CHARLESTON – Four plaintiffs groups jointly filed asbestos lawsuits recently in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The suits were filed in Pittsburgh and name's 11 defendants. Frank Gaich, executor of the Estate of Rudy Graich, is the first plaintiff. Rudy Graich, the complaint says, worked at Weirton Steel from 1964-2002 and was diagnosed with asbestosis and lung cancer. The complaint blames the defendants for exposing him to asbestos.

Junior and Dorothy Payne also filed suit. Junior was employed at Dupont from 1941-82 as a mechanic, is 85 years old and resides in Shrewsbury.

Clarence and Joyce Strickland of Clendenin say Clarence worked as a laborer at Elk Refining/Pennzoil in Falling Rock as well as Union Carbide and is suffering from asbestosis and mesothelioma. He is 71.

The last plaintiffs group is Charles and Patsy Zeigler of Weirton. Charles says he worked at Weirton Steel from 1959-89 and has asbestosis and lung cancer. He is 72.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages. The men's spouses are making claims for loss of consortium. A visiting judge will be assigned the case. Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2348



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