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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Couple blames companies for husband's asbestos exposure

By Molly English-Bowers | Jan 5, 2016

BELLEVILLE – A Belleville couple is suing more than 20 companies, alleging negligence for the husband's exposure to asbestos fibers during his working life.

Jerry Hurst and Nancy Hurst filed a lawsuit Dec. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against 3M Corporation, Union Carbide Corporation, Young Insulation Group of St. Louis and more than 20 other defendants. Also named is Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

According to the complaint, from 1962 to 1999, Jerry Hurst worked as an auto mechanic and a pattern maker and both jobs put him in contact with asbestos fibers. He was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or absorbed large amounts of the fibers from the products he was working with and around, the suit says.

As a result of the years of exposure, the suit states, on Dec. 23, 2013, Hurst was diagnosed with asbestosis. He says he has spent large sums of money on medical care, has experienced physical pain and mental anguish and has been prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment, thereby losing large sums of money.

The lawsuit states Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Pneumo Abex Corporation, as successor-in-interest to Abex Corporation, began in the 1920s to conduct research on asbestos-related health problems. They also actively suppressed publication of articles about asbestos in Asbestos Magazine, leading to fraudulent misrepresentation/concealment, the suit says.

Jerry Hurst seeks $50,000 from each of the defendants for economic damages. Nancy Hurst, alleging loss of consortium, also seeks $50,000 from each defendant. They are represented by attorneys Ronald J. Abernathy and Kenneth L. Halvachs of Halvachs & Abernathy LLC in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-721

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