Cigar smoker's wife blames asbestos for husband's lung cancer

David Yates May 7, 2007, 10:00am

Bryan Blevins

Attorney Bryan Blevins of Provost Umphrey will represent Lula Delafosse, the wife of the deceased Louis Delafosse, in a suit against the A.O. Smith Corp., along with 42 other major corporations, for distributing products containing asbestos throughout Jefferson County.

This is the fifth case of its kind in the last two months. Provost Umphrey is best known for organizing asbestos and benzene class-action lawsuits against chemical refineries.

Delafosse filed the lawsuit with the Jefferson County District Court on May 2. Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, will preside over the case. The suit names corporations from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin to iron supplier Zurn Industries for manufacturing and distributing asbestos laced products.

A lung cancer patient, Louis was around 87 years of age when he passed away, the suit said.

Medical records attached to his lawsuit state Louis, a WWII veteran, had significant occupational exposure to asbestos, probably while working at John Dallinger Steel, Inc. from 1941 to 1942 and 1955 to 1983.

The document also says Louis was an avid cigar smoker.

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."

Lula 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.

The suit does not state why Louis did not sue while he was alive.

Case No. E179-226

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