Former Marine, construction worker files asbestos-related negligence lawsuit

By David Hutton | Apr 18, 2017

BELLEVILLE — A couple has filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court claiming negligence in the asbestos-related cancer diagnosis the husband received last year.

Nathan Rouse Jr. and his wife, Teresa Rouse, filed the lawsuit on March 10.  

According to court documents, the lawsuit names a number of defendants, including Albany International Corp.; Armstrong International; Armstrong Pumps Inc.; Borg-Warner Morse Tec LLC; Carrier Corp.; CBS Corp.; Certain-Teed Corp.; Dow Chemical Co.; FlowServe Corp.; Ford Motor Co.; General Electric; Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; 3M Co.; Union Carbide Corp. and others.

Rouse served in the U.S. Marines from 1972 to 1975 as an amphibian tractor crewman at Paris Island, South Carolina, and as a crewman at the Amtrak plant in San Diego and Okinawa, Japan. He worked from 1978 to 1979 as a construction worker at Hannan Roofing at job sites in Kentucky and Illinois and from 1979 to 1981 as a railroad worker at Lockheed Martin. In 1981 and again from 1995 to 2013, he worked in construction at Buford Heating & Air at job sites in Arkansas and Kentucky. From 1987 to 2013, he worked various other jobs in roofing and as a driver.

According to the complaint, Rouse alleges that he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers at numerous job sites emanating from products he was working with and around that were produced, sold or distributed by the defendants named in the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that the defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution for the safety of Rouse and others working with and around the products containing asbestos.

The complaint claims that Rouse learned on March 12, 2015, he had contracted lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos.

According to the complaint, as a result of his diagnosis, Rouse has had to endure pain and mental anguish as a result of his contact with asbestos and the resulting lung cancer. It also contends that he has incurred medical bills while seeking treatment and has lost income as a result of the illness. His family has been denied his companionship during his illness, the suit cites.

The complaint also alleges conspiracy against Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., alleging that the company conducted research and knew the dangers of asbestos but failed to release that information to the public.

The complaint details how the company allegedly began covering up information detailing the hazards of asbestos as early as the 1930s, when it allegedly altered a study on the impact of asbestos on miners.

Rouse is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori Julian & Associates PC in Edwardsville. They have requested a trial by jury and seek compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 on 12 different counts.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 17-L-114

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Gori, Julian & Associates PC St. Clair County Circuit Court

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