The widow of a former steelworker has filed a lawsuit alleging that her husband died from a lung disease he contracted as a result of asbestos exposure.

Helen June Ingram, as independent administrator for the Estate of Gerald A. Pietrzak, filed suit Dec. 3 in Cook County Circuit Court against more than two dozen companies, including Crane Co., Union Carbide Corp., and General Electric Co.

According to the complaint, Pietrzak was exposed to the defendants' asbestos-containing between 1957 to 1979, during which time he worked as a steelworker at various locations. Ingram alleges the asbestos exposure caused Pietrzak to develop asbestosis, which lead to his Jan. 18, 2013 death.

Ingram accuses the defendants of including asbestos in their products even though they knew or should have known the associated dangers of working around asbestos, among other allegations.

She seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus court fees, and is represented by attorney David O. Barrett of Cooney & Conway in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L012518.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and represents only one side of the story.

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