Alabama, New Hampshire asbestos plaintiffs file in Madison County

Ann Knef Apr. 4, 2007, 12:00pm

Madison County asbestos plaintiffs Leslie Rickard and Maurice Milot have a few things in common.

Neither one of them live in the state of Illinois. And they both single out defendant John Crane as an Illinois resident in their long list of corporations named in suits filed last month.

Rickard, of Tuscumbia, Ala., is seeking in excess of $600,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, according to a suit filed March 8 against 60 defendants. Rickard was employed as a boilermaker from 1967 to 1998. On March 15, 2006, he first became aware that he developed asbestosis, the suit claims.

Rickard is represented by the O'Brien Law Firm of St. Louis.

He claims the defendants included asbestos in their products even though it was forseeable that persons working with or around asbestos or asbestos-containing products would inhale, ingest or otherwise absorb great amounts of asbestos.

John Crane is the world's largest manufacturer of mechanical seals.

The corporation also has been called a "foil" for plaintiffs in Madison County asbestos cases. The point came alive during an explosive exchange between attorneys in a 2005 asbestos trial. General Electric's attorney John Fitzpatrick, stated that plaintiff attorney David Greenstone made a "sweetheart deal" with John Crane by not presenting any evidence or listing any witnesses against John Crane.

Milot, a New Hampshire resident, filed suit against 17 corporate defendants on behalf of his deceased wife, Joyce Milot, on March 14.

Represented by SimmonsCooper of East Alton, Milot is seeking in excess of $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages claiming his wife contracted mesothelioma from second-hand exposure to asbestos.

"The decedent's father, Chester Fayton, was employed as a laborer at Johns Manville," the complaint states. "The decedent's father would on many occasions work with and around asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Dust created by working with and around asbestos and asbestos-containing products would permeate the person and clothing of the decedent's father.

"This dust contained asbestos fiber. The decedent's father would carry this asbestos dust on his person and clothing home with him where it would become airborne again. The decedent would be repeatedly exposed to this asbestos dust from her father's person and clothing."

The complaint states that Joyce Milot first became aware she suffered from asbestos-related diseases on Sept. 1, 2006. She died on Oct. 7, 2006.

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