Blevins keeps asbestos suits rolling

David Yates Jul. 24, 2007, 4:10am

Busy trying a million dollar asbestos case in Judge Sanderson's 60th District Court, Provost Umphrey attorney Brian Blevins still finds time to dig up fresh asbestos lawsuits.

Some time ago, Johnny J. Campise sued several companies and received a claim for his non-malignant asbestos-related disease. Now he seeks compensation for a "different asbestos-related injury."

Blevins will represent Campise and sue the A.O. Smith Corp., along with 58 other major corporations, for distributing products containing asbestos throughout Jefferson County. Blevins filed the suit on behalf of Campise with the Jefferson County District Court on July 19.

The suit says Campise was a pipe insulator but does not specify.

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.

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

The petition also says the defendants committed the following acts of negligence:
 Failing to provide a safe place to work;
 Allowing a dangerous and hazardous condition to exist on its premises;
 Failing to warn Plaintiff of the hazardous condition existing on its premises;
 Failing to warn Plaintiff that asbestos particles could cause asbestos-related lung disease as well as other diseases and complications;
 Failing to provide protective garments, equipment, appliances, respirators, or other breathing apparatuses that could have protected the Plaintiff from inhalation of asbestos fibers;
 Failing to provide adequate ventilation in and around the areas in which the Plaintiff worked and/or spent time during the working day;
 Failing to utilize alternative products that were safer than asbestos products and were available during the time period in which the Plaintiff worked on Defendants' premises;
 Ordering, specifying, instructing, requiring, and/or permitting the installation, application, and/or removal of asbestos and/or asbestos containing products in an unreasonable manner;
 Failing to place warning labels on the containers of asbestos containing products or the products themselves;
 Failing to warn those persons who worked with asbestos with regard to the dangers associated with asbestos;
 Failing to warn and/or instruct the Plaintiff with regard to proper handling of asbestos containing products;
 Failing to timely adopt and enforce a safety plan and/or method of handling asbestos or asbestos containing products;
 Failure to implement engineering and other work practice controls such as the use of water to control the release of asbestos fibers into the air;
 And failure to follow government regulations.

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."

Campise 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. B179-690

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