Asbestos plaintiff takes aim at 39 companies

By Ann Knef | Feb 8, 2006

CHARLESTON -- A Michigan man and his wife have filed suit against a litany of defendants in Kanawha County, claiming he developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working as a laborer and floor tiler in West Virginia.

CHARLESTON -- A Michigan man and his wife have filed suit against a litany of defendants in Kanawha County, claiming he developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working as a laborer and floor tiler in West Virginia.

Charles and Sandra Largent claim that 39 defendants, including some of the nation's largest corporations such as General Electric, Bondex, General Motors, Ford Motor Co., conspired to conceal health hazards of breathing asbestos dust.

According to the complaint, "Defendants ... as members of a conspiracy...intended that the publication of false and misleading reports:

  • Maintain a favorable atmosphere for the continued sale and distribution of asbestos and abestos-related products;

  • Assist in the continued pecuniary gain of the Defendants through the sale of their products;

  • Influence in the Defendants' favor proposed legislation to regulate asbestos exposure; and

  • To provide a defense in lawsuits brought for injury resulting from asbestos disease."

    The Largents also claim the defendants are negligent for either manufacturing, supplying, selling, distributing and installing asbestos-containing products.

    Represented by Christopher J. McCarthy of Booth & McCarthy in Bridgeport, the Largents are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

    Sandra Largent is seeking damages for loss of consortium, guidance, kindly office, support and services of her spouse, as well as damage to the marital relationship.

    The Largents are also seeking damages under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by naming Norfolk Southern Railway Company. According to the complaint, the railroad did not provide Charles Largent a safe place to work or warn him of the hazards of asbestos.

    The lawsuit, filed Jan. 19, does not indicate when Largent was employed in West Virginia or when he was diagnosed with the deadly disease.

    Other defendants are: American Biltrite, Certainteed Corp., Cooper Industries, DaimlerChrysler, Domco Products Texas, Fairmont Supply Co., HB Fuller Co., The Gage Co., Garlock Inc., The Glidden Co., Goodrich Corp., Goodyear Tire & Rubber, George V. Hamilton, HOneywell International, Kaiser Gypsum Co., Kelly-Moore Paint Co., Kentile Floors, Kentile Inc., Macco Adhesives, Mannington Mills, Mapei Corp., Nitro Industrial Coverings, Philips Electronics North America Corp., RPM Inc., Simpson Timber Co., Specialty Construction Brands, Tasco Insulations, TH Agriculture & Nutrition, Tile Council of America, UB of WV, Inc., Viacom, Vimasco Corp., Wheeling Rubber Products and F.B. Wright Co.

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