CHARLESTON —- A Marietta, Ohio, man and his wife are suing 66 companies after he claims he developed emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis because of exposure to heavy metals and chemicals.

Kevin Francis worked as a welder out of Marietta Pipefitters Local 168, according to a complaint filed March 19 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Francis claims he was exposed to various chemicals and heavy metals throughout the course of his employment at various industrial facilities throughout West Virginia and elsewhere.

During the time Francis was exposed to products of the defendants, the products reached job sites without any substantial change in the condition of the products from the time they were sold or distributed by the defendants, according to the suit.

Francis inhaled chemicals, chemical fumes, heavy metals and heavy metal dust and fumes from the defendants' products, which caused his emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis, according to the suit.

Francis and his wife, Susan Francis, claim that the defendants were negligent in producing, supplying, and/or selling, and/or using and/or specifying products containing chemicals, heavy metals and other dangerous ingredients.

The Francis' are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by David P. Chervenick, Bruce E. Mattck, Leif J. Ocheltree and Scott S. Segal.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

The 66 companies named as defendants are Airco Welding Products; Airgas Mid-America, Inc.; American Electric Power Service Corporation; American Producers Supply Co., Inc.; Appalachian Power Company; Ashland, Inc.; Atom ARC Welding; Bayer Corporation; Bayer Cropscience, Inc.; Borg-Warner Corporation; Cabot Corporation; Canfield Technologies, LLC; Catalytic Construction Company; Central Operating Company; Chevron USA, Inc.; DeGussa Corporation; Dow Chemical Company; Dravo Corporation; E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company; the ESAB Group, Inc.; Eutectic Corporation; Fairmont Supply Company; General Electric Company; Gulf Oil Corporation; H.E. Neumann Company; the Harris Products Group; Haynes International, Inc.; Hobart Brothers Company; Huntington Alloys Corporation; Huntsman International LLC; Industrial Holdings Corporation; Jabo Supply Corporation; Kentucky Power Company; Kester, Inc.; the Lincoln Electric Company; Linde Gas North America, LLC; Linde Air Products; Linde, LLC; McJunkin Redman Corporation; Miller Welding & Machine Co., Inc.; Minnesota Mining & Mfg., Co.; Monongahela Power Company; Norcross Safety Products, LLC; Ohio Power Company; O.K.I. Supply Co.; Osram Sylvania, Inc.; Pennzoil-Quaker State Company; PPG Industries, Inc.; Rhone-Poulenc AG Company, Inc.; Rust Constructors, Inc.; Rust Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Saint-Gobain Abrasive, Inc.; Shell Oil Company; Special Metals Corporation; Taracorp, Inc.; Teledyne McKay; Teledyne Technologies, Inc.; UB West Virginia, Inc.; Union Carbide Corporation; Valley National Gases WV, LLC; Vimasco Corporation; Washington Group International; Wesco International, Inc.; West Penn Power Company; and Wyeth Holdings Corporation.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-537

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