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IndianapolisIndiana – Asbestos Trades –Mesothelioma Lawsuit
15 new asbestos claims filed inMadisonCountyMarch 30-April 3
4/27/2009 10:14 AM By Kelly Holleran
A total of 15 new asbestos suits were filed in Madison County Circuit Court during the week of March 30 through April 3.
The following claims were filed:
--Gabriel Boser, a farmer, plasterer and latherer at various locations from 1956 until 2000, claims lung cancer. Boser is represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-326.
--Charles J. Childress ofIllinois, an auto mechanic, railroad laborer and carpenter at various locations from 1969 until 2000, claims mesothelioma. Childress is represented by Andrew O'Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of the O'Brien Law Firm inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-342.
--Charles and Brenda Childress ofKentucky claim Charles Childressdeveloped mesothelioma after his work as a heavy equipment operator in the U.S. Air Force, assistant credit manager at Harrison Tire and Rubber Co., in-ground pool installer, welder's helper and as a member of the Bricklayers Union Local No. 2 inIndianapolis from 1959 until 2009. The Childresses are represented by Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-340.
--Isabelle Lesser of Pennsylvania claims Mesothelioma on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Gustav Lesser, who worked from 1936 until 1976 as a ship fitter at various locations. Isabelle Lesser is represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of Simmonscooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-323.
--Gladys Jean Martin ofKentucky claims lung cancer on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Roger Martin Sr., who worked as an automotive mechanic from 1971 until 2007. Gladys Jean Martin is represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-335.
--Velma and Roy Nabors ofGeorgia claim Velma Nabors developed mesothelioma after her work from 1959 until 2009 as a seamstress, painter, secretary, security guard and post master at various locations throughoutGeorgia. She was also exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband who worked from 1967 until 1986 as an appliance repairman inGeorgia. The Nabors are represented by Perry J. Browder, John A. Barnerd, Trent B. Miracle and John P. Wagner of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-344.
--Jacqueline Nelson of Washington claims mesothelioma on behalf of her deceased father, Tim Buckingham, who worked as a pipefitter and plumber at various locations throughout Washington, Utah, Illinois, Montana, Alaska, Indiana, Wyoming, Idaho, Kansas, California, Colorado and Minnesota from 1950 until 1989. Nelson is represented by G. Michael Stewart and Jill Price of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-330.
--Jimmy Lee Pearce of Indiana, a farmer, mechanic, laborer, operator, pumper, maintenance man and volunteer fireman at various locations throughoutIllinois andIndiana from 1956 until 2002, claims mesothelioma. Pearce is represented by John A. Barnerd and W. Brent Copple of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-338.
--Gilbert Pena ofArizona claims mesothelioma on behalf of his recently deceased sister, Cecilia Pena, who worked from 1958 until 1993 as a laborer, assembly line worker, laundry department worker and surgical technician at various locations throughoutArizona andCalifornia. Gilbert Pena is represented by Christopher R. Guinn, Christopher J. Levy, Perry J. Browder and John A. Barnerd of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-331.
--Larry and Jean Requardt ofTexas claim Larry Requardt developed lung cancer after his work as a machinist mate, painter, driver, trim carpenter, laborer, banker, owner of Aluminum Polishing and trim carpenter from 1958 until 2005 at various locations. The Requardts are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-341.
--Betty Brown Sanders of Washington, a file clerk, nurse, homemaker and daycare operator at various locations from the 1960s until 2008, claims mesothelioma.Sanders is represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-327.
--Mary Sue Seals of Texas claims mesothelioma on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Thelbert Seals, who worked as a truck driver, insurance salesman, store manager, electrician and project manager at various locations from 1948 until 1991. Mary Sue Seals is represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-324.
--Jack M. Senf and Betty Senf ofIllinois allege Jack M. Senf developed lung cancer after his work as a laborer in the U.S. Navy from 1948 until 1977 and as director of maintenance atFt.MadisonCommunitySchool District from 1978 until 1994. The Senfs are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-319.
