MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Lawyers for U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento, whose cancer reportedly has spread to his remaining lung, plan to sue 11 companies, claiming they negligently exposed him to asbestos fibers, the Star Tribune reported Thursday.
The Minnesota Democrat announced earlier this year he would not seek a 13th term after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare cancer associated with asbestos exposure.
In February, his left lung and diaphragm were removed, followed by months of chemotherapy and radiation.
About 10 days ago, while draining fluid from Vento's remaining lung, doctors at Rochester's Mayo Clinic found that the cancer had recurred. A person familiar with Vento's condition told the Star Tribune that the disease has now invaded his right lung, leaving doctors no way to remove the cancerous tissue.
Vento's chief of staff, Larry Romans, told the newspaper Wednesday night that Vento was unavailable for comment. Romans said he did not know "any specifics" about Vento's current condition.
Attorney Mike Sieben said he would file a complaint Thursday in Ramsey County District Court against the companies that supplied or installed asbestos products at four plants where Vento worked as a young man between 1958 and 1969.
Vento, who plans to retire at the end of the year, turns 60 on Oct. 7.
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