A New Mexico man suffering from mesothelioma filed suit against 99 defendants in Madison County Circuit Court Sept. 7 claiming he was exposed to asbestos while working as an autoworker, mechanic and truck driver at various locations from 1955-2004.

Danny Updegraff claims his exposure to asbestos fibers was completely foreseeable and could or should have been anticipated by the defendants.

Some of the defendants include AutoZone, Bondex, DaimlerChrysler, Dow Chemical, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Goodyear, John Crane, The Pep Boys, Sears and Western Auto.

According to Updegraff, he was diagnosed with his fatal disease on March 22.

He claims the defendants failed to exercise ordinary care and caution for his safety by including asbestos in their products even though it was completely foreseeable that people working with and around asbestos would inhale, ingest or otherwise absorb great amounts of asbestos.

Updegraff also claims the defendants included asbestos in their products when they knew asbestos fibers would have a highly deleterious effect on the health of people absorbing them, included asbestos in their products when adequate substitutes were available, failed to provide any warnings to people working with or around asbestos and failed to conduct tests on asbestos-containing products in order to determine the hazards to workers.

According to Updegraff, he absorbed great amounts of asbestos causing him to develop mesothelioma which has disabled and disfigured him.

He also claims he has been obligated to spend money on medical expenses and has experienced and will continue to experience great physical pain and mental anguish which has prevented him from pursuing his normal course of employment.

Represented by Nicholas Angelides, John Barnerd and Perry Browder of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Updegraff is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $400,000, plus punitive damages in an amount to punish the defendants for their alleged misconduct.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel J. Stack.

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Dow Chemical Ford Motor Company

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