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December 5, 2016

Former Tennessee Senator Battling Mesothelioma and Fighting for Accountability

Tennessean Ray Albright is perhaps best known for his long-standing commitment to public service, having served in state senate from 1968-1994 as a member of Chattanooga’s delegation. He advocated for the armed forces as chairman of the Employer Support the Guard and Reserve Committee, fought to better schools as head of the Senate Education Committee, and was instrumental in advancing Chattanooga’s industrial development, among other accomplishments.

Well into his retirement, Albright recently spoke with a reporter not of his storied political career, but about his battle with mesothelioma, a deadly lung disease he tragically developed 40 years after taking a job cutting steel at Combustion Engineering in 1953. During his 19 years on the job, Albright and other workers contended with a toxic, airborne dust that “was so thick, you couldn’t see ten feet in front of you,” he told WTVC.

Albright had no way of knowing that the dust could result in a terminal lung cancer, he said. He believes, however, that Combustion Engineering was aware but did nothing to warn or protect him and other workers.

There is no cure for mesothelioma, and the disease can develop years, even decades, after the initial exposure to asbestos. Albright is currently working to hold accountable the companies that manufactured, sold and distributed the products to which he was exposed.  He is represented by Motley Rice attorney Rett Guerry and co-counsel Jimmy Rodgers and Jerry Summers of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers.

Watch his full interview here.