Illinois woman claims asbestos exposure in suit

Kelly Holleran Sep. 22, 2008, 7:00am

An Illinois woman recently diagnosed with mesothelioma has filed an asbestos suit against 62 defendant corporations, claiming the disease was wrongfully caused.

Mary Zerkle claims she was diagnosed with the disease May 12, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 17 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Zerkle says she has worked since 1988 as a legal secretary/bookkeeper at various locations throughout Illinois, according to the lawsuit.

She claims her father, who worked from 1950 until 1984 as a union machinist at Pabst Brewery in Peoria, Ill., would bring asbestos fibers home with him on his clothing.

She claims her disease was caused after she was exposed to and inhaled those fibers.

Zerkle states her exposure was foreseeable and should have been anticipated by the defendants, according to the lawsuit.

Zerkle alleges the asbestos-related disease has disabled and disfigured her and has and will continue to compel her to expend and become liable for large sums of money for hospital, medical, and other health and services necessary for the treatment of the disease.

Zerkle also has and will continue to experience great physical pain and mental anguish as a result of the disease, she claims in the lawsuit.

Mesothelioma hindered and prevented Zerkle from pursuing her normal course of employment, according to the suit.

As a result, she lost large sums of money, she claims.

In the eight-count lawsuit, Zerkle seeks sums in excess of $50,000, punitive and exemplary damages in excess of $100,000 and compensatory damages in excess of $200,000.

She also seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish the defendants for their misconduct and to deter similarly situated parties from committing like acts of misconduct in the future.

He is represented by Timothy F. Thompson, Jr., of SimmonsCooper LLC in East Alton.

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