Ohio laborer files asbestos complaint against 89 defendants in Madison County

Ann Knef Aug. 14, 2008, 3:26am

Laborer and truck driver William Kirk of Ohio has filed a complaint against 89 defendant corporations in Madison County Circuit Court, claiming he developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during a 48-year career.

Represented by Brian J. Cooke and Drew Sealey of SimmonsCooper of East Alton, Kirk alleges in the complaint filed Aug. 11 that he first became aware of his disease June 2. He worked from 1960 until this year, the complaint states.

Kirk claims the defendants, which include CBS Corp., Chrysler LLC, DuPont Chemical, Ford Motor Co., Honeywell and General Electric knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous and "highly deleterious" effect upon people who absorbed them.

He claims forum is appropriate in Madison County because defendants John Crane, Inc. and Sprinkmann Sons Corp. are Illinois corporations.

In the suit's third count, Kirk alleges Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. conspired with defendants to suppress and misrepresent the hazards of asbestos exposure.

"Plaintiff remained ignorant and uninformed of the hazards of asbestos, failed to take precautions and was thereby exposed to…asbestos fibers, causing him to develop the asbestos disease," the complaint states.

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