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Coke plant owner sued

Woman claims negligence caused death of husband

WARREN — A Newcomerstown woman has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the estate of her late husband against the operators of the Warren coke plant, claiming the fumes from the plant had a hand in causing the man’s fatal illness.

The civil complaint charging wrongful death and negligence was filed last week in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court by Deloris Stocker, the administratrix of the estate of the late Brent Elliot Stocker, against ArcelorMittal USA, which operates the 2234 Main Ave. SW plant.

The lawsuit has been assigned to Judge W. Wyatt McKay.

In the complaint, attorney Steven J. Brian, on behalf of the Stockers, claimed the defendant consciously disregarded the rights and safety of its employees, including the late Brent Stocker, who was a welder at the Warren plant.

The lawsuit said Brent Stocker was involved in welding within the confines of a storage tank that had contained Benzene and other carcinogenic chemicals and materials and was exposed to these toxic elements without the benefit of personal protective gear. The employer also failed to warn of the hazards associated with exposure to the substances, the suit claimed.

The lawsuit also names John Does who were managers, supervisors, foremen or others who had the authority to direct Stocker’s work inside the plant, which included cleaning and welding of the tanks, which the defendants knew or should have known contained the carcinogenic chemicals.

The welder, according to the lawsuit, contracted multiple myeloma — a cancer that caused his death on Dec. 28, 2016.

The lawsuit is seeking at least $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

Several attempts to contact Brian and legal representatives with ArcelorMittal have been unsuccessful.

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