Ripsime Darbinian of California claims exposure to airborne asbestos fibers from family members' clothing caused her to develop mesothelioma.

She filed suit against Bondex International, Garlock Incorporated, Georgia-Pacific, John Crane, Owens-Illinois, RPM International and Young Insulation Group in Madison County Circuit Court Aug. 23.

Though her home is thousands of miles away, she claims John Crane is an Illinois corporation, organized and existing pursuant to Illinois law and is doing business in Madison County.

Darbinian claims her husband Toros was employed as a truck driver, technician and repairman at various locations and would on many occasions work with and around asbestos and asbestos containing products.

"Dust created by working with and around asbestos and asbestos-containing products would permeate the person and clothing of the plaintiff's spouse," the complaint states. "This dust contained asbestos fiber."

Darbinian claims her husband would carry the asbestos dust on his clothing home with him where it would again become airborne.

"The plaintiff would be repeatedly exposed to this asbestos dust from her spouse's person and clothing," the complaint states.

She claims she also was exposed to asbestos during non-occupational work projects including home and automotive repairs, maintenance and remodeling.

Darbinian was diagnosed with mesothelioma on Aug. 23, 2005, and subsequently became aware her illness was wrongfully caused, the suit claims.

The complaint alleges that 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, Darbinian claims she was exposed to fibers containing asbestos, and developed a disease caused only by asbestos which has disabled and disfigured her.

Darbinian also claims that she has sought, but been unable to obtain, full disclosure of relevant documents and information from the defendants leading her to believe the defendants destroyed documents related to asbestos.

"It was foreseeable to a reasonable person/entity in the respective positions of defendants, that said documents and information constituted evidence, which was material to potential civil litigation-namely asbestos litigation," the complaint states.

She claims as a result of each defendant breaching its duty to preserve material evidence by destroying documents and information she has been prejudiced and impaired in proving claims against all potential parties.

"Plaintiff has been caused to suffer damages in the form of impaired ability to recover against defendants and lost or reduced compensation from other potentially liable parties in this litigation," the complaint states.

Represented by Nicholas Angelides, Perry Browder and John Barnerd of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Darbinian is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $150,000, plus punitive damages.

"An award of punitive damages is appropriate and necessary in order to punish defendants for their willful, wanton, intentional and/or reckless misconduct and to deter defendants and others from engaging in like misconduct in the future."

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.

06 L 708

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