Couple sue auto parts company, cigarette companies over cancer diagnosis

12 Sep 2018 by under Legal

mesothelioma tumor wikipedia 100x100 Couple sue auto parts company, cigarette companies over cancer diagnosisMonths before Louis Summerlin died at the age of 73 from lung cancer, he and his wife Joanna filed a lawsuit against the makers of the cigarettes he used to smoke as well as the auto parts company where he worked, Law360 reports. The Summerlins claim that the companies are to blame for his terminal diagnosis, and the least they could have done was warn him of the risks.

The Summerlins’ case against tobacco companies and and auto parts company Hampden Automotive Corp., is currently being heard in Middlesex County Superior Court in Boston. Mr. Summerlin claimed that smoking cigarettes made by the two tobacco companies as well as exposure to asbestos-containing brake products while working for the automotive company put him at a much higher risk of developing lung cancer.

The Summerlins’ attorney in opening statements told the jury that Mr. Summerlin didn’t care for cigarettes until, as a teenager, he tried a menthol-flavored cigarette. The cooling, numbing sensation got him hooked. He said that internal documents proved that Brown & Williamson, the company that made the Kool menthol cigarettes Mr. Summerlin smoked before merging with R.J. Reynolds, was aware that smoking could cause lung cancer at that time but didn’t bother to warn consumers about this risk. Mr. Summerlin also smoked Marlboro Menthols, made by Philip Morris.

Mr. Summerlin also worked as a mechanic for a quarter century where he claims he was exposed to brake linings made with asbestos and manufactured by Hampden. He claimed the company should have known that asbestos exposure causes lung diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. Yet, the company failed to warn those who worked with the parts.

Source: Law360

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