Woman sues six companies for husband's lung cancer, death

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 14, 2011

CHARLESTON -- A woman is suing six companies after she claims they are responsible for her husband's lung cancer and death.

Richard M. Atwell was employed at job sites in West Virginia and surrounding areas and continuously worked with and was exposed to asbestos, asbestos-containing products and/or machinery requiring the use of asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products, according to a complaint filed Feb. 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Sarah J. Atwell claims the defendants negligently gave inadequate warning or instruction during and after the time of marketing and should have known about the risk of their products.

The defendants also failed to advise or warn Mr. Atwell of the dangerous characteristics of the products; failed to provide him with knowledge as to what would be reasonably safe and sufficient wearing apparel; failed to place warnings on containers; and failed to take reasonable precautions or exercise reasonable care to public, adopt, and enforce a safety plan and/or a safe method of handling asbestos products, according to the suit.

Mrs. Atwell claims her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer and later died because of it.

Mrs. Atwell is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by James A. McKowen and David P. Pavlik.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The six companies named in the suit are A.W. Chesterton Company; Bondex International, Inc.; Georgia-Pacific Corp.; Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc; Rapid American Corp.; and RPM, Inc.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-285

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