Massachusetts man files asbestos claim in Phila. courts

Jon Campisi Jan. 5, 2012, 8:07am

A New England man who claims his mesothelioma diagnosis this past summer is directly related to his work history has filed a lawsuit against companies engaged in the manufacture and design of products containing the fiber.

Philadelphia attorney Michael B. Leh, of the Locks Law Firm, filed the mass tort action Jan. 3 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Thomas M. Devine of South Chatham, Mass.

There are 24 companies named as defendants in the lawsuit. They include, but are not limited to, Cummins Inc. of East Lansing, Mich., Domco Products Texas Inc. of Wilmington, Del., General Electric Company of Harrisburg, Pa., Graybear Electric Company Inc. of Boston, Mass., and 3M Company, also known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, based in Philadelphia.

The lawsuit claims that Devine, 62, who has been a nonsmoker all of his life, was diagnosed as having asbestos-related mesothelioma on Aug. 27, 2011.

The complaint alleges that the asbestos exposure can be traced back to his work history, which included stints with the General Dynamics shipyard in Quincy, Mass. back in the late 1960s; the United States Coast Guard in the late 60s and early 70s; a New England automobile body repair shop in the mid 1970s through the mid 1980s; a construction company in the early 1980s; and non-occupational home remodeling and repair projects throughout the years.

The lawsuit, which was filed as a short-form complaint in the master asbestos litigation at Common Pleas Court, accuses the various defendants of negligence related to the manufacture, design and distribution of asbestos-containing products.

The complaint also contains a premises liability count against General Dynamics Corporation, which employed Devine from 1968 to 1969. This was the shipyard where Devine worked, performing electrical equipment installations on tanker ships.

The lawsuit claims that Devine worked in “close proximity” to numerous tradesmen while on the worksite.

Devine seeks judgment as outlined in the master asbestos litigation at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.

A jury trial is being sought.

The case number is 120100144.

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