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Asbestos lawsuit filed over St. Louis steam pipe rupture

A St. Louis man has filed a lawsuit against an energy company in connection with last month's steam pipe explosion in downtown St. Louis. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that the rupture caused him to be exposed to asbestos fibers, which, in turn, caused him to suffer "permanent and progressive injuries" to his respiratory system.

The incident took place last month when a steam pipe ruptured underneath a downtown St. Louis intersection, blowing the cover off of a manhole and sending a cloud of steam several stories into the air. Along with that cloud came a large amount of asbestos fiber insulation from around the pipe, which was scattered throughout the intersection.

The streets near the explosion site were closed as city employees worked quickly to remove the asbestos and clean up the surrounding area. You can read more about the explosion on our previous Madison County asbestos blog post.

Now, a man has filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit filed against Trigen-St. Louis Energy Corporation in connection with the steam pipe rupture. In his suit, the plaintiff claims that the explosion "was not the first serious failure of the steam pipe delivery system that the action or inaction of defendant Trigen-St. Louis showed complete indifference to, or conscious disregard to the safety of its neighbors, including the residents of the surrounding area and the plaintiff."

The lawsuit does not specify precisely where and to what capacity the plaintiff, who is seeking more than $5 million in total damages, came into contact with the asbestos. The energy company has yet to respond to the suit.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Downtown steam pipe rupture leads to lawsuit," Jennifer Mann, May 4, 2012

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