Category Archives: Illinois

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment on Conspiracy Claims Appellate Court of Illinois, June 19, 2018

ILLINOIS — The plaintiff, James Johnson, was diagnosed with asbestosis after working with insulation products in the construction industry, beginning in 1965. He filed suit against numerous defendants, and included a claim that Pneumo Abex LLC, Owens-Illinois, Inc., Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Honeywell International, Inc. were involved in a civil conspiracy to conceal the dangers of asbestos. The trial court thoroughly reviewed the evidence obtained during discovery and presented at hearings, including the Saranac Study, and determined there was not clear and convincing evidence…

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Seventh Circuit Upholds Dismiss of John Crane’s Fraud Suit Against Plaintiff’s Counsel Based Upon Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, June 4, 2018

ILLINOIS – John Crane filed separate lawsuits against two plaintiffs’ law firms, Shein Law Center and Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, alleging fraud, conspiracy and violations of the RICO Act related to asbestos lawsuits filed by the firms against John Crane. Shein Law Center is based in Pennsylvania, while Simon Greenstone is based in Texas. John Crane is an Illinois resident. John Crane filed suit against the firms in the Northern District of Illinois. The district court dismissed both matters due to a lack of personal…

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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Over Defendant Leads to Remand and Dismissal Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, SIXTH DIVISION. May 18, 2018

ILLINOIS —  The plaintiff brought this action against General Electric (GE) arguing that he developed mesothelioma from exposure during his work at various locations for Republic Steel from 1961-1999. According to the plaintiff, the work took place in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. The plaintiff, a resident of Alabama, filed suit in Illinois. GE moved to dismiss the matter for lack of personal jurisdiction. Specifically, GE argued that the plaintiff’s complaint lacked facts establishing personal jurisdiction through Illinois’ long-arm statute. Moreover, GE took the position…

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Personal Jurisdiction Challenges Growing in Madison County; May Lead to Fewer Asbestos Filings Supreme Court of Illinois, September 21, 2017

ILLINOIS — Continuing a national trend following the Bristol Myers Squibb Co. v. Supreme Court of California (2017) and Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014), the Supreme Court of Illinois has issued a personal jurisdiction opinion that will limit the ability of out-of-state plaintiffs to file suit in Illinois against “non-resident” or foreign defendants. In the matter of Aspen American Insurance Company v. Interstate Warehousing, Inc., Eastern Fish Company (Eastern) is a New Jersey-based corporation that sources and imports fish products. In 2013, Eastern contracted with…

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Plaintiff’s Issues on Appeal Ruled Non-Prejudicial, Insulation was Not a Substantial Cause United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, August 31, 2017

Charles Kirk brought suit against Owens-Illinois and Exxon Mobil alleging that his lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos containing material.  From 1954 until 1960 Plaintiff worked aboard navy vessels removing insulation produced by Owens–Illinois, Inc., which he claimed exposed him to asbestos fibers. And for two weeks, he worked as an independent contractor at Exxon Mobil’s  Joliet refinery replacing heaters that Plaintiff claimed were insulated with asbestos. Mobil presented counter-evidence that the insulation at its refinery did not contain asbestos.  Notably, Plaintiff smoked…

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Lung Cancer Case Transferred After Defendants Successfully Argue Forum Non Conveniens on Appeal Appellate Court of Illinois, June 13, 2017

Plaintiffs Irvin and Marlene Rohl brought this action against several defendants including Caterpillar and Navistar. The plaintiffs argued that Mr. Rohl’s lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos from brakes, gaskets, clutches, engines, and heavy duty equipment made by Caterpillar and Navistar. At the trial level,  the defendants moved to transfer the case from Cook County to Winnebago County on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The court denied the motion after a finding that the plaintiff had attended trade school in Cook County…

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Compound Manufacturer’s Directed Verdict Reversed Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Second Division, May 9, 2017

The estate of decedent Ronnie Startley filed a complaint against multiple defendants, including Welco Manufacturing Company, alleging that the defendants’ products caused the decedent to contract mesothelioma. All defendants except Welco either were dismissed or settled with plaintiffs prior to trial. Welco proceeded to trial. After trial, the trial court directed a verdict in favor of Welco, holding that there was not sufficient evidence to create an issue of material fact as to whether the use of Welco’s products caused the decedent to develop mesothelioma.…

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Plaintiffs Presented Sufficient Evidence to Withstand Motion for Directed Verdict Appellate Court of Illinois, March 14, 2017

The decedent’s estate filed a claim alleging asbestos exposure caused decedent to develop mesothelioma. The trial court directed a verdict in favor of Welco Manufacturing Company because no witnesses could specify how often the decedent used Welco’s products. The plaintiffs appealed, and the appellate court reversed and remanded for a new trial. The decedent’s cousin, Walter, testified that he and the decedent applied joint compound on close to 50 commercial and residential sites for four months in Illinois in 1965. Walter testified they used, among…

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Madison County Jury Renders Defense Verdict for Brake Grinder Manufacturer Madison County, Illinois, Third Judicial Circuit, February 28, 2017

Plaintiffs Stan and Janet Urban, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, filed a lawsuit in Madison County, Illinois in March 2013. The plaintiffs alleged Mr. Urban developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure from using Ammco brake grinders while employed as a high school auto technology teacher. Defendant Hennessy Industries was the last remaining defendant at trial. Ammco is Hennessy’s predecessor. The jury disagreed with the plaintiffs’ request for $10 million, and rendered a verdict in favor of Hennessy. The plaintiffs argued that Hennessy had the power to…

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GE Granted Dismissal on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds While Plaintiff’s Loss of Consortium Claim Remains Against Several Defendants U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, December 2, 2016

The plaintiff filed this complaint against multiple defendants asserting claims in negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, and loss of consortium for her decedent’s development of mesothelioma. The decedent was alleged to have been exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy on board the USS Maryland from 1941-46. Three defendants moved to dismiss the loss of consortium claim. The moving defendants argued that Illinois’ wrongful death act rendered her survival loss of consortium claim as “superfluous.” The plaintiff countered and argued that her loss…

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