A Layton woman who claims she contracted toxic shock syndrome from Playtex tampons has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking $5 million in punitive damages.

Holly Palmer contends she became severely ill from using the tampons and inserters in late 1986. Her suit was filed late last week in 2nd District Court, naming International Playtex Inc. as the defendant.Company spokesman Martin Petersen said Monday from the company's New Jersey headquarters that he did not know whether Playtex had been served with the complaint. "Because this is pending litigation, we have no comment," he said.

The lawsuit alleges Palmer required hospitalization, experienced profound depression and delusions, suffered impaired judgment and became introverted. It also contends her decision-making ability was incapacitated as a result of the illness and that she attempted suicide because of her distress.

"This behavior was totally inconsistent with her normal intellectual abilities and her personality type," the suit said.

Toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that sometimes causes infections. The majority of such cases occur among tampon users, according to a user pamphlet prepared by Playtex.

Warning signs of the syndrome include sudden high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, dizziness or a rash that looks like a sunburn.

Toxic shock syndrome was identified in the late 1970s, and tampon manufacturers now provide consumers with warnings about the condition.