CHARLESTON - A Greenbrier County woman is suing her late son's employer, whom she says caused his cancer by exposing him to dangerous materials on the job.

Donita Taylor filed the lawsuit on behalf of her son Matthew S. Belford's estate April 12 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Comsat Corporation, Radiation Systems' Universal Antennas Division, Lockheed Martin and Harry Morton, an individual.

Belford was employed for the building of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, a town in Pocahontas County. Taylor says the acute myelogenous leukemia that caused his death April 16, 2004.

Guy R. Bucci of the Charleston law firm Bucci, Bailey and Javins is representing the plaintiff.

"The defendants knew paints it used contained benzene and that benzene was a known human carcinogen and presented a number of health hazards to Matthew S. Belford, including cancer," the complaint says. "The defendants intentionally and/or negligently exposed those working at the Green Bank Observatory project, including Matthew S. Belford, to specific unsafe conditions."

The complaint alleges that benzene was a component of certain types of paint used on the jobsite. Those paints were Interlac 800, Interlac 665 and Interprime 198.

Belford was employed by more than one of the companies involved in the design and construction of the observatory.

Taylor is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She accuses the defendants of exposing their employees to unsafe materials without proper protection or warning.

Judge Charlie King has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-667

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