Mark Lanier

An asbestos suit naming 37 defendant companies has been filed on behalf of a recently deceased man, alleging the mesothelioma with which the man was diagnosed was caused by company negligence.

Geri A. Koons claims Lewis Ayala died from the disease on Sept. 9.
Ayala developed the disease during the course of his work in shipyards, steel mills, refineries, paper mills and chemical plants in the area, court papers say. The suit was filed by Houston attorney Mark Lanier on June 2 in Jefferson County District Court.

A total of 37 defendant companies are named in the suit, including A.O. Smith Corp., A.W. Chesterton Co., Afton Pumps, Alcoa, American Biltrite, BNSF Railway Company, Beazer East, Bird Corporation, CBS Corporation, Crane Co., Fairbanks Morse Pump Company, FMC Corporation, GE, IMO Industries, Tamko Roofing Products and Zurn Industries.

Koons alleges the defending companies failed to adequately warn Ayala of the dangers of asbestos exposure, according to the lawsuit.

She claims the companies also negligently failed to test the products to determine hazards associated with them and failed to remove their products from the market.

The plaintiff alleges the asbestos-related disease caused Ayala to experience physical pain, suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, disfigurement and physical impairment.

In addition, Ayala's family lost his care, maintenance, services, support, advice, counsel and consortium and incurred medical costs and funeral bills, Koons claims in the lawsuit.

Koons is seeking unspecified punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which she is entitled.

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

Jefferson County District Court case number: E184-193.

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