The widow of a man who died from lung cancer has sued three dozen defendant companies, claiming they knew or should have known their asbestos-containing products were dangerous.
Barbara Dermody, as special administrator of the estate of her late husband John Dermody, filed the four-count complaint Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court. Each count seeks a judgment of more than the court’s jurisdictional amount, plus costs.
Dermody brought the suit under the state’s Survival and Wrongful Death acts in an attempt to seek damages to benefit her late husband's surviving heirs, which include her and their three children.
According to the suit, Dermody’s husband was employed in various capacities including as a fireman, in maintenance and as an operating engineer from 1974 to 2011, during which time she claims he was exposed to asbestos from the defendants’ products.
He died on May 9, 2012 after battling lung cancer, the suit states, noting that he became aware of the disease and that it was wrongfully caused in August 2011.
Dermody’s suit names three dozen defendants, including A.W. Chesterton Co., Crane Co., Union Carbide Corp., Pneumo-Abex and Weil-McLain.
All of the defendants, the suit states, manufactured, sold, distributed, marketed or installed products containing asbestos.
Dermody asserts that the defendants failed to exercise care and caution for her late husband’s safety by including asbestos in their products and not warning about its dangers, among other allegations.
As a result of his exposure to asbestos, Dermody claims that her husband developed lung cancer, which ultimately led to his death.
Prior to his death, the suit states, he experienced physical pain and mental anguish and incurred medical costs associated with his treatment.
In addition, Dermody asserts that as a result of her husband’s death, she and her children have been deprived of his means of support and loss to society. The suit adds that his estate also spent substantial sums of money on his funeral and burial.
Besides the claims under the Wrongful Death and Survival acts, the suit alleges conspiracy in that some of the defendants allegedly knew about the dangers of asbestos, but agreed to withhold results of research studies and not warn their employees.
Dermody is represented by Matthew J. Adair of Cooney & Conway in Chicago. The firm filed at least two asbestos suits in Cook County Circuit Court on Wednesday.