Sandblaster blames asbestos for malignancy
A sandblaster who already received a settlement for a non-cancerous disease is filing suit again, this time for a malignancy blamed on asbestos exposure.
Provost Umprhey attorney Bryan Blevins filed the suit on behalf of plaintiff Fidel Perez on Oct. 24 in Jefferson County District Court.
In the suit, Perez alleges that the A.O. Smith Corp. and 49 other companies knowingly and maliciously manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing products throughout Jefferson County.
Medical documents provided by Trinity Clinic and attached to the suit indicate Perez was exposed to asbestos while working as a sandblaster and painter for multiple construction companies from 1963 to 2001.
Perez has already sued and received a settlement for his asbestos-related disease, but is now suing for a "different malignant asbestos-related injury."
The Trinity Clinic documents conclude Perez was diagnosed with asbestosis and asbestos-related colon cancer. The documents also say Perez was only a "modest" smoker and quit in 1973.
The suit alleges the 50 defendants in the lawsuit were negligent for failing to adequately test their asbestos-laced products before flooding the market with dangerous goods and for failing to warn the consumer of the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Some of the defendants listed in the suit include aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, Viacom and iron supplier Zurn Industries.
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."
Although Perez has already sued and received a claim, the suit says, "Plaintiff now seeks damages against defendants not released in the previous actions pursuant to Pustejovsky v. Rapid-American Corp."
"The court must apply a separate accrual rule in these cases because a single action rule would forbid a second suit and in doing so force the asbestos plaintiff to file premature litigation on speculative claims, which the court in Pustejovsky notes is neither efficient or desirable," the suit said.
The plaintiff is suing for exemplary damages, plus 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 Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.
Case No. A180-586