--Melissa Thomas ofNew Hampshire claims mesothelioma on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Paul B. Thomas, who worked from 1969 until 2008 as a welder, pipefitter, electrician and electronics technician at various locations. Melissa Thomas is represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-325.
--Patricia Winston ofWisconsin claims lung cancer on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Bobby J. Winston, who worked as a laborer at Chrysler and American Motors from 1971 until 2006. Patricia Winston is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-339.
Indianapolis – Asbestos Legislation – Mesothelioma
HOOSIERS DYING OF ASBESTOS EXPOSURE SAY LAW CHANGE IS NEEDED
Updated Thursday, October 1, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS — Before she dies, Dorothy Kuykendall wants her day in court.
The 76-year-old fromTerre Haute was exposed to asbestos, a toxin that can lead to a deadly cancer calledmesothelioma, more than three decades ago when she handled the material regularly as a worker at the city’sGlas-Col Apparatus Co.
This April, she learned thatshe is dying of cancer. Even though she hasn’t handled asbestos since 1975, her doctors say that exposure is the cause.
“I didn’t know then that asbestos was dangerous, or that my work would one day cause me to have this awful cancer,” she said.
State statute gives Hoosiers only 10 years to file a lawsuit after contact with harmful materials. SinceIndiana doesn’t make an exception for those with latent diseases, she has no recourse.
Kuykendall can’t get workers’ compensation, and she can’t sue. Therefore, Medicare is on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars inmedical expenses as a result of her disease.
“My family and the taxpayers are paying for the actions of thecompany that sold asbestos and my former employer,” she said. “It’s just not fair.”
Kuykendall was part of a group of advocates who asked a panel of state lawmakers on Thursday topass legislation that would allow those who develop diseases caused by asbestos decades after being exposed to sue the companies responsible for the exposure.
Her voice cracked as she told the Commission on the Courts, an out-of-session study committee, of her disappointment that she won’t be able to take care of her husband, who is 89, until he dies. “He’s taking care of me,” she said. “And I wonder what will happen to him when I’m gone.
“I ask that you change the law to give people like us some hope,” she said.
Under currentIndiana law, those who are exposed tohazardous materials such as asbestos have up to 10 years to file a lawsuit.
However, asbestos diseases – most prominently,mesothelioma – can take much longer to develop, meaning that by the time the illness is discovered and diagnosed, the chance to take legal action has already passed.
Indiana is the only state that doesn’t have a law on the books allowing for exceptions for latent diseases, according to RussellSipes, an attorney who testified Thursday and who represents clients who suffer fromasbestos-related diseases.
The legislation he called for would maintain the state’s current 10-year window, but would carve out an exception that allows Hoosiers who are beyond that time frame to sue within two years of being diagnosed.
It’s an exception the General Assembly approved in 1989. However, a 2003 state Supreme Court ruling drastically altered the meaning of that law, rendering it essentially useless,Sipes said.
“It’s obvious – people who become ill never have a right to sue,” he said. “They become sick and often they die long after the time the Legislature has set for them to bring a cause of action to try to hold anyone responsible.”
One person who called for the new law was a state lawmaker himself.
Sen. John Waterman, R-Shelburn, told his colleagues that in the 1960s, he worked for a company that removed agingboilers fromhomes and businesses. He described a white cloud formed by asbestos surrounding him as he took a sledgehammer to theboilers.
“On the way out, the truck was never covered. You’d have awhite cloud of dust all the way out to the landfills,” he said. “A lot of friends I’ve worked with have passed since.”
The committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, said she expects her panel to recommend that the General Assembly pass a bill allowing for the two-year exemption for latent diseases during the 2010 session.
Tony Payton, a 63-year-oldLouisville,Ky. resident, told the committee that he and his family would be bankrupt if he had the misfortune of living just across theOhio River inIndiana. However, inKentucky, he went to court and won a settlement.
Payton had surgery to removecancer caused by asbestos, but this summer was told that the cancer has returned.
He said he was there to testify on behalf of a friend who was a member of the same union in the 1960s and 1970s, but like roughly one-third of that union’s members, lived in southernIndiana.
“I’m still here, still fighting, still alive, and today I’m here to speak for [my friend],” he said.