Widow of ex-delegate files asbestos suit

CHARLESTON - The widow of a former member of the House of Delegates whose June 2004 death was allegedly caused by asbestos exposure has filed a lawsuit against 35 defendants. Svenna Partlow filed it June 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court as the personal representative of Kenny Partlow's estate. Partlow died at 69 on June 7, 2004, after a life that saw him rise from the ranks of factory worker to union president and delegate. He was the president of Glass, Molders, Pottery and Plastic Workers Local 212 and in 1992 was appointed by Governor Gaston Caperton to replace Walter "Lefty" Rollins in the 18th Wayne District in the House of Delegates. Rollins had been the House Majority Leader until he died from cancer. He started at the Owens-Brockway Glass Container, Inc., plant in Huntington and worked there for nearly 40 years until it was shut down in 1993. Partlow was also a renowned boxer. The lawsuit says he "sustained permanent and severe injuries to his lungs, respiratory and cardiovascular systems and suffered from asbestos-related diseases, including lung cancer." His son Kendall is an attorney in Logan. Of the 35 defendants, the following seven are West Virginia-based companies: A&I Co. of South Charleston; Gordon Gaskets of Charleston; Industrial Holdings of Charleston; Ohio Valley Insulating Company of Huntington; Nitro Industrial Coverings of Washington; S&S Manufacturer of Buckhannon; and Union Boiler Company of Nitro. Svenna Partlow is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and is also charging the defendants with a loss of consortium. John Skaggs of Charleston law firm The Calwell Practice is representing the plaintiff. A visiting judge will be assigned the case. Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1066

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