Suit names 58 defendants over man's asbestos exposure

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 21, 2009

Lou Thompson Black

A man and his wife have filed an asbestos suit against 58 defendant corporations, claiming the asbestos-related disease with which the man was diagnosed was wrongfully caused.

Joseph A. Headley and Lisa R. Headley claim the defendants knew the asbestos-containing products around which Joseph Headley worked were deleterious and highly harmful, according to a lawsuit filed Jan. 13 in Jefferson County District Court.

They say the defendant companies were negligent by failing to timely warn Headley about the dangers of asbestos.

They state the companies also negligently failed to provide Headley with information as to what would be safe apparel and safe equipment, according to the lawsuit.

Named as defendants in the suit are manufacturers of asbestos-containing products Ametek, Bondex, Certainteed, Champlain, Cooper Industries, Copes-Vulcan, Crosby Valve, Crown Cork, Durabla, Foseco, Garlock, Georgia Pacific, Guard-Line, Henry Vost Machine, Industrial Holdings Corp., Insulation Co., Kaiser Gypsum, KCG, Murcowall Products, Ogelbay Norton, Owens-Illinois, Parsons E&C, Rapid American, RPM Inc., Sepco Corp., TWC Valve, Uniroyal and Union Carbide, which is also named as a supplier of raw asbestos.

Premises owners named as defendants are Chevron, Dupont, Exxon Mobil and Texaco.

Able Supply, Bechtel, Daniel International, Fluor and HP Zachary are named as contractors using or supplying asbestos-containing materials.

Seventeen companies were named in the suit for manufacturing machinery that requires the use of asbestos-containing products. The companies are Allis-Chalmers, Aqua Chem, Crane Co., Elliot Turbo Machinery, FMC Corp., Foster Wheeler, GE, Goulds Pumps, IMO Industries, Ingersoll-Rand, Oakfabco, Peerless, Trane, Viacom, Warren Pumps, Weil-McLain and Zurn.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. is also named as a defendant for acting as an alleged conspirator with the companies to keep the hazards of asbestos exposure from the public.

According to the suit, Headley was unaware of the hazards and defects in the asbestos-containing products.

While working around the products, Joseph Headley alleges he used them in the manner intended, the Headleys claim.

Because of his reliance on the companies, Joseph Headley claims he has sustained damages including injury, illness and disability.

He has also suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, has incurred medical costs, suffers from a physical impairment, suffers from a permanent partial disability, suffered a progressive loss of earning capacity and has been prevented from engaging in many activities, according to the complaint.

Lisa R. Headley has suffered the loss of Joseph Headley's services, consortium, financial support and the care and comfort of his society because of his sickness.

In the nine-count lawsuit, the couple is seeking unspecified punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and for other relief the Court deems appropriate.

They are represented Lou Thompson Black and Hilary G. Reagin of Brent, Coon and Associates in Houston.

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

Case No. D183-018

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