Another settlement reached in massive asbestos suit

Marilyn Tennissen Apr. 5, 2007, 4:00am

Jason Cansler of Brent Coon & Associates

While a pool of potential jurors waited outside the courtroom, parties reached a settlement in an asbestos suit before the trial began in a Jefferson County District Court.

The lawsuit, Helen Adams et al vs. AC&S et al, was originally filed in 2004 on behalf of more than 2,000 plaintiffs against around 400 corporations. The massive suit alleges that plaintiffs or their representatives were exposed to asbestos or asbestos-related products of the defendants, resulting in a variety of respiratory and other diseases.

Brent Coon & Associates of Beaumont represents the plaintiffs.

Although filed under the same case number, each of the plaintiffs' cases is being handled separately. The April 2 settlement named James Jones as plaintiff, represented by Jason Cansler of Brent Coon & Associates.

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

Monday's settlement brings the number of decided cases within the suit to 220. Many of the individual cases have been decided before reaching the trial docket.

In the original petition, defendants including AC&S, Foster Wheeler, H.B. Zachry, Brown & Root, Bechtel and Dresser as contractors or distributors sold, installed, removed or distributed asbestos-containing products which were unreasonably dangerous and defective.

Plaintiffs would show that defendants re-branded, relabeled or otherwise marketed asbestos-containing products to which plaintiffs were exposed.

Plaintiffs invoke the doctrine of strict liability and claim the products were defective in their marketing, design and/or manufacture.

Negligent for failing to adequately warn of the dangers of asbestos exposure and failure to test products before entering them into the stream of commerce.

Defendants were further negligent in continuing to manufacture and/or distribute their asbestos-containing products after the hazards of asbestos exposure were well known and documented in the medical and scientific literature.

Defendant 3M Corporation is specifically named for providing mask products to plaintiffs that did not provide adequate respiratory protection.

Plaintiffs seek damages not limited to: Past and future pain and suffering, past and future mental anguish, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, past and future physical impairment, medical bills and funeral bills in the event of death.

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