More settlements have been reached in an asbestos suit so enormous that its plaintiffs routinely occupy the bulk of Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd District Court monthly docket.
A pool of potential jurors waited outside the courtroom on Monday, May 5, but before they could enter the court, the defendants in the suit blinked and the parties reached an undisclosed settlement.
The lawsuit, Helen Adams et al vs. AC&S et al, was originally filed in 2004 by the Brent Coon & Associates law firm on behalf of more than 2,000 plaintiffs against around 400 corporations.
Coon's lawyers managed to negotiate five settlements for their clients Steve Atkins, Clifton Hightower, Jackie Lytle, Elenora Demore and Judith Mullens.
The suit alleges the plaintiffs, or their deceased family members, were "exposed to large quantities of asbestos or asbestos-related products from the defendants, resulting in a variety of respiratory and other diseases."
According to the plaintiffs' original petition, defendants including AC&S, Foster Wheeler, H.B. Zachry, Brown & Root, Bechtel and Dresser as contractors or distributors sold, installed, removed or distributed asbestos-containing products, which "were unreasonably dangerous and defective."
All the suit's plaintiffs allege the defendants were negligent for failing to adequately warn of the dangers of asbestos exposure and failure to test products before entering them into the stream of commerce.
Defendant 3M Corporation is also specifically named for providing mask products to plaintiffs that did not provide adequate respiratory protection.
The plaintiffs were suing for past and future pain and suffering, past and future mental anguish, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, past and future physical impairment, medical bills and funeral bills in the event of death.
Steve Atkins case No. E167-892-G
Clifton Hightower case No. E167-892-BY
Jackie Lytle case No. E167-892-DJ
Elenora Demore case No. E167-892-FN
Judith Mullens case No. E167-892GO