Third suit filed over Larkin's asbestos exposure

David Yates Jun. 6, 2007, 10:00am

Keith Hyde

While he was alive, Carl Larkin sued a petrochemical plant and received a claim for his "non-malignant asbestos-related disease."

Now that he is deceased, Larkin's wife has filed two more suits for asbestos-related diseases she believes contributed to his death.

On May 7, Bessie May Larkin filed a lawsuit on Larkin's behalf for a "different malignant asbestos-related disease."

In that suit, Bessie Larkin was represented by attorney Bryan Blevins of Provost Umphrey Law Firm. The suit named the A.O. Smith Corp. and 42 other corporations for distributing asbestos-containing products throughout Jefferson County.

"No amount of due diligence would have allowed decedent to recover for his malignant asbestos-related injury when his original suit for non-malignant asbestos-related disease was brought," the first suit said.

Bessie Mae Larkin sued 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.

That case, No. A179-266, was assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, and is still pending.

Almost a month after filing her first suit, Bessie Mae Larkin and her children, Karen, Barry, Nancy and Steve Larkin have filed a second asbestos lawsuit naming Chevron U.S.A., Inc., the successor of the Union Oil refinery in Nederland, as sole defendant.

According to the family's original petition, filed with the Jefferson County District Court on June 1, Larkin worked at the refinery as an operator and safety inspector.

"He used and was exposed to toxic materials including asbestos dust and fibers," the suit said. "As a result of such exposure, Carl Larkin developed an asbestos related disease, specifically lung cancer, for which he died a painful and terrible death on June 11, 2005."

In the suit against Chevron, No. D179-419, Provost Umphrey attorney Keith Hyde will represent the Larkin family as they seek to recover exemplary damages for "maliciously" exposing Carl to asbestos and failing to warn him and the other workers "of the dangers of asbestos," the suit said.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th District Court. The family is demanding a trial by jury.

Case No. D179-419

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