Charleston, WV—A couple is bringing suit against 66 companies, seeking damages in a mesothelioma case.
Richard H. Pullen, along with his wife Rebecca, claim that the companies failed to exercise reasonable care to warn him of the hazardous nature of the asbestos with which he worked.
All of the companies named in the lawsuit either manufactured, supplied or sold asbestos-containing materials.
Pullen has been diagnosed with two asbestos-related diseases, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a chronic respiratory disease in which asbestos fibers cause scar tissue to form inside one or both lungs, leading to breathing difficulties. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer which is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. It affects fewer than 3,000 new patients in the United States each year, but is a fatal cancer that does not typically respond well to treatment.
Pullen is suing for damages related to medical treatment, great pain of the body and mind, embarrassment and inconvenience, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and a shortened life expectancy.
Mesothelioma occurs when the asbestos fibers cause tumors to form on the mesothelium, which is a thin sheath surrounding and protecting the lungs. The mesothelium also produces a special fluid that helps the lungs, stomach and heart to move naturally and without friction. One of the symptoms of both asbestosis and mesothelioma is excess pleural fluid.
Although asbestos has been phased out of use, and is now only found in very small amounts in certain, highly regulated applications, the material can still be found in older buildings and commercial products. Additionally, the diseases that are associated with it may take up to 40 or even 50 years to fully develop within the body and become symptomatic, which means that many people could be living with these diseases without being aware of it. By the time mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases are diagnosed, it’s usually too late for curative surgery or other treatments to be effective, although palliative and pain-reducing measures can be undertaken.