Gori

Four more asbestos lawsuits have been added to the growing list of cases in St. Clair County's asbestos docket.

Joan Mozeika of New Jersey filed the sixth asbestos lawsuit of the year in St. Clair County Circuit Court on behalf of her recently deceased next-of-kin, Alexander L. Rossi, while Evelyn L. Thiele of Florida filed the seventh on behalf of her recently deceased next-of-kin, Donald C. Thiele; Brian Belkin of Texas filed the seventh; and Marsha K. Ayer of Michigan filed the eighth on behalf of her recently deceased next-of-kin, Gary M. Ayer.

Mozeika, Thiele, Belkin and Ayer are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Erik Karst and Matthew J. Wright of Karst and von Oiste in Houston will serve of counsel.

As St. Clair County's asbestos docket continues to grow with out-of-state plaintiffs, defendants await an appellate court ruling which challenges orders from former Circuit Judge Patrick Young, who accepted cases from Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania a day before he retired last December.

In her complaint filed Feb. 2, Mozeika alleges 36 defendant companies caused her recently deceased next-of-kin, Alexander Rossi, to develop lung cancer after his exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout his career.

Rossi worked as a tile setter and brick layer from 1946 until 1980, as a home repairman and remodeler from 1946 until 1980 and as an auto repairman from 1946 until 1980, according to the complaint.

In her complaint filed Feb. 22, Evelyn L. Thiele alleges 31 defendant companies caused her recently deceased next-of-kin, Donald C. Thiele, to develop lung cancer after his exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout his career.

Donald C. Thiele worked as a tile setter and brick layer for various contractors in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan from 1950 until 1980, according to the complaint.

In his complaint filed Feb. 22, Belkin alleges 38 defendant companies caused him to develop lung cancer after his exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout his career.

Belkin worked as a machinist mate in the U.S. Navy from 1977 until 1981, as a boiler room maintenance man at Santa Rosa Hospital in the 1980s, as a construction repairman and remodel worker for Fuller Tile Company in the 1980s, as a mechanic at IND-MAR Diesel in the 1980s, as a mechanic at Arlington Salvage and Wrecker in the 1980s, as a control room operator for Lone Star Energy in the 1980s, as a maintenance man at Ramada Inn in the 1980s, as a maintenance mechanic at Hilton Palacio Del Rio from 1985 until 1986, as a home repairman and remodeler from 1976 until 1977 and as an auto repairman from the 1970s until the 1980s, the suit states.

In her complaint filed Feb. 22, Marsha K. Ayer alleges 38 defendant companies caused her recently deceased next-of-kin, Gary Ayer, to develop lung cancer after his exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout his career.

Gary Ayer worked as a line worker and powerhouse engineer at General Motors from 1972 until 2005 and as a home repairman and remodeler from the 1960s until the 1970s, the complaint says.

The defendants should have known of the harmful effects of asbestos, but failed to exercise reasonable care and caution for Rossi's, Donald C. Thiele's, Belkin's and Gary Ayer's safety, the suits state.

As a result of their asbestos-related diseases, Rossi, Donald C. Thiele, Belkin and Gary Ayer became disabled and disfigured, incurred medical costs and suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, the complaints say. In addition, they became prevented from pursuing their normal courses of employment and, as a result, lost large sums of money that would have accrued to them, the plaintiffs claim.

Due to Rossi's death on Nov. 14, 2009, Mozeika lost his society and support and incurred funeral and burial expenses, according to the complaint.

Because of Donald C. Thiele's death on Feb. 22, 2009, Evelyn L. Thiele lost Donald C. Thiele's society and support and incurred funeral and burial expenses, according to the complaint.

Because of Gary Ayer's death on July 28, Marsha Ayer lost his society and support and incurred substantial funeral and burial costs, the suit states.

In her five-count complaint, Mozeika is seeking compensatory damages of more than $100,000, a judgment of more than $50,000, economic damages of more than $50,000 and punitive and exemplary damages of more than $50,000, plus punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish Sprinkmann Insulation and Sprinkmann Sons Corporation and to deter them from committing similar actions in the future and other relief the court deems just.

In her nine-count complaint, Evelyn L. Thiele is seeking economic damages of more than $200,000, a judgment of more than $50,000, punitive and exemplary damages of more than $150,000, compensatory damages of more than $100,000 and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish Sprinkmann Insulation and Sprinkmann Sons Corporation and to deter them from committing similar actions in the future.

In his five-count complaint, Belkin is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, compensatory damages of more than $50,000 and punitive and exemplary damages of more than $100,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

In her five-count complaint, Marsha Ayer is seeking punitive and exemplary damages of more than $100,000, compensatory damages of more than $50,000, economic damages of more than $50,000 and a judgment of more than $50,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

At the appellate court in Mount Vernon, justices are hearing an appeal made by defendants in several asbestos cases filed by out of state plaintiffs in St. Clair County. The defendants are arguing that St. Clair County is not an appropriate venue.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case numbers: 11-L-56, 11-L-90, 11-L-91 and 11-L-93.

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