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Couple blames dozens of companies for husband's exposure to asbestos fibers

By Molly English-Bowers | Dec 29, 2015

BELLEVILLE – An Illinois couple is suing dozens of companies, alleging exposure to asbestos, led to the husband contracting asbestosis, a cancer of the lung.

Archie Berry and Amanda Berry filed a lawsuit Nov. 2 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Aurora Pump Company, Chevron USA, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and dozens of other companies, alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, Archie Berry was employed from 1955 to 1981 at various work sites, doing a variety of work but all bringing him into contact with asbestos. During his employment, he inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fiber coming from products he was working with and that were manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by the defendants, the suit says. 

Asbestos fibers are a known carcinogen, and on Aug. 26, the plaintiff was diagnosed with lung cancer, caused by inhaling those fibers, the suit says.

The count against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company is for conspiracy. The suit alleges Met Life conspired to discredit and terminate the studies and experiments of scientists who were developing data about the dangers of asbestos. The suit further says Metropolitan actively suppressed publication of articles about asbestosis in Asbestos magazine, a source of information to the public and to users of asbestos products, including the plaintiff. 

Archie Berry seeks more than $50,000 for each of eight counts from each of the defendants, which he says will fairly compensate him for his injuries. Amanda Berry, suing for loss of consortium resulting from her husband's illness, seeks more than $50,000.  They are represented by attorneys Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian & Associates PC of Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-624

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