Lifelong smoker blames asbestos for lung cancer, sues 43 corporations

David Yates Apr. 26, 2007, 10:00am

Bryan Blevins

Attorney Bryan Blevins of Provost Umphrey has filed a suit on behalf of refinery worker against A.O. Smith and 42 other corporations for distributing asbestos containing products.The petition says the plaintiff was a lifelong smoker. This is the third case of its type filed by Blevins in the last 30 days.

Paul Martin is blaming an assortment of corporations, such as aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and iron supplier Zurn Industries, for manufacturing and distributing asbestos laced products. Medical records attached to his lawsuit state that he had a significant occupational exposure to asbestos, probably while working as a welder/inspector for a refinery from 1966 to 1990.

The document also says Martin, a colon cancer patient, has been a cigarette smoker for most of his adult life.

The petition says the 43 defendants entangled in his lawsuit were negligent, failing to adequately test their asbestos-laced products before flooding the market with dangerous goods.

In addition, the petition faults Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corp. (3M Corporation) and American Optical Corp. for producing defective masks that failed to "provide respiratory protection."

Martin is suing for physical pain and suffering in the past and future, mental anguish in the past and future, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement in the past and future, physical impairment in the past and future, and past and future medical expenses.

His petition was filed on April 24 with the Jefferson County District Court. Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D179-167

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