

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