Lung cancer death spurs mass tort claim

Jon Campisi Jul. 12, 2011, 7:23pm

The family of a Pennsylvania man who they claim died as a result of asbestos-related lung cancer is suing a long list of companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of the known cancer-causing fiber.

Philadelphia attorneys James T. Fitzgerald, Gregory N. Bunitsky and Marla A. Macey, of the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, P.C., filed the mass tort action July 11 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of the offspring of the late Keith L. Kerr, a central Pennsylvania man who worked various jobs in and around Philadelphia as a building tradesman and member of the Steamfitters Local Union 420.

According to the complaint, Kerr breathed air contaminated with asbestos dust and fibers manufactured or distributed by the defendant corporations from a period of about 1974 to 1979 while employed by a number of companies in his capacity as a union tradesman.

On Aug. 14, 2009, Kerr was diagnosed as having lung cancer, the suit states. He succumbed to the disease roughly a year later, on Aug. 2, 2010.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Kerr’s son, Brian W. Kerr, of Tobyhanna, Pa., and names additional people who are entitled to recover damages as the elder Kerr’s other children. They are listed as Amanda Kerr of Limerick, Pa., Angela Kerr of Royersford, Pa. and Clifford Kerr of Downingtown, Pa.

The lawsuit contains counts such as premises liability and conspiracy.

The list of companies named as defendants is lengthy, and includes, but is not limited to, Cleaver Brooks, Inc., Conwed Corporation, Foster Wheeler Corporation, General Electric, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Hobart Brothers Company and Industrial Holdings, Corp.

The plaintiffs have requested a jury trial and are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees, court costs and other relief as may be deemed appropriate.

The case awaits mass tort grouping.

The case number is 110700701.

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