This Just In: Recent civil filings in Jefferson County District Courts

Marilyn Tennissen Oct. 11, 2007, 6:34am

Oct. 3

- Merlin Durousseau vs. A.O. Smith Corporation

PA � Bryan Blevins, J � Donald Floyd

A former Navy veteran and refinery worker, Louisianan Merlin Durousseau died of renal failure last December. At the request of Provost Umphrey attorney Bryan Blevins, the Texas Occupational Medicine Institute reviewed Durousseau's medical record and concluded he died of asbestos induced mesothelioma. The Texas Occupational Medicine Institute routinely reviews cases submitted by the Provost Umphrey law firm.

Through asbestos attorney Blevins, Durousseau's family filed suit against the A.O. Smith Corporation and 52 other companies, claiming the defendants knowingly and maliciously manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing products. Although Durousseau spent most of his working life in Louisiana, the suit says Jefferson County has jurisdiction because "decedent resided in Texas at the time of the cause of action."

Case No. E180-461

Oct. 5

- Frances Chatman vs. Harvey Suites Hotel et al

PA - Michael Walzel, J - Gary Sanderson

Frances Chatman escaped the looming dangers of Hurricane Rita only to fall pray to "lumpy" floor mats. Chatman fled the Golden Triangle and found refuge at an Irving Harvey Suites Hotel, where she was allegedly injured when she tripped over a floor mat. Chatman is suing for exemplary damages, plus past and future medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, impairment, loss of earning capacity and loss of consortium. The suit does not state how exactly Chatman was injured.

Case No. B180-480

Oct. 8

- Daniel Lee Jones vs. H.E.B. Grocery Co.

PA - Dan Ducote, Jr., J � Milton Shuffield

Not wasting anytime, Daniel Lee Jones filed a personal injury lawsuit against H.E.B. Grocery Co. three weeks after he slipped and fell at the East Lucas store. He claims he slipped and fell on a "foreign" substance, which has caused him to "sustain severe, permanent and disabling injuries." Jones is suing for past and future medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement and loss of earning capacity.

Case No. D180-486

- American Home Assurance Co. vs. Entergy Services Inc. et al

PA � Steven Hudgins, J � Milton Shuffield

Seeking to recover $62,000 in worker's compensation benefits paid to one of its policy holders, American Home Assurance Co. is suing Entergy Services Inc. and United States Environmental Services for negligently exposing Ryan Bledsoe to pesticides. Bledsoe, a W.A. Kendall and Company employee, was assisting and aiding the defendants with the clean up after Hurricane Rita. He was injured when he was exposed to pesticides that the defendants had sprayed inside of a work vehicle.

Case No. D180-485

Oct. 9

- Buster Flanigan vs. A.O. Smith Corp. et al

PA � Bryan Blevins, J - Bob Wortham

Although senior citizen Buster Flanigan boasts a 100 plus pack-year smoking history, Trinity Clinic physician Dr. Richard Kronenberg says Flanigan's lung cancer was caused by asbestos exposure. Trinity Clinic was paid by Provost Umphrey attorney Bryan Blevins to review Flanigan's medical history. Flanigan has already sued and received a settlement for his asbestos-related disease, but is now suing for a "different malignant asbestos-related injury."

Flanigan's lawsuit claims the A.O. Smith Corp. and 47 other corporations knowingly and maliciously manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing products throughout Jefferson County.

Case No. A180-492

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