Kentucky man names 72 companies in asbestos suit

CHARLESTON - A Kentucky man who was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma has filed a lawsuit against 72 companies, claiming they are responsible for exposing him to asbestos, which caused his life-threatening disease. Jerry L. Rice Sr. of Saylersville, Ky., filed the suit Dec. 11 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Rice, 63, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma on May 21, 2007. Rice worked at various job sites in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan from 1965 to 2000. According to the suit, filed by attorney Victoria L. Antion, Rice breathed the harmful dust created by use of asbestos-containing products. The suit says the companies failed to warn Rice of the dangers of asbestos, and failed to inform of the importance of sufficient apparel and safety equipment. Rice claims he developed severe, permanent and disabling lung disease and suffered the damages and losses related to the disease. In the 18-count suit, Rice seeks compensatory and punitive damages for his injuries. Charleston attorney William K. Schwartz is also counsel for Rice. The case will be assigned to a visiting judge. Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2645

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