BELLEVILLE – A former mechanic is suing over his alleged exposure to asbestos fibers. Negligence and conspiracy are among the five counts.
Robert Bennett filed the suit March 21 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against American Optical Corporation, Buffalo Air Handling, Hercules Inc., Warren Pumps LLC and many other listed defendants. Singled out is Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
At many times during the course of the plaintiff's work, he allegedly was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or absorbed larges amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from certain products. Those products were manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by the defendants, the suit alleges.
The conspiracy count in this suit relates to defendant Metropolitan Life, which allegedly knew about the dangers of asbestos decades ago. The defendant squelched the research, according to the complaint.
The plaintiff discovered on Sept. 25, 2015 that he had developed lung cancer, an asbestos-induced disease, the suit says.
The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages in an amount to be proven in trial but believed to exceed $50,000, punitive damages to deter similarly situated parties from committing similar acts in the future and other relief the court deems appropriate. He is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian & Associates PC in Edwardsville.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-152