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BELLEVILLE — An Illinois man and his wife have filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against dozens of companies alleging that his recent lung cancer diagnosis is the result of prolonged asbestos exposure.
James Eagle and his wife, Carolyn, are represented by the Edwardsville law firm of Gori, Julian & Associates PC. They are seeking a jury trial.
According to the lawsuit, Eagle worked from 1964 to 1965 as a grinder at Kelly Ban Mill, from 1966 to 1972 as a roustabout at Wayne Smith Operator and from 1972 to 1982 as a laborer at Marathon Oil Co., all in Lawrence County.
The lawsuit alleges that during his working life, Eagle was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers from products he was working with and around. These products were manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by the defendants named in the lawsuit.
The defendants named in the lawsuit include CBS Corp., Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., General Electric Co., Texaco Inc.; Young Insulation Group of St. Louis Inc.; and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., among many others.
The lawsuit also alleges that Eagle’s exposure to asbestos was preventable by the defendants. It alleges that the defendants knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous and hazardous effect on the health of anyone inhaling or ingesting them.
On Oct. 19, 2015, Eagle learned that he had developed lung cancer and he later learned that it was likely a result of his exposure to asbestos.
Further, the lawsuit contends that the defendants should have exercised due caution for the safety of Eagle and others working with and around the products containing asbestos.
Despite knowing that their products contained asbestos, the lawsuit contends that the defendants made no effort to use safer substitutes.
According to the suit, the companies named in the lawsuit allegedly failed to provide any or adequate instructions concerning the safe methods of working with and around the products, including specific instructions on how to avoid inhaling, ingesting or absorbing the asbestos fibers in them. They also failed to conduct tests on any of their products containing asbestos.
The lawsuit also claims that as a result of the negligence of the defendants, Eagle faces growing debts for medical bills, hospital visits and medical and other healthcare services needed for treatment of his lung cancer. He also will endure pain, suffering and mental anguish as a result of the disease. He also will be prevented from working and earning any additional income.
The suit alleges negligence, conspiracy, unsafe working conditions, fraudulent misrepresentation, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent spoliation of evidence and willful and wanton spoliation of evidence.
The lawsuit also alleges loss of consortium, alleging that Carolyn Eagle and other family members have been deprived the companionship and services of their loved one.
According to the lawsuit, Eagle is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and exemplary damages of at least $50,000 for each of eight counts.