Jackson County couple files asbestos suit

By Cara Bailey | Apr 10, 2007

CHARLESTON - Fifty-six local, national and international companies were named as defendants in as asbestos case filed by a Jackson County couple.

Attorney William Schwartz filed a lawsuit March 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court, on behalf of Charles and Beatrice Coffman.

Charles Coffman was a member of Pipefitter Local 521 and worked on various industrial sites from 1952 to 2004. The suit claims Coffman was exposed to asbestos while working on the different sites.

According to the lawsuit, Coffman was unaware of the dangers of asbestos and now suffers from mesothelioma, a disease caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. The disease is progressive, untreatable and incurable.

The suit names 16 plants at which Coffman worked, where he was exposed. They are Appalachian Power Company, Allied Chemical, Ashland Oil, Inc., B.F. Goodrich Company, Glasgow Powerhouse, Goodyear, John Amos Power Plant, Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation, Kyger Creek Powerhouse, Louisa Powerhouse, Monongahela Power Company, Monsanto Company, Ohio Power Company, Ravenswood Aluminum Corporation, Union Carbide Corporation and Virginia Electric & Power Company.

In a 10-count suit, Coffman claims the companies were negligent in informing their employees about the risks of asbestos. Therefore, Coffman claims he did not know the danger of the asbestos, which caused him to suffer physically and mentally.

The Coffmans seek judgment and damages against all defendants.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-616

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