CHARLESTON - An Ashland, Ky., couple are suing 56 companies they claim are responsible for a mesothelioma diagnosis.

On Jan. 7, Jimmie Elliott Epling Sr. was diagnosed with mesothelioma, according to a complaint filed April 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Epling claims he smoked less than one-half pack of cigarettes per day from 1963 until 1993, but then quit.

The defendants exposed Epling to asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products during his employment as an orderly, machinist and operator from 1952 until 2000, according to the suit.

Epling is suing the defendants for negligence, contaminated buildings, breach of expressed/implied warranty, strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy, misrepresentation and post-sale duty to warn.

Certain defendants are also being sued as premises owners and as Epling's employers for deliberate intent/intentional tort, according to the suit.

Epling and his wife, Ernestine Epling, are seeking a jury trial to resolve all issues involved. They are being represented by James A. McKowen of James F. Humphreys & Associates.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 56 defendants named in the suit include 3M Company; A.W. Chesterton Company; Amdura Corporation; Bucyrus International Inc.; Buffalo Pumps Inc.; CBS Corporation; Caterpillar Inc.; Clark Equipment Company; Certainteed Corporation; and Cleaver Brooks Company Inc.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-768

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