Beaumont, TX—A former carpenter who claims he developed mesothelioma while on the job has filed a lawsuit against 38 defendant corporations, including General Electric and Georgia Pacific.
Cleveland J. Savoy accuses the companies of failing to test the products which contained asbestos before manufacturing and marketing them, and of being negligent by failing to timely warn him about the dangers of asbestos. Savoy, who has previously filed a different asbestos lawsuit against the same defendants but it claiming a different injury in the current complaint, is seeking unspecified actual and exemplary damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest. His claim states that, because of his reliance on the companies, he has suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, has lost wages, sustained disfigurement and physical impairment, incurred medical costs and suffered a progressive loss of earning capacity. Asbestos, a component of many building and insulating products, has been known to be a carcinogen for some time.
Many companies have been accused of continuing to use it nonetheless, as it has remarkable properties of fire-resistance, durability and strength. Asbestos related suits are the largest tort in the United States, and the number of actions filed is expected to rise in the coming decade as more cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed. Because it has a long latency period—the time between the first instance of inhaling asbestos fibers and the time when the cancer is discovered—many carpenters and other laborers who have worked with asbestos containing materials in the past, and who may even be retired now, are yet to be diagnosed. A worker can live with mesothelioma for years or even decades without knowing it. In most instances, the cancer spreads throughout the body before it can be accurately diagnosed, making treatment less effective. On average, patients with the asbestos cancer have only 18 months’ life expectancy after diagnosis. Although research is ongoing, there is currently no cure for mesothelioma.