Cates

Four new asbestos lawsuits were filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court by the same attorneys on the same day.

Judy L. Cates of the Cates Law Firm in Swansea, along with the Chicago asbestos firm Cooney and Conway, filed the lawsuits against a long list of corporations including Union Carbide, John Crane, Georgia Pacific, AW Chesterton and Bondex.

In all of cases, the plaintiffs claim the mesothelioma with which they or their deceased loved ones developed was wrongfully caused. The complaints do not list the plaintiffs' state of residence.

In the first lawsuit, Mary K. Van Slyke claims her recently deceased husband, George Van Slyke, was diagnosed with the disease on May 13, 2009, and died July 14, 2009. She says her husband worked from 1944 until 1979 in various capacities including as a steelworker, railroad worker and Navy machinist mate at various locations.

In the second complaint, Donald Renken claims he was diagnosed with the disease Nov. 12. He says he worked from 1934 until 1979 in various capacities, including as a farmer and minister.

In the third suit, Walter Barutha claims he was diagnosed with the disease Sept. 17, 2009. He says he worked in various capacities, including as an electrician, from 1931 until 1979. He was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through his father, Walter Barutha Sr., who worked as a powerhouse worker at various locations from 1931 until 1972.

In the fourth complaint, Alice Phillips claims she was diagnosed with the disease Aug. 29, 2009. She says she worked as a home remodeler at various locations from 1947 until 1978. She was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, John Phillips, who worked as a plumber, fitter, boiler man and HVAC man at various locations from 1947 until 1980, the suit states.

All plaintiffs state their exposure was foreseeable and should have been anticipated by the defendants.

They allege the asbestos-related disease caused them to incur substantial medical costs, to experience great physical pain and mental anguish and to be hindered from enjoying their normal activities and routines.

In their lawsuits, the plaintiffs are seeking a judgment in excess of the jurisdictional limits of St. Clair County Circuit Court, plus costs.

Cates, who has litigated several large settlement class action cases locally, has not filed any asbestos cases in recent times.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case numbers: 10-L-62, 10-L-63, 10-L-64 and 10-L-65.

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