1,000th 'L' case in Madison County is asbestos claim

By Steve Gonzalez | Nov 29, 2007

Betty Talley filed the 1,000th civil lawsuit this year in the "L" division in Madison County Circuit Court on Nov. 27, claiming her brother Herbert Hollis died as a result of asbestos exposure.

Last year, the 1,000th L Division case was filed Nov. 9, 2006.

Represented by Rand Gori of Edwardsville, Talley filed suit against 61 defendant corporations alleging that during the course of Herbert's employment and during home and automotive repairs he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers emanating from certain products he was working with and around.

According to the complaint, Herbert was employed during the 1940s as a laborer at Merita Bakery. From 1947 through 1990 he was a self-employed laborer pouring and finishing cement at residential locations; he worked at Sears in the 1950s; and from 1961 until 1990 he worked as a laborer at Consolidated Pipe, a lumber yard, UAB, and Barry Pattern and Foundry.

Herbert lived on 5th Avenue in Birmingham, Ala. His sister claims he was diagnosed with lung cancer on Dec. 10, 2002, and later learned his disease was wrongfully caused.

Talley claims the defendants knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon the health of people.

She also alleges that the defendants included asbestos in their products even when adequate substitutes were available and failed to provide any or adequate instructions concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos.

Talley claims that the defendants failed to require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.

Talley also claims that he has sought, but has been unable to obtain, full disclosure of relevant documents and information from the defendants leading him to believe the defendants destroyed documents related to asbestos.

She claims that as a result of each defendant breaching its duty to preserve material evidence by destroying documents and information he has been prejudiced and impaired in proving claims against all potential parties.

According to Talley, her brother died on Dec. 10, 2005, exactly three years after learning of his illness. She claims rhar prior to his death, her brother experienced pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.

Talley also claims Herbert's family also became liable for his funeral and burial expenses and has been deprived of his means and support.

Herbert's estate is seeking damages in excess of $500,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

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