Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, September 23, 2019

Kansas man's asbestos trial set Dec. 6

By Steve Gonzalez | Dec 1, 2004

Franklin Klaber, a Kansas laborer and truck driver suffering from mesothelioma, will have his case against more than 100 defendants heard at trial Dec. 6 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Represented by Marcus Ralchle of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Klaber alleges that he was repeatedly exposed to asbestos dust brought home by his father and in the course of his employment.

In his original complaint filed April 13, Klaber named 122 defendants, some of which have settled or been dismissed from the case.

Klaber’s father, Carman, worked at General Motors from the 1960s to the 1990s as an autoworker. Klaber claims his father worked with and around asbestos and asbestos-containing products on many occasions.

"The dust created by working with and around asbestos products would permeate the person and clothing of Klaber’s father," the complaint stated.

Klaber also alleges that during the course of his employment from 1979 to 2004, and during non-occupational work projects at home "he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers emanating from certain products," according to the complaint.

Diagnosed with mesothelioma on Feb. 5, Klaber claims defendants should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous, and highly deleterious effect upon the health of people inhaling, ingesting, or otherwise absorbing them.

The complaint states that the defendants failed to exercise ordinary care and caution for the safety of Klaber in some of the following ways:

  • Included asbestos in their products even though it was completely foreseeable and could or should have been anticipated that people such as the Klaber’s working with or around them would inhale, ingest or otherwise absorb asbestos;

  • Included asbestos in their products when adequate substitutes for the asbestos in them was available;

  • Failed to provide warnings to people working with and around the products of the dangers of inhaling, ingesting or otherwise absorbing the asbestos fibers contained in them;

  • Failed to conduct tests on the asbestos-containing products manufactured, sold, delivered or installed by the defendants in order to determine the hazards to which workers such as Klaber might be exposed while working with the products; and

  • Failed to require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce and prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.

    As a result of Klaber’s illness, he claims he has suffered and will continue to suffer disability and disfigurement, expenditures for the cost of medical care, pain and suffering, mental anguish and lost wages. He also claims his enjoyment of recreational activities has been impaired.

    Klaber’s nine-count suit seeks judgment against defendants for compensatory and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish the defendants for its alleged willful, wanton, intentional and reckless misconduct and to deter defendants and others from engaging in misconduct in the future.

    04 L 345

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