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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Asbestos exposure leads to court action

By Kirin Bashir | Aug 6, 2015

A St. Clair County woman is suing nearly 30 companies, alleging negligence in employees' exposure to asbestos.

Janet Cline, of Washington, Ill., filed multiple lawsuits June 2 in the St. Clair Circuit Court against more than two dozen companies, alleging negligence regarding exposure to asbestos.

According to the complaint, Cline's husband was employed at Caterpillar Inc., as a machinist from 1950 through the early 1990s, and on many occasions he would work with asbestos and asbestos-containing products. The suit says Cline has been secondarily exposed to this asbestos in the form of dust, allegedly leading to her developing mesothelioma, which was diagnosed May 21. This disease allegedly could ultimately lead to her death.

The lawsuit states the companies could easily have known about their employees’ exposure to asbestos and it’s dangers, alleging they were negligent in securing the safety of employees from this danger as well as warning them about it.

Cline has also filed counts including spoliation of evidence, alleging the defendants' possession of certain documents relating to asbestos-containing products and wrongful disposal of these documents. The plaintiff alleges Metropolitan Life Insurance and Pneumo Abex conspired with asbestos-producing companies and withheld information regarding the hazards of asbestos.

Cline seeks $50,000 in damages on each count, plus court costs. She is represented by attorneys Ethan Flint, Carson Menges, Jill Price, Luke Pfeifer and Laci Whitley of the Flint Law Firm in Glen Carbon.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-363.

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