Suit claims 35 companies exposed man to asbestos, caused his death

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 6, 2011


A relative of the late Freeman Eugene Peart has filed suit against American Optical and 34 other companies, alleging the defendants exposed the deceased man to asbestos and caused his death.

Representing his estate, Freeman Eugene Peart filed the suit May 25 in Jefferson County District Court.

The other defendants named in the suit include A.O. Smith Corp., A.W. Chesterton Co., Bechtel Corp., Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, CBS Corp., Chevron, Cleaver Brooks, Crown Cork, and Seal, E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., Entergy Gulf States, Exxon Mobil Corp., Fluor Enterprises, Fluor Maintenance Services, Foster Wheeler Constructors, Foster Wheeler Corp., Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., General Electric Corp., General Refractories Co., Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Goulds Pumps, Guard-Line, Henry Vogt Machine Co., Huntsman Petrochemical Corp., Ingersoll Rand Co., Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Mobil Oil Refining Corp., Riley Power, Texaco, Union Carbide Co., Union Oil Company of California, Unocal Corp. and Zurn Industries.

According to the lawsuit, Peart lived in Texas and worked as a laborer, welder, pipefitter and boilermaker throughout his career.

The suit does not give dates of employment or locations.

Allegedly, Peart was exposed to asbestos products during the unspecified employment, which caused him to develop an asbestos-related illness.

The suit does not state when he died.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants negligently manufactured, sold and used asbestos products without warning workers of the dangers.

The plaintiff is suing for exemplary damages and actual damages within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

This is the second lawsuit filed on behalf of Freeman Eugene Peart. He filed the first complaint for a different asbestos-related disease than what he died from, according to the suit.

Provost Umphrey attorney Bryan Blevins Jr. represents the plaintiff.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136thth District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D190-108

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