Husband's death leads widow to file two separate asbestos suits

By David Yates | May 21, 2007

Attorney Bryan Blevins of Provost Umphrey will represent Maren Roberts, the executor of the estate of Henry Joe Roberts, and sue the A.O. Smith Corp., along with 42 other major corporations, for distributing products containing asbestos throughout Jefferson County.

This is the eighth case of its kind filed by Blevins in the last two months.

Roberts is blaming an assortment of corporations, such as aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and iron supplier Zurn Industries, for manufacturing and distributing asbestos laced products.

She filed their lawsuit with the Jefferson County District Court on May 18. Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, will preside over the case.

The petition does not state the age of Henry when he passed away or the nature of his illness. The suit only says he was exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician.

However, a separate suit against E.I. Du Pont De Nemours filed by Henry's surviving spouse, says he died from an asbestos related disease on May 18, 2005. Provost Umphery is also representing Roberts in the separate suit (case No. A179-324).

Henry was a former employee of the Beaumont refinery, the second suit said.

In the first suit, the petition says the 43 defendants in his lawsuit were negligent, failing to adequately test their asbestos-laced products before flooding the market with dangerous goods.

In addition, the petition faults Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corp. (3M Corporation) and American Optical Corp. for producing defective masks that failed to "provide respiratory protection."

Maren is suing for 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.

Case No. E179-325

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