A former chemical plant worker and his wife filed a 17-count lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court claiming long-term exposure to titanium dust and silica products has caused him to suffer a disabling lung disease.

Represented by Robert D. Rowland of Goldenberg, Miller, Heller & Antognoli in Edwardsville, James and Lori Bergman of Pittsfield name eight defendants in a $850,000 silicosis lawsuit filed Aug. 22.

United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL), U.S. Silica, Miller Trucking, Dupont and Dupont Titanium Technologies, Kerr-McGee Corp., Kerr McGee Chemical and Krnonos Worldwide "knew or should have known" that the products they put in the the stream of commerce were dangerous and defective, the Bergmans claim.

Bergman was a maintenance department manager at UGL in Jacksonville for 16 years, from 1986 to 2002.

"UGL knew prior to the time plaintiff sustained permanent injury that the titanium dioxide, silica products and other chemicals in the Jacksonville, Ill. plant could cause permanent lung injury but failed to properly warn employees of the dangers of lung injury," according to the suit.

"As a result of his exposure...plaintiff has developed silicosis/pneumoconiosis and is permanently disabled as a result," the suit states.

Lori Berman seeks damages for loss of consortium.

"Lori Bergman has suffered the loss of income, support and services of plaintiff James Bergman in the past and will continue to suffer loss in the future," the suit states.

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