Minnesota woman files asbestos claim in Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 4, 2008, 9:22pm


A Minnesota woman suffering from mesothelioma filed an asbestos suit in Madison County Circuit Court June 3.

Lorrayne Weiss claims she was employed as a laborer from 1941 to 1943 at various locations and was self-employed from 1945 to 1971 remodeling, repairing, and maintaining rental properties located in Minneapolis, Minn.

As a basis for filing her case in Madison County, which is 575 miles from Minneapolis, Weiss states that defendants John Crane and Sprinkmann Sons Corp. are Illinois corporations which are "doing business" in Madison County.

Weiss 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 she was working with and around.

She names 48 defendant corporations that also include A.H. Bennett, Bondex International, CBS, Chrysler, Conwed, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, General Motors, Hallstar Company, Honeywell International, Ingersoll-Rand, International Paper, John Crane, MW Custom Papers, MetLife, Owens-Illinois, Philips Electronics and Trane US.

"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.

Weiss 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.

According to Weiss, she first became aware that she suffered from mesothelioma on Sept. 9, 2007.

Weiss 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, Weiss 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.

Weiss is seeking at least $400,000 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.

Weiss is represented by Nicholas Angelides of SimmonsCooper in East Alton.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

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