Houston-area couple sues Union Carbide for man's asbestos exposure

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Apr 21, 2008

GALVESTON -- A Houston area couple has filed suit against several chemical and polymer companies, alleging that years of asbestos exposure led to the man's malignant pulmonary cancer.

Clyde and Robbie Dempsey of Pasadena are suing Union Carbide Corporation and dozens of other companies before the Galveston County District Court on April 7. The suit alleges the defendants committed negligence, misrepresentation and conspiracy in subjecting Clyde Dempsey to asbestos and related products while he performed commercial and industrial plumbing and pipefitting work throughout Texas for more than 25 years.

In an interview with the Texas Medical Occupation Institute Feb. 14, Clyde Dempsey, 70, reported that he breathed in clouds of asbestos dust from adjacent workers at hundreds of jobs. He claimed to have been exposed to asbestos for at least the first 20 years of his career.

Clyde Dempsey retired in 2004 after serving as a maintenance supervisor for a La Porte refining facility.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007 after complaining to physicians of increasing shortness of breath.

"As a result of Mr. Dempsey's exposure to asbestos-containing products over his career, he contracted the serious and debilitating disease which will some day take his life," the suit says. "Each Defendant bears responsibility in causing Plaintiffs' injuries in the individual capacities in which they have been sued."

In addition to Union Carbide, the suit names A.W. Chesterton, Certainteed, Bondex, Georgia Pacific, Kelly-Moore Paint Co., Avco, GE, Kaiser Gypsum, Bechtel, Fluor, Amaco, Shell and Sun Oil and others as product, premises, equipment or contractor defendants.

The suit also contends "as a direct and proximate result of Defendants' negligence, Mr. Dempsey has sustained a multitude of severe and incapacitating injuries."

The Dempseys are represented by Williams, Kherkher, Hart & Boundas LLP. They seek malice and exemplary damages and the suit states they will continue litigation in the event of Clyde Dempsey's death.

The case has been assigned to Judge Susan Criss, 212th District Court.

Case No. 08CV0345

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