Asbestos suit names 29 companies as defendants

David Yates Jun. 23, 2008, 8:41am


On behalf of the estate of Elray Conn, Helen Conn filed suit against A.O. Smith Corp. and 27 other companies on allegations that Elray was intentionally exposed to asbestos, causing his death.

Conn filed suit in the Jefferson County District Court on June 19.

Conn is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Bryan Blevins. Blevins is a prolific filer of asbestos suits, averaging four new cases per month in Jefferson County.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Conn worked as laboratory analyst, maintenance supervisor and contract administrator, where he worked with asbestos-containing products and materials, "which caused him to suffer from asbestos-related diseases and other industrial dust diseases."

The suit does not give specifics on Conn's employment, or his injury.

"Defendants manufactured and/or sold and distributed asbestos-containing products which were unreasonably dangerous and defective," the suit says.

"All of the asbestos products placed in the stream of commerce by the Defendants reached the end product users without substantial change. All of these products were defective and unreasonably dangerous. Plaintiff invokes the doctrine of strict liability and claims the products were defective in their marketing. Such defects were a producing cause of the Plaintiff's injuries and/or death."

The suits defendants include companies such as Lockheed Martin, Owens Illinois and Viacom.

The suit continues by alleging that the defendants were further negligent in continuing to manufacture and distribute their asbestos products after the hazards of asbestos exposure "were well known and documented in the medical and scientific literature."

"Defendants negligently failed to remove their products from the market. These acts of negligence were a producing cause of Plaintiffs injuries and suffering."

Claiming the defendants acted with malice, Helen is suing for exemplary damages. She is also suing for Elray's past and future mental anguish, medical expenses and lost wages.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District.

Case No. A181-940

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