BELLEVILLE — The widow of a former technician and electrician is suing numerous asbestos manufacturers, distributors and installers, claiming their negligence led to her husband’s death.

On March 8, Nettie Simon filed a lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against numerous companies for exposing her now-deceased husband, Terry Simon, to asbestos, according to court records. On Dec. 11, 2015, Simon died of lung cancer, which the suit claims was asbestos-induced.

During his career, Terry Simon was an aircraft mechanic/operator/fire control technician aboard the USS Fulton while he was in the U.S. Navy. He also worked at CITGO and numerous other businesses.

At various times during his career, Simon was exposed to, inhaled and absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers coming from using products manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by the defendants. During these times, Simon used these products as intended.

Since the dangers of asbestos exposure were known during the times he was in contact with the carcinogen, the defendants were negligent for not taking actions to protect those who were inhaling the fibers, according to the lawsuit.  

With reckless disregard for safety, the defendants continued to use products that contained asbestos knowing that it would be toxic for Simon to inhale the fibers, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiff also claims that the defendants used these products when adequate substitutes were available. They failed to provide appropriate instructions concerning safe methods of working with and near products that contained asbestos, according to the suit.

Simon filed claims of battery, fraudulent misrepresentation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against CITGO Petroleum Corporation; Cities Services Company; Comed, an Exelon Company; and Reliant Energy Retail Holdings LLC. The suit claims that the defendants knew or should have known that prolonged exposure to asbestos was not safe for Simon and other employees.

The defendants furnished asbestos-containing products, failed to replace asbestos-containing products at their facilities and failed to provide medical examinations to employees exposed to the carcinogen, according to the suit. Medical examinations were not provided until the 1980s.

The suit also claims that Simon’s exposure was due to faulty or leaky respirators produced by 3M Company. According to the suit, the company was negligent because it knew or should have known that the respirators didn’t sufficiently protect Simon from exposure.

Buffalo Pumps Inc., Sprinkmann Sons Corporation and Sprinkmann Insulation Inc. are accused of negligent spoliation of evidence, as well as willful and wanton spoliation of evidence by destroying and disposing of documents about asbestos products. They failed to preserve information about the locations where the products were used and supplied and their manufacturers and wholesalers because they knew the data could be used as evidence in potential civil litigation, according to the suit.

A count of conspiracy was filed against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Pneumo Abex Corporation because they didn’t disclose the dangers of working with and around products that contained asbestos. According to the suit, they conspired with asbestos manufacturers, distributors and other stakeholders to misrepresent and suppress relevant information about the seriousness of asbestosis disease, specifically to the employees who were in contact with the carcinogen.

Other defendants named in the suit include Shell Chemical LP; Special Electric Company Inc.; Treco Construction Services Inc.; Uniroyal Inc.; Saint-Gobain Abrasives Inc.; Honeywell International Inc.; and numerous others.

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