Two personal injury claims recently filed in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas allege that workers developed nervous system disorders due to being exposed to welding fumes without having adequate ventilation.
On December 17, William Ainsworth, Larry Goodson, J.K. Kinsler, Lloyd Kee, James Milam, Russell Nalls, Amos Snow, Louis Woodruff, and Helen Towns filed suit both individually and as estate representative of Sterling Towns against The Lincoln Electric Company, Linde Inc. (formerly known as The Boc Group Inc.), TDY Industries Inc., and Hobart Brothers Company.
An identical suit was also filed in Marshall federal court by Frank Brevard.
The suits state that during the welding process, fumes containing manganese, which is medically recognized as being toxic to the human central nervous system, are emitted.
The plaintiffs claim that manganese exposure results in a progressive condition known as manganese poisoning or intoxication, a condition which shows neurological symptoms that are similar to and/or often confused with Parkinson’s disease.
According to the plaintiffs, the cumulative effect of being exposed to welding fumes has been well known for decades, but the defendants negligently failed to warn the plaintiffs of the dangers, despite knowing them. The plaintiffs say that had they known the risk, they would have taken necessary precautions.
The plaintiffs allege strict liability, marketing defect, design defect, breach of warranty, and negligence.
According to the complaint, the defendants’ participation in the trade organizations National Electrical Manufacturers Associations and the American Welding Society, which took on the “responsibility of safety and warnings of users of welding products,” means that they were aware of the dangers.
The plaintiffs also claim that the defendants used the organizations to commit fraud and negligent misrepresentations, concealing, suppressing, and omitting material information regarding the effects of welding fumes.
The plaintiffs seek damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, lost earning capacity, disfigurement, physical impairment, mental impairment, medical expenses and care, household services, lost consortium, medical monitoring, fear of cancer or future disease, and funeral and burial expenses.