A Texas woman has brought a wrongful death suit against eight corporations which manufactured or supplied the asbestos with which her husband worked, and which led to his demise.
Katherine Brashers said that her husband, who was diagnosed with the asbestos cancer mesothelioma and died within a month of his diagnosis, was unknowingly exposed to asbestos while working for Union Oil Company of California, which was located in Jefferson County, Texas. She claims that the companies failed to adequately warm Michael Brashers of the health hazards, failed to provide him with adequate protective gear, failed to take reasonable precaution to enforce a safety plan, and failed to develop a substitute material in order to eliminate exposure to asbestos, among other charges.
Brashers worked form 1963 to 1998.
The defendant companies named in the suit are Able Supply, Ametek, Champlain Cable Corp., Guardine, Hercules, Inc., Jett Weld Inc., Union Oil Company of California and Westinghouse Electric Co.
Asbestos, a known carcinogen, was nevertheless widely used during most of the 20th Century in construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding, refining, and metalworking industries. Employers often ignored the warnings about asbestos’s risks to health, simply because the material was so useful due to its tensile strength, heat- and fireproofing capabilities, and resistance to electrical conductivity.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, but because of the high incidence of asbestos use, it is becoming less rare. Rates of mesothelioma diagnoses are expected to peak within the next decade, because the disease has a long latency period of 30 to 50 years. Since asbestos was most widely used during the mid-20th Century, many cases are being diagnosed now.
Sufferers of this disease have, on average, only six to 18 months to live. An aggressive cancer, mesothelioma is rarely operable and also tends to be resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Brashers is suing for compensation for her husband’s pain and suffering, mental anguish and medical costs, as well as for her loss of consortium, mental anguish and funeral and burial expenses, among other things.