26 defendant companies blamed for man's exposure to asbestos

Kelly Holleran Sep. 10, 2009, 3:35am

The wife of a recently deceased man has filed an asbestos suit against 26 defendant corporations, claiming the asbestos-related disease with which the man was diagnosed was wrongfully caused.

Weldon F. Duncan worked as an insulator and electrician helper, where he was allegedly exposed to asbestos-containing products.

His wife, Bonnie, claims the defendants failed to warn Duncan about the dangers of asbestos exposure, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 4 in Jefferson County District Court.

The plaintiff claims the defendant companies were negligent by failing to provide Duncan with a safe workplace, by allowing a dangerous condition to exist on their premises, by failing to warn Duncan that asbestos could cause lung-related diseases and by failing to provide protective clothing garments.

According to the lawsuit, the companies also negligently failed to provide adequate insulation, failed to use alternative products that were safer than asbestos products, allowed the installation and removal of asbestos, failed to place warning labels on asbestos containers, failed to warn Duncan about the proper handling of asbestos and failed to timely adopt a safety plan.

Defendants in the suit include A.W. Chesterton, Atlantic Richfield, Anco Insulation, Babcock Borsig Power, Beazer East, CBS, Chevron, Cleaver Brooks, Crane Co., Crown, Cork and Seal, General Electric, Goodrich, Gulf Oil, Ingersoll Rand, Lockheed Martin, Sepco Corp., Texaco, Union Oil Company of California, Uniroyal Holdings and Unocal Corp.

According to the suit, Duncan was unaware of the hazards and defects in the asbestos-containing products.

Because of his exposure to the products, Duncan suffered physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement and physical impairment, the suit claims.

In addition, Bonnie Duncan has suffered mental anguish and incurred medical expenses and funeral and burial costs.

In the lawsuit, Bonnie Duncan is seeking unspecified actual and exemplary damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and for other relief the court deems appropriate.

She 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 Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court Case No. D184-851.

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