Asbestos suit names 46 companies as defendants

Kelly Holleran Jun. 1, 2010, 6:50am

An Orange County man and woman have filed an asbestos suit against 46 defendant corporations, claiming the lung cancer with which the man was diagnosed was wrongfully caused.

Doug and Brenda York claim Doug York was diagnosed with the disease in December, according to a lawsuit filed May 20 in Jefferson County District Court.

The Yorks say Doug York worked from 1972 until 1985 as a pipefitter for various companies, including Mobil, Olin, Texaco, Fina, Jefferson Chemical, Houston Chemical, Union 76 and Gulf Oil Corp.

The Yorks claim Doug York's disease was caused after he was exposed to asbestos fibers. Doug York did not know of the hazards of asbestos exposure, according to the complaint.

The Yorks state the defendants failed to adequately warn Doug York of the serious health hazards related to asbestos exposure and failed to provide Doug York of what would be considered adequate and safe working apparel.

In addition, the defending companies failed to provide adequate warnings to Doug York, 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 Doug York 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 Doug York and his coworkers would inhale the asbestos fibers; and failed to recall the asbestos materials, the suit states.

Doug York has experienced physical pain, suffering and mental anguish; endured emotional distress; incurred medical costs; suffered physical impairment and partial disability; lost his earning capacity and his earnings; and became prevented from engaging in the benefits of a complete life, the complaint says.

Brenda York claims she has lost Doug York's care, maintenance, services, support, advise, counsel and consortium and has suffered mental anguish.

Defending companies named in the complaint include AMF Inc., Arch Chemicals, Atlantic Richfield Co., B&B Engineering and Supply Co., BP America, BP America Production, BP Corporation North America, BP Products North America, CBS Corp., Certainteed Corp., Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., Chevron Phillips Chemical Holdings, Chevron U.S.A., Conoco Phillips Co., Crest, Crown, Cork and Seal Co., Deltak, Dravo Constructors, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., Entergy Texas, Exxon Mobil Corp., Exxonmobil Oil Corp., Firestone Polymers, Fluor Constructors International, Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., Foster Wheeler North America Corp., Foster USA Corp., Garlock Sealing Technologies Inc., Guardline, Gulf Oil Corp., Gulf States Utilities, Henry Vogt Machine Co., Huntsman Petrochemical, Mid Valley, Oxbow Calcinning, P.D. Glycol, Riley Power Inc., Temple Inland, Texaco Inc., Total Petrochemicals, Union Oil Company of California, Unocal Corp., Velsicol Chemical Corp., Weil-McClain Boiler Co. and 4520 Corp.

In the lawsuit, the Yorks are seeking general, special, punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs, interest and other relief to which they may be entitled.

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

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E186-911.

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