BELLEVILLE – A widow and executor of the estate of her deceased husband is suing over his exposure to asbestos as the alleged cause of his death.
Natalie Rutherford, individually and as special administrator of the estate of Alan Rutherford, filed the suit Jan. 21 against CBS Corp., Certain-Teed Corp., Crane Co., Crown Cork & Seal USA Inc., Foster Wheeler Corp., General Electric Co., General Refractories Co., Georgia-Pacific LLC, Honeywell International Inc., John Crane Inc., and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in St. Clair County Circuit Court, citing negligence, conspiracy and willful and wanton misconduct.
According to the suit, at various times during the deceased's working life, he was exposed to, inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers. The lawsuit states those fibers came from products he worked with and that where manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by the defendants. That exposure occurred at different times and cannot be traced to any particular defendant, the suit states.
On June 15, 2011, the deceased was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-induced disease, the suit states, and he died July 26, 2011.
The claim of conspiracy against Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. stems from that company's alleged knowledge of the dangers of asbestos inhalation, and its active suppression of that information.
According to the complaint, prior to his death, he expended large sums of money for his treatment, he experienced pain and mental anguish, he was prevented from continuing to work, and his estate spent substantial sums for his funeral and burial.
The plaintiff seeks at least $50,000 from each of the defendants for each of the three counts against them, plus economic damages that will fairly compensate her for the death of her husband. She is represented by Randy Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian & Associates PC of Edwardsville.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-38