Texas – A southeast Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against 100 companies, alleging that their negligence and lack of safety measures exposed the husband to asbestos, which resulted in a later diagnosis of mesothelioma lung cancer.
Charles Dees and Mary Guidroz are the plaintiffs in the case; according to the suit, the victim in question was a truck driver, though it is unclear whether the truck driver was Dees or Guidroz. Medical records show that Dees suffered occupational asbestos exposure for nearly 30 years, and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. Among the defendants named in the suit are large gasoline companies BP, Chevron, and A.W. Chesterton.
According to the lawsuit, “Throughout the period that plaintiff worked at premises defendants’ facilities, premises defendants’ facilities were an unsafe place in which to work … and contained asbestos-containing insulation … which was sold and manufactured by product defendants.” It is thought that Dees’s long-term visits and work in such facilities over three decades is what exposed him to asbestos, leading to his mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelioma, a rare cancer affecting 3,000 people each year in the United States, is known to be caused by the harmful asbestos material. In the early 20th century up until 1980, asbestos was widely used for construction and industrial purposes. Its unique qualities of heat resistance and chemical insulation made it perfect for use in large factories, engines, and for gasoline transportation, as in Mr. Dees’ case. When asbestos fibers break down, they become friable and can break away from their original location or product. Once breathed in, these fibers become embedded in the mesothelium, a lining of the lungs and other vital organs in the body. As these fibers build up, they can have a negative effect on the cells, leading to overproduction and eventually a cancerous mesothelioma tumor. Dees and Guidroz are suing for an unspecified amount of damages.