Suit alleges asbestos users purposely mislead workers

David Yates Jul. 3, 2008, 9:38am

Samantha Flores

Warren Devillier and his wife Rose are suing A.W. Chesterton, along with 15 other companies, for conspiring to mine, process and sell asbestos products, suppressing the information pertaining to the fiber's hazardous influence on human health and purposely inflicting him with an asbestos disease.

Looking for financial compensation for his alleged exposure to asbestos and asbestos related disease (mesothelioma), Devillier's lawsuit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on July 1.

A mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant, asbestos has been utilized by mankind for more than 2,000 years, said the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site.

According to the plaintiffs' petition, companies such as U.S. Steel Corp., Viacom and Zurn Industries knew that the asbestos products they manufactured would hit the market without inspection for defects.

The suit says the defendants knowingly conspired among themselves to cause Wilhelm's injuries and committed conspiracy by willfully misrepresenting and suppressing the truth as to the risks and dangers associated with asbestos.

"As a result of Devillier's exposure to asbestos … over his career, he contracted (a) disease which will someday take his life," the suit says. "Each defendant … bears responsibility in causing plaintiffs' injuries."

Furthermore, the suit goes on to allege the defendants fraudulently represented that asbestos products were safe, when they knew asbestos exposure could lead to death.

The plaintiffs are seeking punitive and exemplary damages, plus damages for Mr. Devillier's 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, including funeral costs.

Samantha Flores of the Williams Kherkher Hart & Boundas law firm is representing the plaintiffs.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. B181-983

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Williams Kherkher
8441 Gulf Freeway
Houston, TX 77017

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