Jon Campisi May 7, 2012, 8:37am

Three more asbestos mass tort claims were filed late last week at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court, one on behalf of a Pennsylvania man and the others on behalf of out-of-state plaintiffs.

The first complaint was filed May 2 by Philadelphia attorney Robert E. Paul, of the firm Paul, Reich & Myers, on behalf of Skippack, Pa. resident Earl J. Criswell.

The Montgomery County man, who will turn 85 next month, claims in his suit that he was exposed to asbestos at various worksites throughout his career.

Criswell, who also smoked a half to one pack of cigarettes a day from 1944 to 2010, was diagnosed with lung cancer on Jan. 31 of this year, an injury he claims was a result of his asbestos exposure during his working years.

Criswell worked as a fireman for the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946, he spent time as a merchant marine in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1946 to 1956, he worked as a welder for a construction company from 1956 to 1965, he worked as a service technician from 1966 to 1983, he worked as a self-employed consultant from 1983 to 1991 and he repaired brakes on personal vehicles throughout much of his lifetime, more specifically from 1947 to 2007.

The lawsuit claims that Criswell was exposed to asbestos at many of the jobs, but he believes there was no exposure during his time in the U.S. Navy.

The long list of defendants in the lawsuit includes, but are not limited to, Ace Hardware Corp., Bayer Cropscience Inc., Brand Insulation Inc., Crane Co., General Electric Co., Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Honeywell Inc., Philadelphia Electric Co., Pneumo Abex LLC, and Union Carbide Corp.

The second asbestos claim was also filed May 2, this one by Wilmington, DE attorneys James T. Fitzgerald, Gregory N. Bunitsky and Marla A. Macey of the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos.

The plaintiff is Boca Raton, FL resident Ellen M. Mitzel, who is in charge of her late father’s trust.

Mitzel’s father, John W. Mitzel, was an area resident and member of the Plumbers Local Union #690 based in Philadelphia.

John Mitzel was diagnosed with lung cancer on July 30, 2010, a disease he claimed was directly related to his working around asbestos-containing products during his long plumbing career from 1944 to 1979.

Mitzel, a skilled building tradesman, had been assigned to various work sites in and around the City of Philadelphia when he allegedly breathed in asbestos fibers, which eventually caused his injuries, the suit claims.

John Mitzel died on Oct. 20, 2010.

The lawsuit states that Mitzel never brought any actions in his lifetime against the defendants, which include, but is not limited to, American Standard Inc., A.W. Chesterton Inc., Bayer Cropscience Inc., Brand Insulations Inc., Foster-Wheeler Corp., General Electric, John Crane Inc., Owens-Illinois and Union Carbide Corp.

The third asbestos claim was filed by Philadelphia attorney Robert E. Paul on behalf of Warren, Texas resident Roger Patrick Bligh.

Bligh, 73, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in early May 2010, a diagnosis he blames on his longtime asbestos exposure.

The lawsuit, which claims Bligh continues to suffer from the effects of the disease, states that the plaintiff contracted mesothelioma as a result of his asbestos exposure during his working years.

This included jobs as an engineer for an export lines company, and as a ship repair coordinator and maintenance superintendent, a plant engineer and a marine engineer.

The defendants in the lawsuit include many of the same defendants listed in the prior to civil actions.

All three plaintiffs seek damages as set forth in the master asbestos litigation at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.


The case ID numbers are 120403789, 120403838 and 120403856.


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