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home : news : local   June 28, 2016

10/25/2012 6:35:00 AM
Woman sues over mother's death relating to furnace, controls

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

OTTAWA — A Spring Valley woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the heating contractor who tried to fix her elderly mother’s furnace and may have instead caused her death.

Marcia Staats recently filed a nine-count complaint in La Salle County Circuit Court against Chapman’s Mechanical Systems Inc. and against Honeywell International, Inc.

According to the complaint, Chapman’s improperly repaired an oil furnace on Oct. 28, 2010, in the Peru home of Alice E. Damm, 87, of Peru.

Damm died two days later. According to the complaint, the on/off switch malfunctioned and, despite being set at 68 degrees, the home’s interior temperature climbed above 100 degrees. Carbon monoxide poisoning was a contributing factor in her death, the complaint alleges.

A call left with a Chapman’s supervisor was not returned before press time today.
Staats and Thomas Strow, an attorney with the Law Offices of Peter F. Ferracuti, P.C., seek unspecified damages plus funeral expenses from Chapman’s and Honeywell, the furnace manufacturer.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Eugene P. Daugherity. Court dates are pending.
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

Related Links:
• Local business operator responds to suit

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