Kansas plaintiff files asbestos case against 92 defendants

Steve Gonzalez May 30, 2007, 8:00am

Hubert Johnston of Kansas filed an asbestos suit against 92 defendant corporations alleging he was exposed to asbestos while working from the 1946 to 1990 as a service station attendant and insulator at various locations.

Johnston claims that during the course of his employment and during home and automotive repairs he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers emanating from certain products he was working with and around.

According to the complaint filed May 24 in Madison County Circuit Court, Johnston was diagnosed with mesothelioma on March 23.

"The plaintiff's exposure and inhalation, ingestion or absorption of the asbestos fibers was completely foreseeable and could or should have been anticipated by the defendants," the complaint states.

Johnston claims the defendants knew 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.

Johnston alleges that the defendants included asbestos in their products even when adequate substitutes were available and failed to provide any or adequate instructions concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos.

He also claims that the defendants failed to require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.

As a result of the alleged negligence, Johnston claims he was exposed to fibers containing asbestos. He developed a disease caused only by asbestos which has disabled and disfigured him, the complaint states.

He seeks damages to help pay for the cost of her treatment.

Johnston also suffers "great physical pain and mental anguish, and also will be hindered and prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment, thereby losing large sums of money," the complaint states.

He is seeking at least $250,000 in damages for negligence, willful and wanton acts, conspiracy, and negligent spoliation of evidence among other allegations.

"In addition to compensatory damages, an award of punitive damages is appropriate and necessary in order to punish the defendants for willful, wanton, intentional and reckless misconduct and to deter them and others from engaging in like misconduct in the future," the complaint states.

Johnston is represented by G. Michael Stewart and Tim Thompson of SimmonsCooper in East Alton.

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

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