Suit against 27 companies cites 'Pustejovsky' in second asbestos claim

Kelly Holleran Feb. 10, 2009, 8:40am


A Texas man has filed an asbestos suit on behalf of his recently deceased relative against 27 defendant corporations, claiming the asbestos-related disease with which the deceased man was diagnosed was wrongfully caused.

Curtis Blake Phillips claims Omar Rucker Phillips worked as a pipefitter and welder where he was required to work with or around asbestos-containing products and materials.

Although Omar Rucker Phillips already sued for a non-malignant asbestos-related disease, Curtis Blake Phillips alleges his claim is allowable because Omar Rucker Phillips died from a different malignant disease than what was presented in his original suit.

The plaintiff cites Pustejovsky vs. Rapid American Corp., a 2000 decision in which the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a victim may file an additional suit for asbestos-related cancer if he develops a second illness from the same cause at a later date.

Curtis Blake Phillips states the defendants were negligent because they did not adequately test products before putting them into the stream of commerce, according to the lawsuit.

Defendants include A.O. Smith Corp., A.W. Chesterton Co., American Optical Corp., Bechtel Corp., Westinghouse Electric Corp., Fluor Maintenance, Foster Wheeler Constructors, General Electric, Ingersoll Rand Co., Lockheed Martin, Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. and Zurn Industries.

He claims the defendants sold products that were unreasonably dangerous and defective.

Curtis Blake Phillips alleges the defendant companies failed to adequately warn of the dangers of asbestos exposure.

Mask products Omar Rucker Phillips wore, which were supposed to provide respiratory protection, instead contributed to his problems, according to the suit.

Because of Omar Rucker Phillips' asbestos exposure, he suffered physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, disfigurement, physical impairment and incurred medical bills, the suit states.

His family spent substantial amounts on funeral costs, according to the complaint.

Curtis Blake Phillips is seeking actual and exemplary damages within the jurisdictional limits of the court, plus court costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which he may be entitled.

He is represented by Bryan O. Blevins Jr. and Aaryn K. Giblin of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No. B183-228

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