By Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2020

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A woman is suing the city of Lincoln alleging that her sister died from mesothelioma after she was exposed to asbestos while working at the now shuttered Pershing Center arena.

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Dixie Johnson filed the lawsuit this month on behalf of the estate of her sister, Donna Grant, who died in February at the age of 60.

Attorney Jon Rehm said Grant started working at the Pershing Center in 1974 and stayed on part-time through 2014, when the building no longer was in use. He said she was there when maintenance crews removed or replaced pipe covering, when patrons touched the popcorn ceiling and vibrations during concerts all caused pieces to fall as dust.

Rehm alleges the city was negligent for failing to conduct tests on the materials and for failing to take reasonable precautions in the hiring and supervision of subcontractors.

The estate is seeking payment of Grant’s hospital and medical bills and burial and funeral costs, as well as for her pain and anguish before she died and her family’s suffering.

The city hasn’t yet filed a response to the lawsuit, and City Attorney Yohance Christie declined to comment.

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