A man is suing dozens of companies he alleges manufactured products responsible for giving him mesothelioma.
John Burghardt filed a negligence lawsuit Sept. 5 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Anheuser-Busch, Caterpillar Inc., the Dow Chemical Company and more than two dozen other companies.
According to the complaint, Burghardt worked as a laborer at Bemis Bag Company from 1953 to 1964 and was a self-employed painter from 1984 to 2008. He says his work exposed him to inhaled asbestos fibers emanating from products he worked with that were manufactured, cold or distributed by the defendants. He says he was diagnosed with mesothelioma Aug. 28.
Burghardt contends the defendants should have known the asbestos fibers in their products had a "toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect up on the health of persons inhaling them," but he says they failed to provide adequate warnings about safe handling of the products.
Burghardt accuses the defendants of negligence and willful and wanton conduct. He also accuses them of conspiracy for allegedly attempting to hide information about the effects of asbestos exposure from the public. Several of the companies named as defendants are accused of strict liability, ultra-hazardous activity.
Burghardt seeks more than $50,000 from each of the defendants. He is represented by attorneys Ethan A. Flint and Carson C. Menges of Flint and Associates in Glen Carbon. The lawsuit does not indicate where Burghardt lives.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 14-L-621.