East Texas suit blames 37 companies for man's asbestos exposure, death

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Mar 17, 2009

MARSHALL – The family of a deceased east Texas man has filed a federal lawsuit against 37 Corp.s, alleging the man was exposed to asbestos fibers which led to his death from lung cancer.

Joyce Bush claims her husband died on March 25, 2007, from lung cancer after 25 years of work-related asbestos exposure.

Joyce Bush, individually and as the estate representative of Donnie Ray Bush and surviving children, filed suit on March 13 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The defendants include: A.W. Chesterton Co., Certainteed Corp., Crown Cork and Seal Co., Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., Garlock Sealing Technologies, General Electric Co., Georgia Pacific, H.B. Fuller Co., Honeywell, IMO Industries, Ingersoll-Rand Co., John Crane Co., McMaster-Carr Supply Co., Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Owens-Illinois, Parker Seal Group, SEPCO, J. Graves Insulation Co., Tuthill Corp., Union Carbide, Uniroyal Holding, Viacom, Vulcan Iron Works, Zurn Industries, Conoco Philips Co., Chevron Phillips and the Dow Chemical Co.

According to the suit, Donnie Bush worked from 1967 to 1992 as a heavy equipment operator for Job Corp., on a drilling rig for East Texas Drilling, as a heavy equipment operator for John Wadell Construction, a furnace worker for LeTourneau, Inc., a carpenter for Roscoe Adams Carpet Service, in maintenance for DRECO and as a furnace worker for Norris Industries.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants manufactured, distributed, and/or supplied asbestos, asbestos fibers and asbestos-containing products in which Donnie Ray Bush was exposed.

"Prior to his death, Donnie Ray Bush was unaware of and completely innocent of the wrongful conduct of the Defendants and ignorant of the dangers and hazards to which he was exposed," the complaint states.

The plaintiff states the defendants were negligent for failing to warn, failing to test their products concerning the effects of exposure, failing to notify consumers or users of the dangerous products and failing to properly label all instructions and warnings.

Further, the plaintiff alleges the defendants are liable under strict liability and owed a duty to Donnie Ray Bush not to place a defective and unreasonable dangerous product into market and a duty to warn of the known dangers associated with their products.

On behalf of the surviving spouse and children for wrongful death, the suit seeks damages for loss of love, affection, solace, comfort, companionship, society, care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions of a pecuniary value.

The plaintiff brings a survival claim seeking damages for the deceased's conscious pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical, funeral, and burial expenses.

The lawsuit also seeks damages for loss of income, impairment, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The plaintiff is requesting a trial by jury and is represented by Marshall attorneys D. Scott Carlile and Paul W. Turner of The Carlile Law Firm LLP.

The plaintiff has invoked the Discovery Rule to toll the running of any applicable statute of limitations.

U. S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside and has referred the case to Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham for pretrial proceedings.

Case No: 2:09cv074

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