Lung cancer death spurs asbestos mass tort claim

Jon Campisi Aug. 19, 2011, 9:50am

The estate of a deceased woman who allegedly died of asbestos-related cancer is suing a number of companies that deal in products made with the fiber.

Philadelphia attorney Edward M. Nass, of the firm Howard, Brenner & Nass, P.C., filed the mass tort claim Aug. 16 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Antonia Hughes of Newport News, VA.

Hughes is the administratrix of the estate of Lavora Hughes, a Philadelphia woman who died last year after suffering from lung cancer.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed as a short-form complaint in the master asbestos litigation docket, Lavora Hughes was exposed to asbestos that her “husband carried home on his clothes and body from his exposures” to asbestos.

The husband, Irving Hughes, was employed as a laborer and crane operator for the International Longshoremen’s Union Local 1291 from the mid 1960s to the early 2000’s, during which time he was allegedly exposed to various types of asbestos containing products.

Irving Hughes was also exposed to asbestos while performing motor vehicle work and home improvement work, the claim states.

Lavora Hughes was diagnosed with lung cancer on Oct. 7, 2009, and succumbed to the disease on June 8, 2010.

The complaint does not state whether or not Irving Hughes is still living or deceased.

The main defendant in the lawsuit is Honeywell International, Inc., as successor in interest to Allied Signal, Inc., as successor in interest to Bendix Corporation.

According to the complaint, Antonia Hughes, the daughter of Lavora Hughes, brings the complaint on behalf of “any and all of the decedent’s wrongful death beneficiaries, and claims all damages to which they are entitled for decedent’s wrongful death, including but not limited to, suffering a disintegration and deterioration of the family unit and the relationships existing therein, resulting in enhanced anguish, depression and other symptoms of psychological stress and disorder; loss of guidance, counseling, companionship and loss of society; pecuniary benefits,” and other net earnings they would have received from the decedent had she still been alive.

Aside from Honeywell, other defendants named in the lawsuit include, but are not limited to, American Biltrite, Inc., DAP, Inc., Asbestos Corporation Limited, Ford Motor Company and Georgia Pacific.

The case number is 110802611.

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