Blevins files Snowden asbestos case

David Yates Jul. 24, 2007, 4:00am

Provost Umphrey attorney Brian Blevins is no stranger to the Jefferson County courthouse, filing his third asbestos lawsuit in two weeks while trying an asbestos case in Judge Gary Sanderson's 60th Judicial Court.

Robert E. Snowden, an engineer by trade, sued several companies and received a claim for his non-malignant asbestos-related disease. Now he seeks compensation for a "different asbestos-related injury." Snowden smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 35 years.

Blevins will represent Snowden and sue the A.O. Smith Corp., along with 68 other major corporations, for distributing products containing asbestos throughout Jefferson County. Blevins filed the suit on behalf of Snowden with the Jefferson County District Court on July 20.

This is the second suit of its kind to be filed in the past two weeks. Provost Umphrey is best known for organizing asbestos and benzene class-action lawsuits against chemical refineries.

Medical documents attached to suit state Snowden, a lung cancer patient, has accumulated 60 pack- years of smoking. "There is a synergistic effect between asbestos and tobacco smoking in the causation of lung cancer."

Snowden and his attorney believe this "causation" is enough reason for him to receive a second claim for his lung cancer, allegedly caused by asbestos.

Snowden, 71, began working in refineries in 1964 as an engineer.

The suit names corporations from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin to iron supplier Zurn Industries for manufacturing and distributing asbestos laced products.

The petition says the 69 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."

Snowden 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.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. B179-697

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