23 defendants named in recent asbestos lawsuit

Kelly Holleran Jan. 14, 2010, 9:41am

A Texas woman has filed an asbestos suit against 23 defendant corporations, claiming the lung cancer with which her deceased husband was diagnosed was wrongfully caused.

Dorothy Sue Phillips claims her husband, Ransom Glen Phillips, was diagnosed with the disease in July 2008 and died of it on Aug. 18, 2008, according to a lawsuit filed Jan. 8 in Jefferson County District Court.

Phillips says Ransom Phillips worked from 1948 until 1985 for various companies, including Texaco.

The plaintiff claims her husband's disease was caused after he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers. Ransom Phillips did not know of the hazards of asbestos exposure, according to the complaint.

Phillips states the defendants failed to adequately warn Ransom Phillips of the serious health hazards related to asbestos exposure and failed to provide Ransom of what would be considered adequate and safe working apparel.

In addition, the defending companies failed to provide adequate warnings to Ransom Phillips, failed to take reasonable precaution to enforce a safety plan, failed to develop a substitute material to eliminate asbestos exposure in the workplace and failed to market asbestos products that were safe to use, according to the complaint.

The defendants negligently failed to test their products before they were released into the stream of commerce; failed to provide Ransom Phillips with a safe workplace; included asbestos in their products when they could have substituted other, safer materials and when they could have reasonably foreseen that Ransom Phillips and his coworkers would inhale the asbestos fibers; and failed to recall the asbestos materials, the suit states.

Before his death, Ransom Phillips experienced physical pain, suffering and mental anguish; incurred medical costs; and suffered physical impairment and disfigurement, the complaint says.

Because of her husband's death, Dorothy Phillips lost his care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel and reasonable contributions; lost his companionship and society; lost his consortium; suffered mental anguish; lost his present value; and incurred funeral and burial expenses, the suit states.

Defending companies named in the complaint include Able Supply Co., AMF Inc., B&B Engineering and Supply Co., Certainteed Coro., Chevron U.S.A., Deltak, Garlock, Garlock Sealing Technologies Inc., General Electric Co., Georgia-Pacific Corp., Gulf Oil Corp., Huntsman Petrochemical, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Motiva Enterprises, Owens Illinois, Riley Power Inc., Texaco Inc., TMR Co., Triplex Inc., Union Carbide Corp., Viacom Inc., Vogt Power International Inc. and Westinghouse Electric Co..

In the lawsuit, Dorothy Phillips is seeking general, special, punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs, interest and other relief to which she may be entitled.

She will be represented by Tina H. Bradley of Hobson and Bradley in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A185-671.

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