While Ohio has a significant amount of legal cases involving asbestos due in part to a heavy history of manufacturing within the state, they are by no means alone in this issue. A family in another state is fighting an ongoing court battle after a man died of mesothelioma, a type of cancer that the family complains he contracted after asbestos exposure. This particular case is even more complex than some, however, because the area where the man worked during the alleged exposure is different from the state in which he resided at the time.
Originally, the case named as defendants a host of industrial companies. The complaint asserted that the illness the man had contracted was caused by the asbestos fibers in the drywall joint compound with which he worked, one of which was a brand known as Wel-Cote, manufactured and sold by a company called Welco Manufacturing. As the case proceeded, many of the defendants settled or were dismissed, until the remaining defendant was the drywall joint compound manufacturer Welco.
Due to statutes of limitations, the case was filed in a different state from that in which the man lived and did most of his work, Alabama. According to the lawsuit, over the course of a few months spent in the Chicago area in 1965, the man worked as a drywall finisher on nearly 50 commercial worksites and several houses. Initially, the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge who argued that the man’s illness could have been contracted at any time during his work as a drywaller and from any of the products he used, and it was not necessarily linked to the Welco company.
However, on appeal, another court decreed that the plaintiff had presented sufficient evidence to indicate that the quantity of Wel-Cote used while in the other state could potentially have caused his cancer. An asbestos exposure researcher gave testimony that Welco could have had a responsibility to warn users, like the now-deceased man, of the hazards of using materials containing asbestos. As such, the case will undergo a new trial. Anyone in Ohio who has suffered illness or lost a family member due to asbestos may also have grounds for a civil suit and may benefit from the advice of an attorney with experience in similar cases involving asbestos exposure.
Source: cookcountyrecord.com, “Appeals panel: IL law applies to asbestos claim, though Alabama drywaller spent only 3-4 months in IL“, Jonathan Bilyk, May 10, 2017