Smoker dies from lung cancer, family sues for asbestos exposure

David Yates Aug. 8, 2007, 10:22am

Bryan Blevins

Provost Umphrey attorney Bryan Blevins, who on a monthly average files half-a-dozen asbestos lawsuits in Jefferson County, will from time to time branch out.

Representing the wife and daughter of Elbert Traver, Blevins filed an asbestos lawsuit against the A.O. Smith Corp., along with 45 other major companies, with the Orange County District Court on Aug. 2.

Blevins and his clients claim the companies conspired to manufacture and distribute asbestos-containing products, maliciously and purposely inflicting Traver with lung cancer.

Traver had already sued and received a claim for his "non-malignant asbestos-related disease with one or more of the defendants," the suit said. But now his family is seeking compensation for a "different malignant asbestos-related disease."

Medical documents attached to the suit say Traver, a former smoker, was first exposed to asbestos in 1942. He was an industrial carpenter, welder and laborer for various refineries and plants.

Tarver was born in 1932 and passed away on Aug. 10, 2005. A copy of his death certificate was attached to the suit.

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 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."

Heirs of his estate, Carol Traver and Jackie Spears, will sue for Traver's alleged wrongful death and his 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 case has been assigned to the 260th Judicial District.

Case No. D070-375.c

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