Former electrician names 48 defendants in asbestos suit

By Kyla Asbury | May 30, 2013

CHARLESTON - A Mammoth couple are suing 48 companies they claim are responsible for lung cancer and asbestosis diagnoses.

Kenneth Joseph Morris was diagnosed with lung cancer on Sept. 12, 2011, and asbestosis on April 30, according to a complaint filed May 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Morris and his wife, Dortha Jane Morris, claim the 48 defendants are responsible for the diagnoses.

For 30 years, Kenneth Morris smoked cigarettes, but quit in 2001, according to the suit.

The Morrises claim the 48 defendants exposed Kenneth Morris to asbestos-containing products during his employment as an electrician from 1964 until 2001.

The defendants are being sued based on theories of negligence, contaminated buildings, breach of expressed/implied warranty, strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy, misrepresentation and post-sale duty to warn, according to the suit, and certain defendants are also being sued as premises owners and as Kenneth Morris' employers for deliberate intent/intentional tort.

The plaintiffs 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 48 defendants in the suit include 3M Company; A.W. Chesterton Company; Aurora Pump Company; Brand Insulations Inc.; Buffalo Pumps Inc.; CBS Corporation; Certainteed Corporation; Cleaver Brooks Company Inc.; Columbus McKinnon Corporation; and Copes-Vulcan Inc.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-924

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