Three months after the last asbestos lawsuit trial in the courtroom of Associate Judge Stephen Sobbs in Madison County Illinois, a new trial started this week. The plaintiffs are the sons of a deceased 71-year-old mesothelioma victim.
Per court reports, Brian King and Tom King Jr., brothers from Tennessee, filed the lawsuit on behalf of their father, Tom King. King Sr., who died last May after battling severe complications associated with malignant mesothelioma.
The lawsuit began early last year against John Crane Inc. and Crane Co. A total of 119 defendants were named in the case, but both John Crane Inc. and Crane Co. are the only two companies remaining. The lawsuit alleges that King Sr., who worked as a machinist during his time in the military from 1959-1962 and again in 1965-1969, was exposed to asbestos for prolonged periods during his time in the Navy. While in the military, King Sr. was responsible for a variety of job duties, including repairing pumps and valves as well as changing gaskets. A major portion of his job duties also included grazing and scraping asbestos off of older gaskets in order to replace them with newer ones. Furthermore, King Sr. was also exposed to asbestos via packing supplies and pipe insulation.
The manufacturers that provided the supplies that King Jr. used during work are the defendants in the case. The plaintiffs’ attorney states that the victim’s asbestos exposure and ultimate death was due in part to his exposure to the pipe insulation, even though the defense argued it, stating that pipe insulation was only a minor part of the victim’s job. The judge, however, allowed the pipe insulation exposure argument.
As the opening arguments began, the plaintiffs’ attorney explained why the pipe insulation was the main culprit behind King Sr. developing mesothelioma. The asbestos in the insulation was friable, meaning that it was easily crushed and inhalable.
Although the defense argued that the asbestos used in gaskets were safe and are still used to this day, the plaintiff’s attorney stated that just because one type of asbestos may have been more safe than the other doesn’t mean the companies that supplied it should be off the hook.
“What Crane Co. is telling you is, ‘It’s OK to poison someone a little bit,” the plaintiffs’ attorney said.
The defense argued that Crane. Co. also offered products during the same time period that did not contain any asbestos, but that the military specifically asked for products that contained the mineral. Yet, the plaintiffs’ attorney said that that in no way alleviates the problem or removes the blame from the defendants.
“To this day, Crane Co. contends that asbestos in its products is safe. The bottom line is, asbestos, and all types of asbestos, cause cancer, cause asbestosis and can kill you,” said the plaintiff’s attorney.
King Sr. was also victim to prostate cancer, something that the defense jumped on. Yet, the plaintiff’s attorney was quick to add that King Sr. lived with manageable prostate cancer for several years, and that his ruling of death was mesothelioma:
“Prostate cancer did not kill Tom King. Mesothelioma killed Tom King,” the attorney said.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been victim to illness from asbestos due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. An experienced asbestos attorney can assist you in understanding your legal rights. For more information, contact our leading asbestos lawyers today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.