A local woman is suing a host of companies in Davidson County Circuit Court, complaint filed May 9, accusing all of conspiracy and myriad forms of negligence for each company’s role in the asbestos – related death of journeyman welder Franklin Delano Delffs.
The 50-page, 152-paragraph complaint filed by Marie Culbertson Delffs on behalf of decedent Dellfs - a relative - is just shy of an historical treatise on asbestos in this country, with Delff’s lawyers attempting to tie each corporate defendant to its specific role in hiding what each knew about asbestos and the potential deleterious effects on Delffs.
The lawsuit is a “next of kin” filing and damages sought are for wrongs against decedent Delffs, incurred while he plied his welding skills at various defendant company plants throughout the Southeast. Delffs is being represented by Knoxville attorney Doug Nichol, of his own firm and Houston lawyer Lou Thompson Black, of the Bailey Perrin Bailey law firm there.
Neither attorney could be reached for comment Thursday.
The complaint doesn’t indicate when Delffs died. It does state that the cause of his death was mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer resulting from asbestos exposure. And it isn't stated what Marie's relationship is to decedent Delffs.
Forty-four corporations are named as defendants. Each is accused of negligence and most charged with conspiracy to keep Delffs in the dark about the welder’s near-constant asbestos exposure. Defendants include CBS Corp. as the successor to Viacom Inc. and Westinghouse Electric Corp., as well as several Oregon-based concerns, a few Knoxville companies and the E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co., including its plants in Old Hickory and Chattanooga.
Delffs is seeking the repayment of medical expenses incurred and wants the court to order the payment of $20 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS