What do mesothelioma victims from Texas, Georgia, and Ohio have in common?
Lawyers from SimmonsCooper in East Alton.
On Jan. 29 the local asbestos firm with national reach filed four separate asbestos suits on behalf of families whose relatives died from mesothelioma.
Unlike most of the asbestos suits filed in Madison County, the four cases only name 10 defendant corporations, Atlas Asbestos Company, Bell Asbestos Mines, Bondex International, Foseco, Inc., Georgia-Pacific, John Crane, Inc., Pneumo Abex Corporation, RPM International, RPM Inc., and TH Agriculture and Nutrition.
The majority of asbestos cases name between 63 and 107 defendants.
The first case filed was by Patsy Mace on behalf of her late mother, Texas resident Jonnie Crelia, who died on Oct. 27, 2006.
According to Mace, her mom was employed from 1961 to 1971 as a cashier at various locations. Mace claims her mother's spouse worked as a welder from 1953 to 1979, and would bring asbestos dust home with him on his clothing where it would again become airborne.
The second case was filed Danielle Kaczensky, on behalf of her late mother Virginia Fiddler of Ohio. Fiddler was a telephone operator at various locations from the 1940s to 1990. Fiddler's husband was a steelworker and would also bring home asbestos on his clothing. Fiddler died on Dec. 8, 2007.
Vincent Lott filed the third case on behalf of his late mother Bettie Lott of Georgia, who died on June 15, 2006. Lott claims his mother was exposed to asbestos in 1964, when she worked as a laborer in various locations.
Widow Carrie Wade of Georgia filed the fourth case alleging her late husband Walter was exposed to asbestos during his 28-year career as a painter and sealer at various locations. According to Wade, Walter died from mesothelioma on Oct. 29, 2007.
The plaintiffs all claim their loved ones were also exposed to asbestos during non-occupational work projects including home and automotive repairs, maintenance and remodeling,
They claim 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.
They also allege 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.
The four plaintiffs also claim that the defendants failed to require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home which caused their loved ones to develop a disease caused only by asbestos which disabled and disfigured them prior to their deaths.
They also allege their loved ones suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, which hindered and prevented them from pursuing their normal courses of employment, thereby losing large sums of money.
Each case seeks compensatory damages in excess of $100,000, plus punitive damages in order to punish the defendants for willful, wanton, intentional and reckless misconduct and to deter them and others from engaging in like misconduct in the future.
Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack has been assigned all the cases.
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