CHARLESTON - One of the nation's largest plaintiffs' litigation firms is part of two asbestos lawsuits that were filed recently in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Motley Rice has five offices in four states and lawyers licensed to practice in 25 states. Victoria Antion of the Mt. Pleasant, S.C., office is teaming with Charleston's Harvit and Schwartz on the two lawsuits.

At the same time, Wexler Toriseva Wallace of Wheeling and Chicago is teaming with Motley Rice on a Missouri lawsuit that charges Davol, Inc., with manufacturing a patch that was recalled and adhered to a patient's bowels following hernia surgery.

Wexler Toriseva Wallace also teams with Texas-based Pulaski and Middleman, which was recently sued by Glenmark, LLC, for television ads in Charleston that specifically mentioned the company's Valley Center nursing home in an attempt to solicit nursing home abuse lawsuits.

The asbestos lawsuits filed Dec. 14 by motley Rice and Harvit and Schwartz were done so on behalf of the Estate of Clarence Shawver and Oscar and Pauline Stephens.

Edith Shawyer sued individually and as executrix of the Estate of Clarence Shawver and named 32 defendants. The suit says her husband Clarence died of lung cancer March 11, 2005, leaving behind six children.

It adds that Clarence worked as maintenance worker at Columbia Gas, which later became Mountaineer Gas Co., in Charleston, "which caused him to be exposed to the asbestos products of the defendants."

Like Shawver, the Stephens seek compensatory and punitive damages. Their lawsuit says Oscar worked as a laborer, mechanic, welder, machinist, machine operator, mixer/helper and truck driver while at the Standard Ultramarine and Color Co. factory in Huntington and developed lung cancer.

Though based in S.C., Antion is licensed to do business in West Virginia.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers 06-C-2646 and 2647

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