New asbestos claim filed in St. Clair County

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 7, 2013

Michael Dithmart filed an asbestos lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court on Dec. 21 against 64 defendant corporations.

He will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville.

In his complaint, Dithmart alleges the defendant companies caused his recently deceased mother, Pauline Dithmart, to develop lung cancer after her exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout her career. The complaint does not specify where Michael Dithmart is currently living.

Pauline Dithmart worked as a presser at The Garment Company from 1962 until 1970, as a laborer at Northwest Fabric Store in the late 1960s, as a bender at Collis Company from the late 1960s until the early 1970s and as a seed counter at Burpee’s Seed Company from the late 1970s until the early 1980s, according to the complaint.

She was also allegedly secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, Dale Dithmart, who worked as an engineer and fireman in the U.S. Navy from 1944 until 1946, as a farm hand at Tom Anderson’s farm in 1944, as an apprentice machinist and a lathe operator at Climax Engineering company from in 1946, as an apprentice brick mason at Don Herring Construction Company from 1946 until 1950, as a member of the Bricklayers, Masons and Plasters International Union of America from 1946 until 1985, as a brick mason and foreman for Clinton Corn from 1955 until 1982 and as a security officer at Wells Fargo from 1983 until 1989.

The defendants should have known of the harmful effects of asbestos, but failed to exercise reasonable care and caution for the plaintiff’s safety, the suit states.

As a result of her asbestos-related disease, Pauline Dithmart incurred medical costs and suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, the complaint says. In addition, she became prevented from pursuing her normal course of employment and, as a result, lost large sums of money that would have accrued to her, her son claims.

Pauline Dithmart died Sept. 17, 2011, according to the complaint.

In his complaint, Michael Dithmart is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, economic damages of more than $200,000, compensatory damages of more than $100,000, punitive and exemplary damages of more than $100,000 and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish various defendants for their wrongdoing.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-671.


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