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Mesothelioma Lawyer - Article - Companies Move for Judgment, Dismissal

Posted on Jan 31, 2006 | The Daily Times

Companies Move for Judgment, Dismissal

by Darren Dunlap

Doug Satterfield wants to keep fighting for his daughter, the late Amanda Satterfield, who died as a result of an asbestos-related disease.

Doug Satterfield appeared in Blount County Circuit Court Monday along with family and friends for a hearing in which ALCOA Inc. sought dismissal of her lawsuit against the company.

Doug Satterfield's exposure to asbestos dust as a company employee and, later, his daughter's exposure to it, resulted in her death, according to a suit filed by Amanda Satterfield two years ago.

He is acting as representative for the estate of his deceased daughter.

Referring to his daughter's illness and death, the 51-year-old Blount County father said, ``It's still pretty fresh. It's tough watching your daughter die of disease caused by asbestos.''

She was 25 years old.

But the law doesn't recognize a ``duty of care in `clothing exposure''' cases, attorneys for ALCOA argued in a motion filed Jan. 23, 2006 .

Amanda Satterfield died Jan. 1, 2005 , after a long battle with mesothelioma, a rare cancer related to asbestos exposure.

Amanda Satterfield filed a lawsuit against ALCOA Inc. and Breeding Insulation Co. Inc., of Nashville , on Dec. 8, 2003 . In the suit, she alleged her father, Doug Satterfield, wasn't warned of the dangers of asbestos by ALCOA.

``Amanda Satterfield was exposed to harmful asbestos dust and fibers from the day of her birth from her father's use of asbestos products and inadvertent introduction of dust and fibers into their home and personal environments,'' she alleged in the 2003 suit, initially filed in Knox County Circuit Court.

Doug Satterfield said Monday that he hauled asbestos for ALCOA, starting his career with the company in 1973. He served in the military from 1975 to 1978 and returned to work at ALCOA. He said Monday he is still an employee of the plant, but is temporarily disabled. ALCOA, he said, doesn't want the case to go to trial.

``If they're right, why not let it go to court? Why are they afraid?'' he said. ``We're not afraid.''

ALCOA spokeswoman Melissa Copelan said the company filed the motion Monday and is awaiting the outcome.

Blount County Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young heard the motion Monday but did not rule on the matter.

In the opening paragraphs of the motion for judgment, attorneys for ALCOA contend, `` Tennessee has never recognized a duty of care in `clothing exposure' premises cases. This is a case of first impression which is important to the proper development of Tennessee law. ..

``Legislatures, courts, and even grand juries across the nation are saying `no' to the expansion of litigation based on occupational exposures,'' attorneys at Knoxville firm Hunton and Williams LLP wrote.

The plaintiffs failed to show that Amanda Satterfield's ``injury was a reasonably foreseeable probability,'' and her premature birth in 1979 and her death were not ``reasonably foreseen'' by ALCOA, according to ALCOA's motion for judgment.

``Nor has plaintiff alleged facts which indicate that ALCOA could foresee that mesothelioma, a rare and debilitating illness, could strike a non-employee at such a young age who had never set foot on an ALCOA premises,'' according to the company's suit.

Amanda Satterfield's initial lawsuit sought $10 million in compensatory and $10 million in punitive damages.

This case isn't about money, said Doug Satterfield.

``How many people will have to go through what we went through?'' he said Monday. ``It's not about money. It's about what's right. It's about justice. She didn't choose to die from this.''http://www.thedailytimes.com/sited/story/html/229038

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