Connecticut victim is latest asbestos filer in Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 8, 2007, 10:00am

Theresa Gauthier of Connecticut filed an asbestos suit against nine defendant corporations in Madison County alleging she was exposed to asbestos while working from 1952 to 1995 as a bookkeeper, investigator, secretary and postal clerk at various locations.

Gauthier claims that during the course of her employment and during home and automotive repairs she was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers emanating from certain products he was working with and around.

According to the complaint filed Jan. 4, Gauthier was diagnosed with mesothelioma on Jan. 10, 2005.

Gauthier is represented by Robert Phillips, Nicholas Angelides, John Barnerd and Perry Browder of SimmonsCooper in East Alton.

SimmonsCooper has filed three asbestos claims so far this year, all on behalf of out of state residents.

"The plaintiff's exposure and inhalation, ingestion or absorption of the asbestos fibers was completely foreseeable and could or should have been anticipated by the defendants," the complaint states.

Gauthier claims the defendants knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon the health of people.

Gauthier alleges that the defendants included asbestos in their products even when adequate substitutes were available and failed to provide any or adequate instructions concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos.

She also claims that the defendants failed to require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.

As a result of the alleged negligence, Gauthier claims she was exposed to fibers containing asbestos and developed a disease caused only by asbestos which has disabled and disfigured her, the complaint states.

She seeks damages to help pay for the cost of her treatment.

Gauthier also suffers "great physical pain and mental anguish, and also will be hindered and prevented from pursuing her normal course of employment, thereby losing large sums of money," the complaint states.

She is seeking at least $250,000 in damages for negligence, willful and wanton acts, conspiracy, and negligent spoliation of evidence among other allegations.

"In addition to compensatory damages, an award of punitive damages is appropriate and necessary in order to punish the defendants for willful, wanton, intentional and reckless misconduct and to deter them and others from engaging in like misconduct in the future," the complaint states.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Court Judge Daniel Stack.

07 L 006

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