An Illinois woman has filed a lawsuit alleging that her late husband developed lung cancer that eventually took his life after prolonged exposure to asbestos, dating back to his service in the U.S. Army and as an engineer for the Burlington Railroad in Chicago.
Mary Rogers filed the lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court on Feb. 2 individually and as administrator of the estate of her late husband, Charles R. Rogers.
Rogers is represented by Gori, Julian & Associates of Edwardsville.
According to the complaint, Charles Rogers served in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1968. He was a supply clerk and during his service was stationed at Fort Riley, Fort Knox, Fort Belvoir, Fort Lee and Fort Bragg. After he was discharged from the service, he worked for 30 years as an engineer at the Burlington Railroad.
During his career with the railroad and time in the Army, the suit alleges that Rogers was exposed to and inhaled, ingested and otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers coming from a number of products he was working with and around that were manufactured, sold and distributed or installed by the defendants.
The lawsuit lists a number of defendants, including CBS Corp.; Dap Inc.; Dow Chemical Co.; Flowserve U.S. Inc.; General Electric Co.; Georgia-Pacific; Goodyear Tire & Rubber; Honeywell International Inc.; Ingersoll-Rand Co.; 3M Co.; Trane US Inc.; Uniroyal Inc.; and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., among others.
The suit states that Rogers’ exposure to the materials, products, equipment and conditions were attributable to the defendants and occurred at various times during his career.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants named should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous, and highly damaging effect upon the health of people exposed to them.
In October 2013, Rogers was diagnosed with lung cancer, and the lawsuit notes that he later learned the disease was the result of his exposure to asbestos.
The suit alleges that the defendants failed to provide warnings to persons who were exposed to the products about the dangers of coming into contact with the asbestos fibers they contained. The companies named also allegedly failed to provide safety instructions or conduct tests on the products claimed to have contained asbestos.
The lawsuit also notes that following a short battle with the disease that caused his family to incur a large amount of medical bills for treatment and care, Rogers died on Feb. 9, 2014, about four months after learning he had the disease.
The suit alleges willful negligence as manufacturers of asbestos products, conspiracy, unsafe working conditions, violation of the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act and Safety Appliance Act and negligence by the manufacturers of respirator products.
According to the lawsuit, Mary Rogers is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and exemplary damages of at least $50,000 for each of eight counts.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 17-L-44.