Protect Missouri Workers

Legislation is being introduced that will impact Missouri families who worked for corporations that knowingly poisoned workers.
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Victim Stories

Every year Missouri families lose loved ones to preventable occupational diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer and leukemia. These diseases often do not appear until long after a worker was exposed on the job.

We invite you to meet just a few of these families. These are real, hard-working Missouri families who have been devastated due to a company’s negligence.

toxic work environment victim

Almalee Slivinsky

Almalee Slivinsky of St. Charles worked at an electric company in Wellston, Missouri for over 25 years, where she helped make light bulbs. Unfortunately, Almalee was exposed to asbestos insulation throughout her career.

After retirement, Almalee discovered she had mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos. She died a short time later in 2010.

Almalee left behind her five children and numerous grandchildren.

Under current law, Almalee was able to bring a lawsuit against her employer, a company who knowingly exposed her to a carcinogen. Though a lawsuit could not give Almalee her health, it did enable her to cover costly medical expenses and ensure her family was not left with a financial burden.

Under the proposed legislation, Almalee and other fatally ill employees would not be able to hold their employers accountable. She would only have been able to file a claim through the worker’s compensation system, which would severely limit the amount she is able to recover.


David Bradford

During his college summers, David Bradford of St. Louis worked for CertainTeed in North St. Louis, where he unloaded bags of raw asbestos. After college, David went to work for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

While in his early 50s, David learned he had mesothelioma, a rare and incurable cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He died a short time later.

Under current law, David was able to bring a lawsuit against CertainTeed, a company who – now foreign owned – knew the health risks of asbestos and chose to expose employees anyway. Though a lawsuit could not restore David’s health, it did enable him to cover costly medical expenses and ensure his family were not left with a financial burden.

Under the proposed legislation, David and other fatally ill employees would not be able to hold CertainTeed accountable. He would only have been able to file a claim through the worker’s compensation system, which would severely limit the amount he is able to recover.


John Stevens

John Stevens worked for CertainTeed in North St. Louis for over 30 years, where he worked in all departments of the asbestos cement plant.  He unloaded bags of asbestos fiber from railroad cars, dumped asbestos bags into mixers, and cut and fitted the finished asbestos cement pipe.

After retiring from CertainTeed, John developed peritoneal mesothelioma, a particularly painful and incurable form of cancer caused by his asbestos exposure at CertainTeed.  He suffered from the effects of his mesothelioma for over a year before dying at age 78.  John was the primary caregiver for his wife of over 50 years, Clarice Stevens, who survived him.

John brought a lawsuit against CertainTeed and the suit continued on behalf of his aggrieved family upon his death.  John’s family was able to obtain fair compensation for his pain, suffering and death, all of which could have been prevented had CertainTeed simply warned its employees about the dangers of asbestos and protected them from these dangers.

If SB 1 becomes law, future victims like John Stevens and his family will be denied fair compensation and their right to justice.


Peter Seper

Pete Seper of St. Louis worked for a local brewery for over 30 years. His wife was also a lifetime employee at the same company. During his time there, Pete was a brewer and work with raw asbestos during the beer filtration process.

Several decades later, Pete was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and incurable cancer linked exclusively to asbestos exposure. Pete died a short time after his diagnosis.

Under current law, Pete was able to bring a lawsuit against this corporation, who knowingly exposed him to a carcinogen. Though a lawsuit could not give Pete his health, it did enable him to cover costly medical expenses and ensure his wife was not left with a financial burden.

Under the proposed legislation, Pete would not be able to hold his employer accountable. He would only have been able to file a claim through the worker’s compensation system, which would severely limit the amount he is able to recover.


workers compensation

Ray Ellis

Ray Ellis of Missouri spent his life working as a machinist, including a number of years at a toxic facility in Herculaneum, Missouri. Ray was continually exposed to asbestos on the job.

When he retired, Ray was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a fast-moving and fatal lung-related cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. When Ray died, he left behind a wife, children and grandchildren.

Under current law, Ray was able to bring a lawsuit against his employer, a company who knowingly exposed him to a carcinogen. Though a lawsuit could not restore his health, it did enable Ray to cover costly medical expenses and ensure his wife and family were not left with a financial burden.

Under the proposed legislation, Ray and other fatally ill employees would not be able to hold his employer accountable. He would only have been able to file a claim through the worker’s compensation system, which would severely limit the amount he is able torecover.

(see additional information on some of this employer’s misconduct: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/mm/doerun.html)