A former laborer at the Pabst Brewing Company in Peoria alleges asbestos exposure caused her lung cancer in a 10-count asbestos lawsuit filed against 74 defendants in Madison County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint filed April 20, Katie Gamble worked for Pabst from 1978 to 1982.

She claims her exposure to asbestos fibers was completely foreseeable and should have been anticipated by the defendants.

Gamble claims that on June 9, 2004, she first became aware that she had developed lung cancer and that her illness was wrongfully caused.

She claims the defendants intentionally or with a reckless disregard for her safety:

  • included asbestos in their products, when the defendants knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers would have a toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon her health;

  • included asbestos in their products when adequate substitutions were available;

  • failed to provide adequate warning to people working with and around the products of the dangers of inhaling, ingesting or otherwise absorbed fibers in them;

  • failed to provide adequate instruction concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos products; and

  • failed to conduct tests on the asbestos-containing products, manufactured, sold or delivered by the defendants in order to determine the hazards to which workers might be exposed.

    "Pabst Brewing Company, knew or should have known at least by 1930 that asbestos-containing products which it supplied and which were used extensively throughout the facility, were a health hazard to people who worked with and around them, and in the alternative, had no positive proof that prolonged exposure to asbestos was safe," the complaint states.

    Despite that, Gamble claims Pabst deliberately made her work in dangerous areas of the facility knowing that it posed a significant health hazard. She also claims the company deliberately failed to abate or contain the unsafe work environment, provide masks, respirators, or other protective apparel, and deliberately failed to restrict her from working in dangerous areas of the facility.

    "Pabst Brewing Company through its silence deliberately, intentionally, wantonly engaged in false and deceptive conduct of a material nature," the complaint states.

    Gamble claims that her lung cancer has caused great physical pain and mental anguish, required her to spend large sums of money on medical care, loss of wages, and loss of a normal life.

    Her husband, Thurman Gamble, also is seeking damages claiming that he has been deprived of the companionship and society of his wife.

    Represented by Randy Gori of Edwardsville, the Thurmans are seeking damages in excess of $500,000, plus all costs of the suit.

    The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.

    06 L 360

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