Former Navy Plumber’s Asbestos Lawsuit Goes to Court

Sixty-three years ago, John Reidy was a Navy plumber and boiler tender working on various ships and shore installations at the height of the Cold War. After completing his military service, Reidy continued working as a plumber for different employers until he retired in 1996.

In 2013, John Reidy was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a deadly type of cancer caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Now, unless a settlement is reached, John and his wife Grace are preparing for a trial set to start in Illinois’ Madison County, before Judge Steve Stobbs.

The Reidys are suing several companies in their asbestos lawsuit, including John Crane, Inc., Carrier Corporation, Burnham LLC, and Bryant Heating and Cooling, accusing them of negligence, failure to warn, willful and wanton conduct, and negligent spoliation of evidence. Originally, the Reidys had listed close to 40 potential defendants in their suit, but to speed up the legal process, they agreed to focus on only the aforementioned companies.

The Reidys filed their complaint in Madison County Circuit Court last June because John Crane, Inc. conducts business in that part of Illinois.

According to the Reidys, the Florida man’s exposure to asbestos began when he joined the Navy in 1951. John Reidy was assigned to shipboard duties as a plumber and boiler tender. When he left the service several years later, he continued to work with plumbing fixtures and cement pipes, as well as installing and repairing furnaces and boilers. John Reidy retired in 1996 after working with several different companies, including the air conditioner manufacturer Carrier Corporation.

The asbestos lawsuit states that many of the products John Reidy worked with for nearly five decades contained toxic amounts of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), and that his employers failed to warn him of the health hazards from the resulting prolonged exposure. The Reidys also state that John’s mesothelioma was caused by the overabundance of asbestos fibers he inhaled during his time of employment.

Per the Reidys, the defendants are guilty of negligence because they should have known about the dangers faced by employees who worked with asbestos-containing products.

The defendants are also accused of failing to preserve documentation that supports the Reidys’ allegations. According to the suit, John Crane, Inc, and other companies held a trove of documents and data about products with asbestos-containing materials, where they were sold, who was involved in manufacturing and distributing them, and information about the hazards of asbestos exposure. Now, those documents are nowhere to be found.

“It was foreseeable to a reasonable person/entity in the respective position of defendants that said documentation constituted evidence, which was material to potential civil litigation, namely asbestos litigation,” the Reidys said.

Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness that stems from the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. An experienced asbestos attorney can assist and help you understand your legal rights. For more information and for a free case consultation, contact our leading asbestos attorneys today.

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