Boilermaker Sues Twice for Asbestos Diseases

A family of a Texas man who worked as a boilermaker and general laborer has filed an asbestos-related lawsuit – the second such suit filed by the man and/or his family.

According to an article in the Southeast Texas Record, W.Z. Hutson filed his first claim several years ago, after developing an asbestos-related disease. Now, Hutson’s family is seeking compensation for a “different malignant asbestos-related injury,” which allegedly prematurely ended his life.

The suit was filed on April 3 against A.O. Smith Corporation and 67 other defendants. According to the plaintiff’s petition, the A.O. Smith Corp., along with the other companies named in the suit, “knowingly and maliciously manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing products throughout Jefferson County.” Their negligence resulted in Hutson developing malignant mesothelioma, an asbestos cancer for which there is no cure.

Some of the other defendants listed in the suit include aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and iron supplier Zurn Industries.

The suit alleges the defendants in the lawsuit were negligent for “failing to adequately test their asbestos-laced products before flooding the market with dangerous goods and for failing to warn the consumer of the dangers of asbestos exposure.”

In addition, the claim states that Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corp. (3M Corporation) and American Optical Corp. are at fault for producing defective masks that failed to provide respiratory protection.

In the precedent-setting Pustejovsky vs. Rapid-American Corp. decision made in 2000, the Texas Supreme Court held that a victim of asbestos may later file a second lawsuit for an asbestos cancer if he develops the cancer at a future date, even though he/she has already sued and received compensation.

“The opinion overruled a long history of Texas cases holding that a person may only bring one lawsuit for an asbestos-related injury, even if he develops a second, catastrophic asbestos-related cancer at a much later date,” the article points out.

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