Pittsburgh attorney files six asbestos against 105 companies

CHARLESTON - Pittsburgh attorney David Chervenick filed a class action asbestos lawsuit against 105 companies on behalf of six families.

The suits, filed Nov. 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court, are on behalf of Ruben J. and Erma Birkhimer; Joyce Farley, on behalf of the estate of Max O. Farley; Joseph Fernandez; Ida Mae and Harold Hoit; Shirley McClain, on behalf of the estate of Kenneth B. McClain; and Ronald and Joyce Rouse.

The defendants include 12 chemical processing plants, research facilities, electrical and steam generating plants and industrial facilities located in West Virginia, including Weirton Steel, in Weirton, W.Va.

Ruben Birkhimer, of Burgettstown, Pa., worked as a laborer, utility man and truck driver at Weirton Steel and DuPont Chemical in Weirton, W.Va. He has asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Joyce Farley is the administratrix of the estate of Max O. Farley. Farley, who is deceased, worked as a steelworker for H.K. Porter/Connor Steel. He has asbestosis and lung cancer.

Joseph Fernandez, of New Cumberland, W.Va., worked as an electrician, laborer and craneman at Weirton Steel. He has asbestosis and lung cancer.

Ida Mae and Harold Hoit live in Wellsburg, W.Va. Ida Mae Hoit is the wife and mother of men who worked at Weirton Steel. While living in the same house as her husband and son, she was exposed to asbestos-containing dust from their clothes. She now has asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Shirley McClain is the personal representative of the estate of Kenneth B. McClain, of Wintersville, Ohio. McClain was a steelworker at Weirton Steel. He has asbestosis and lung cancer.

Ronald Rouse Sr., of Mingo Junction, Ohio, worked as a pipefitter and truck driver for Weirton Steel. He has asbestosis.

Chervenick claims the injuries of the plaintiffs are due in part to actions and events that occurred as a result of the defendants doing business in West Virginia.

The suits also state the defendants are responsible for the wrongful deaths of the deceased workers, who died as a direct result of exposure to asbestos and other harmful dusts. The suits say those workers suffered severe physical pain, mental anguish, worry, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income and medical expenses.

Also, the suits seek damages for a loss of consortium. The suits claim the families of the deceased plaintiffs suffered loss of general services, companionship and society since their loved one contracted his or her diseases.

In the 18-count suits, the plaintiffs seek medical monitoring, punitive damages and compensatory damages.

Charleston attorney Scott Segal is also counsel for the plaintiffs.

The cases will be assigned to a visiting judge.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers 07-C-2437 to 07-C-2442

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