Suit names 67 companies for alleged asbestos exposure

David Yates Sep. 4, 2008, 8:24am

Lou Thompson Black

Margaret Copeland and her husband Marvin have filed a lawsuit against 67 defendant companies, alleging the companies conspired together to purposely inflict Margaret with an asbestos disease.

Court papers say A.W. Chesterton and 66 other companies conspired to mine, process and sell asbestos products, suppress the information pertaining to the fiber's hazardous influence on human health and purposely inflict workers with an asbestos disease.

Looking for compensation for her alleged exposure to asbestos and asbestos related disease, the couple's nine-count personal-injury lawsuit was filed Aug. 28 in the Jefferson County District Court.

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 plaintiff's original petition, companies such as Union Carbide, Goodrich 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 defendant's injuries, diseases, and illness and/or death by exposing him to asbestos," the suit said. "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 for decades, but conspired among themselves to suppress the information.

The suit does not give specifics on the location or time of Margret's employment, or how she was exposed.

The plaintiffs are suing for her 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 homecare costs.

They are also seeking punitive and exemplary damages.

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

According to the Brent Coon & Associates Web site, Lou Thompson Black is the managing partner of the Houston office of Brent Coon and Associates.

She manages hundreds of asbestos cancer cases filed in various jurisdictions and states. Black's primary practice area is toxic tort law, including products liability, premises liability, and employer liability.

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

Case No. A182-316

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