Asbestos suit faults 44 companies for man's death

David Yates Jul. 15, 2008, 7:21am

Lou Thompson Black

As a refinery worker, Albert L. Waugh allegedly inhaled "great quantities" of asbestos during his career. Now deceased, his benefactor claims Waugh's death was maliciously caused by dozens of companies.

On behalf of Albert Waugh, Marilyn J. Waugh is suing industrial manufacturer A.W. Chesterton, along with 43 other companies, for conspiring to mine, process, sell and distribute asbestos products.

She is also accusing the companies of suppressing the information pertaining to the fiber's hazardous influence on human health and purposely inflicting Albert Waugh with an asbestos disease.

Marilyn Waugh's nine-count personal-injury lawsuit was filed July 11 in Jefferson County District Court.

The lawsuit says companies such as Viacom, General Electric and Zurn Industries knew that the asbestos products they manufactured would hit the market without inspection for defects.

"Defendants knowingly conspired among themselves to cause Waugh's injuries, diseases, and illness and/or death by exposing him to asbestos," the suit says. "Defendants committed conspiracy by willfully misrepresenting and suppressing the truth as to the risks and dangers associated with asbestos."

The suit says the defendants have been in possession of medical and scientific data exposing the health risks of asbestos since the 1930s, but conspired among themselves to suppress the information.

The suit does not give specifics on the location or time of Waugh's employment.

"Waugh has sustained damages including injuries ... and has been deprived of the opportunity of informed free choice," the suit says. "Each defendant violated federal and state regulations relating to asbestos exposure."

The suit also faults the defendants for "conspiring among themselves to injure Waugh and to deprive him of his rightful recoveries."

In addition, the suit accuses defendant Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. of entering into a conspiracy with Raybestos-Manhattan Corp. to "misrepresent material facts about the dangers of asbestos exposure."

The plaintiff is suing 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, including home medical care costs.

The plaintiff also seeks punitive and exemplary damages.

"Plaintiff will rely on a fair and impartial jury to provide compensation…," the suit said.

Brent Coon & Associates attorney Lou Thompson Black represents the plaintiff.

Judge Gary Sanderson of the 60th Judicial District will preside over the case.

Case No. B182-035

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