HUNTINGTON -- CSX Transportation is on the offensive against two estates that are making similar asbestos claims previously filed by the decedents.
CSX filed the two nearly identical complaints Sept. 13 in federal court in Huntington.
In one of the complaints, CSX says James M. Siple filed an asbestos claim against it in Kanawha County in 1992. It says the case was settled for $48,000, and that Siple signed an "all-encompassing 'release' as part of the settlement."
CSX goes on to say that on June 2, 2010, Karen S. Barber, who is the administratrix of Siple's estate, filed a suit against CSX in Greenup County, Ky., saying the company exposed Siple to asbestos and other substances and holding CSX liable for damages, suffering and his death from lung cancer.
CSX says the release Siple signed releases the company from any liability "for any future known or unknown disease or condition, including cancer specifically, that might stem from any exposures" he "allegedly had while employed by CSXT."
In the second case, CSX makes a similar argument against the late Willie Collins and Tim Collins, the administratrix of his estate.
Willie Collins originally sued CSX in 1999 in Mason County, and that case later settled for $20,000, according to CSX. Willie Collins also signed a release. On June 2, 2010, Tim Collins also filed his suit in Greenup County, Ky.
CSX says the provisions of the releases signed by the decedents are valid and binding and that the claims of their estates are precluded because of the signed releases. CSX also wants to be reimbursed by the estates for all costs and expenses.
CSX is represented in both cases by Craig Banford of the Huntington law firm of Huddleston Bolen.
In their complaints filed in Greenup County, Ky., the defendants were represented by James A. McKowen of James F. Humphrey and Associates in Charleston and John E. Guerry III of Motley Rice in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
U.S. District Court case numbers: 3:10-cv-01098 (Barber) and 3:10-cv-1099 (Collins)