Man's estate files asbestos lawsuit

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 15, 2008, 7:42am

The estate of Bernard Lichtenstien has filed a two count complaint against two companies alleging asbestos caused the man's death.

The lawsuit, filed June 30 in Madison County Circuit Court, lists as defendants: Federal-Mogul Asbestos Personal Injury Trust, as successor to Felt Products Manufacturing and Federal-Mogul Asbestos Personal Injury Trust, as successor to the former Vellumoid Division of Federal-Mogul.

Lichtenstien's estate 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 from certain products he was working with and around.

He was employed from 1957 to 1978 as a laborer at various locations, the lawsuit says.

The estate is represented by the asbestos litigation firm SimmonsCooper LLC., based in East Alton.

Lichtenstien's estate claims he was diagnosed with mesothelioma on June 1, 1998 and died on Nov. 10, 1999. He was a resident of California at the time of his death, the complaint states.

Lichtenstien's estate claims that since gasket maker John Crane does business in Illinois and Madison County, venue is appropriate, even though they are not listed as a defendant.

The estate 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.

It also claims 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.

His estate 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, Lichtenstien was exposed to fibers containing asbestos and developed a disease caused only by asbestos, which has disabled and disfigured him prior to his death, the lawsuit claims.

His estate also claims Lichtenstien suffered great physical pain and mental anguish and was hindered and prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment, thereby losing large sums of money," the complaint states.

Lichtenstien's estate claims that his next of kin have been deprived of his means and support and loss his society. In addition, the estate claims that there are funeral and burial expenses.

They are seeking damages in excess of $100,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

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