Considering how the large corporate behemoths have increasingly put the demands of profit above the needs of their employees and sometimes even their customers, it should come as no surprise that they also care little about the average American’s health. At least, that’s what Thurman Cash suggests. A few days ago, Cash filed suit in a Jefferson County Texas court, naming seventy corporations as defendants. The suit alleges that the companies conspired to “mine, process, sell and distribute asbestos products, suppressing the information pertaining to the fiber’s hazardous influence on human health… purposely inflicting him with an asbestos disease.” In addition to A.W. Chesterson, the largest manufacturer of industrial fluids in the world, the suit also names General Electric, Viacom and Zurn Industries. According to the complaint: “Defendants knowingly conspired among themselves to cause Cash’s injuries, diseases, and illness and/or death by exposing him to asbestosthe] defendants committed conspiracy by willfully misrepresenting and suppressing the truth as to the risks and dangers associated with asbestos.”
These corporations have had access to medical information regarding the health effects of asbestos for decades and conspired among themselves to keep it a secret, Cash alleges. While American jurisprudence dictates that defendants are innocent until proven guilty, or in this case, not liable until proven to have acted negligently or maliciously, there is strong precedence to suggest that Thurman Cash’s allegations are absolutely true. In 1977 records discovered at the corporate headquarters of the Raybestos Manhattan Company revealed correspondence between the CEO and management of Johns-Manville, another large asbestos manufacturer, proving that both companies had full knowledge of the health effects of asbestos and were agreeing to keep this information secret from the public. The conspiracy between Raybestos Manhattan and Johns-Manville lasted almost forty years before it was exposed. Considering this history and the record of these large, now multi-national corporations, it is quite probable that Thurman Cash’s “allegations” are, in fact, true. Will he receive justice? Unfortunately, virtually all these huge corporations have inordinate influence on American government, which has ultimately affected the judiciary with a strong, pro-corporate, anti-citizen bias on the federal level. While most county and state courts have generally done the right thing by asbestos victims, the record of federal courts is spotty.