CHARLESTON -- A Columbus, Ohio, man is suing 51 companies he claims exposed him to asbestos and caused his lung cancer diagnosis.

On Nov. 6, 2009, Ray Berdell Karns was diagnosed with lung cancer, according to a complaint filed Oct. 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Karns claims he smoked cigarettes from 1949 until sometime in the 1960s, but only smoked between five and six cigarettes per day and then quit.

The plaintiff was employed as a laborer, mechanic, truck driver, drywall worker and machinery operator from the 1950s until 1974, according to the suit.

Karns claims he was exposed to asbestos and/or asbestos containing fibers during his employment.

The defendants are being sued based upon theories of negligence, contaminated buildings, breach of expressed/implied warranty, strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy, misrepresentation and post-sale duty to warn, according to the suit.

Karns is seeking a jury trial to resolve all issues involved. He is being represented by Bronwyn I. Rinehart, Victoria Antion and Scott A. McGee.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 51 defendants named in the suit are 3M Company; A.O. Smith Corporation; A.W. Chesterton Company; Borg-Warner Corporation; Certainteed Corporation; Cleaver-Brooks Company, Inc.; Crane Company; Dravo Corporation; Eaton Electrical, Inc.; Flowserve US, Inc.; FMC Corporation; Ford Motor Company; Foseco, Inc.; Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation; General Electric Company, Inc.; Genuine Parts Company; Goulds Pumps, Inc.; Grinnell, LLC; Hercules, Inc.; Honeywell International; IMO Industries, Inc.; Industrial Holdings Corporation; Ingersoll-Rand Company; Insul Company, Inc.; ITT Corporation d/b/a Bell & Gossett Pumps and d/b/a Kennedy Valves; ITT Corporation d/b/a Hammel Dahl Valves; Kelsey-Hayes Company; Maremont Corporation; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; Nitro Industrial Coverings, Inc.; Oglebay Norton Company; Ohio Valley Insulating Company, Inc.; Owens-Illinois, Inc.; Pneumo Abex Corp.; Premiere Refractories, Inc.; Rapid American Corporation; Riley Power Inc.; Rockwell Automations, Inc.; Rust Constructors, Inc.; Rust Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Rust International, Inc.; Schneider Electric USA, Inc.; Sterling Fluid Systems (USA), LLC; Tasco Insulations, Inc.; UB West Virginia, Inc.; Uniroyal, Inc.; United Engineers & Constructors and Washington Group International; Viacom, Inc.; Vimasco Corporation; Weil-McLain Company; and Zurn Industries, Inc.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-1938

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