CHARLESTON - A Kentucky couple has filed an asbestos lawsuit in West Virginia, against 52 companies after the man was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

William and Joann Potter of South Shore, Ky., filed a suit Aug. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Charleston attorney Samuel Elswick is representing the Potters.

According to the suit, William Potter, who has smoked less than a pack of cigarettes a day since 1959, claims asbestos exposure while on the job caused him to develop mesothelioma.

Potter, 64, was a laborer from 1964 to 1968 and a crane operator from 1968 to 1995, with United Steelworkers of America, Local Union No. 1965 in Ashland, Ky. During that time, he claims part of his job was to install new insulation and tear out the old insulation.

Potter claims he was exposed to a large amount of asbestos dust and fibers in the work place during that time.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma July 2007.

Joann Potter claims she has lost the financial support of her husband since he contracted mesothelioma, including his services, companionship and society for the rest of their lives.

In the nine-count suit, William and Joann Potter seek compensatory and punitive damages.

The case will be assigned to a visiting judge.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1759

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