CHARLESTON - A man who worked in various plants around the state for 40 years says he was given lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos.

Merlin E. Mellert and his wife Patricia filed a lawsuit Aug. 1 against 17 defendants, three of which are West Virginia corporations.

Those are Ohio Valley Insulating Company, Union Boiler Company and Vimasco Corporation.

Mellert says he was a laborer with Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 33, working at various industrial sites from 1953-1992.

He says he was "required to work directly with and was indirectly exposed to various types of asbestos blankets, asbestos rope, asbestos tape, various types of fire and insulation bricks, insulating materials, cements and mortars and other refractory materials that contained asbestos fibers."

Patricia is filing a claim for loss of consortium, while Mellert seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney William Schwartz of Harvit and Schwartz in Charleston is representing the Mellerts.

A visiting judge will be assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1499

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