Indiana plaintiff brings asbestos suit in Madison County

By Steve Gonzalez | Oct 10, 2006

The estate of Claude Cassada filed an asbestos suit against 96 defendant corporations in Madison County Circuit Court Oct. 4, claiming he was exposed to asbestos while employed as a laborer, factory worker and auto body repairman from 1960-2005.

According to the complaint, Cassada was a resident of Indiana. He worked in Illinois at some point in his career, but the suit does not specify when or where.

The estate is represented by Valerie Anichini, Claude's daughter. The suit claims his exposure to asbestos fibers was completely foreseeable and could or should have been anticipated by the defendants.

It also claims the defendants failed to exercise ordinary care and caution for Claude's 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.

Anichini 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 the complaint, Claude died Dec. 22, 2005, from mesothelioma.

Anichini claims the defendants intentionally or with a reckless disregard for her father's safety:

  • included asbestos in their products, when the defendants knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers would have a toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon his health;

  • included asbestos in their products when adequate substitutions were available;

  • failed to provide adequate warning to people working with and around the products of the dangers of inhaling, ingesting or otherwise absorbed fibers in them;

  • failed to provide adequate instruction concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos products; and

  • failed to conduct tests on the asbestos-containing products, manufactured, sold or delivered by the defendants to determine the hazards to which workers might be exposed.

    Anichini claims her father was obligated to spend money on medical expenses and experienced great physical pain and mental anguish which prevented him from pursuing his normal course of employment.

    Represented by Nicholas Angelides, John Barnerd and Perry Browder of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Anichini is seeking damages in excess of $200,000, plus punitive damages in an amount to punish the defendants for their alleged misconduct.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

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