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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Sue First – Ask Questions Later – 199 Defendants in a New Asbestos Case in West Virginia

Some plaintiff’s firms ask questions first and sue only a limited number of defendants (10-20) in asbestos cases. Sometimes there may even be a case that reasonably includes something around 50 defendants. But then there are other cases where the method is to sue "all the usual suspects" and then ask questions later. Here’s an example taken verbatim from the West Virginia Record:

"Man names 199 defendants in asbestos suit 1/3/2012 1:28 PM By Kyla Asbury – Kanawha Bureau

CHARLESTON — A man is suing 199 companies he claims are responsible for his father’s lung injury and death.

Larry D. Westfall was a member of the Laborers Union Local No. 639 and worked throughout West Virginia and elsewhere, according to a complaint filed Dec. 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Steven D. Westfall claims his father was diagnosed with asbestosis and mesothelioma, from which he died.

The defendants failed to exercise reasonable care to warn Larry Westfall of the danger to which he was exposed by use of the asbestos-containing products, according to the suit.

Steven Westfall claims the defendants failed to inform his father of what would be safe and sufficient apparel for a person who was exposed to or used the asbestos-containing products.

The defendants also failed to inform Larry Westfall of what would be safe and proper methods of handling and using the asbestos-containing products, according to the suit.

Steven Westfall is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by David P. Chervenick, Bruce E. Mattock, Leif J. Ocheltree and Scott S. Segal.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 199 defendants named in the suit are 20th Century Glove Corporation of Texas; 4520 Corp., Inc.; Air & Liquid Systems Corporation; Ajax Magnethermic Corporation; AK Steel Corporation; Alliance Machine Company; Allied Glove Corporation; American Optical Corporation; Ametek, Inc.; Anderson Greenwood & Co.; Aristech Chemical Corporation; Armstrong International, Inc.; Armstrong Pumps, Inc.; Ashland, Inc.; Atlas Industries, Inc.; Aurora Pump Company; Bayer Corporation; Bayer Cropscience, LP; Beazer East, Inc.; Bechtel Corporation; Borg-Warner Corporation; BP Amoco Chemical Company; BP Products North America, Inc.; Brand Insulations, Inc.; Burnham Holdings, Inc.; Cabot Corporation; Cameron International Corporation; Canadianoxy Offshore Production Company; Cashco, Inc.; Catalytic Construction Company; CBS Corporation; Certainteed Corporation; Chevron U.S.A., Inc.; Cleaver-Brooks, Inc.; Columbia Paint Corp.; Columbian Chemicals Company; Columbus McKinnon Corporation; Cooper Industries, Inc.; Copes-Vulcan, Inc.; Coppus Turbines; Corbesco, Inc.; Crane Company, Inc.; Crown, Cork & Seal Company (USA), Inc.; Cyprus Amax Minerals Company; Dana Corporation; Degussa Corporation; DeZurik, Inc.; Dow Chemical Company; Dravo Corporation; E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company; Eaton Corporation; Eichleay Corporation; the Fairbanks Company; Fairmont Supply Company; Flowserve U.S., Inc., and its Byron Jackson Pump Division; Flowserve U.S., Inc., f/k/a Durametallic Corp.; Flowserve U.S., Inc., a/k/a Flowserve FSD Corporation; Flowserve U.S., Inc., as successor to Edward Valves, Inc.; Flowserve U.S., Inc., as successor to Valtek International; Flsmidth, Inc.; Flsmidth Dorr-Oliver Eimco, Inc.; Flsmidth Salt Lake City, Inc.; Fluor Constructors International; FMC Corporation; Foseco, Inc.; Foster Wheeler, LLC; the Gage Company; Gardner Denver, Inc.; General Electric Company; General Refractories Company; Goodrich Corporation; the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; Goulds Pumps, Inc.; Greene Tweed & Co.; Grinnell, LLC; Gulf Oil Corporation; H.E. Neumann Company; Hedman Mines, LTD.; Hercules Chemical Company, Inc.; Hinchliffe & Keener, Inc.; Hoechst Celanese Chemical Group, Inc.; Honeywell International, Inc.; Howden North America, Inc.; Huntington Alloys Corporation; Huntsman International, LLC; IU North America, Inc.; IMO Industries, Inc.; Industrial Holdings Corporation; Ingersoll-Rand Company; Insul Company, Inc.; ITT Corporation; J.H. France Refractories Company; Jabo Supply Corporation; Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.; John Crane, Inc.; Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, Inc.; Joy Technologies, Inc.; Katy Industries, Inc.; Kentile Floors, Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corporation; M.S. Jacobs & Associates, Inc.; Magnetek, Inc.; Mallinckrodt, LLC; Manitowoc Company, Inc.; McCann Shields Paint Company; McCarls, Inc.; McJunkin Redman Corporation; Meadwestvaco Corporation; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; Milton Roy Company; Mine Safety Appliance, Inc.; Minnotte Contracting Corporation; Mobil Corporation; Monongahela Power Company; Morgan Engineering Systems, Inc.; Mueller Steam Specialty; Nagle Pumps, Inc.; National Services Industries, Inc.; Nitro Industrial Coverings, Inc.; O.C. Keckley Company; Occidental Chemical Corporation; Oglebay Norton Company; Osram Sylvania, Inc.; Owens-Illinois, Inc.; P&H Mining Equipment, Inc.; Parker-Hannifin Corp.; Parker-Hannifin Corporation; Peerless Industries, Inc.; Pennzoil-Quaker State Company; Pfaff and Smith Builders Supply Company; Pharmacia Corporation; Plotkin Brothers Supply, LLP; Pneumo Abex Corporation; Potomac Edison Company; Power Piping Company; Powermaster Pacific Products; PPG Industries, Inc.; Premier Refractories, Inc.; Rchnewcoil, LLC; Reading Crane; Research-Cottrell, Inc.; Rhone-Poulenc AG Company, Inc.; Riley Power, Inc.; Robinson Fans, Inc.; Rockwell Automation, Inc.; Roper Pump Company; Rust Constructors, Inc.; Rust Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Safety First Industries, Inc.; the Sager Corporation; Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc.; Schneider Electric USA, Inc.; Seco/Warwick Corporation; Seegott, Inc.; Selkirk Corp.; Shell Oil Company; Simakas Company, Inc.; S.P. Kinney Engineers, Inc.; Spirax Sarco, Inc.; SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc.; Sterling Fluid Systems (USA), LLC; Sullair Corporation; Sunbeam Products, Inc.; Sundyne Corporation; SVI Corporation; Taco, Inc.; Tasco Insulation, Inc.; Team Industrial Services, Inc.; Townsend & Bottum, Inc.; Trane U.S., Inc.; Trans-Pumps, Inc.; Trans-Pumps, Inc. of Pittsburgh; UB West Virginia, Inc.; Unifrax Corporation; Union Carbide Corporation; United Conveyor Corporation; United States Steel Corporation; Universal Refractories Corporation; Viacom, Inc.; Viking Pump, Inc.; Vimasco Corporation; Virginia Electric and Power Company; Waco, Inc.; Warren Pumps, Inc.; Washington Group International; Waste Management, Inc.; Watson McDaniel Company; Weil-McLain Company; West Penn Power Company; Westinghouse Airbrake and/or Wabco; Whiting Corporation; the William Powell Company; WTI Rust Holdings, Inc.; Wyeth Holdings Corporation; Yarway Corporation; the Young Group, LTD.; and Zurn Industries, LLC.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-2181"

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