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Asbestos Conspiracy Dates Back 80 Years,|158 Plaintiffs Claim In Madison County

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and John Crane Inc. conspired in the 1920s to misinform the public about the dangers of asbestos, 158 plaintiffs claim in Madison County Court. The plaintiffs say the industry conspired to create a favorable market for their asbestos-related products.

The plaintiffs say the conspirators - Johns-Manville, Raybestos-Manhattan, Metropolitan and others - conducted research on asbestos-related heath problems.

All of the plaintiffs were exposed to asbestos, or are survivors of people who were.

In 1935, Dr. Anthony Lanza, with full knowledge of Metropolitan, altered a study at the request of the asbestos industry in order to wrongly influence the U.S. Public Health Service, the medical community and state legislatures, including the New Jersey Worker's Compensation Commission. Metropolitan was the general medical, disability and life insurance carrier for the conspirators and for others in the asbestos industry.

The conspirators suppressed the work of other scientists and suppressed magazine articles dealing with Asbestosis, the suit states. The plaintiffs are represented by Randy Gori of Alton.

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