Concrete Factual Information Starts the 30-Day Removal Clock

ILLINOIS — In September 2016, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and in September 2017, he filed suit against a defendant, and a number of other parties, alleging his illness was caused by exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff claimed that his exposure occurred between 1970 and 2004 while he was serving in the United States Air Force, working as a commercial airline mechanic, and/or engaging in home remodeling and other activities.

The defendant was served with the plaintiff’s complaint on September 21, 2017 and filed …

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Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment on Conspiracy Claims

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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Dismissal of RICO Suit Against Plaintiffs’ Firms Affirmed Upon a Finding of Lack of Jurisdiction

ILLINOIS — Plaintiff John Crane Inc. (JCI) brought Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suits against two plaintiffs’ firms in Illinois alleging the firms conspired to hide evidence related to exposure to other asbestos products throughout discovery in numerous cases. The defendants, the Shein Law Center and Simon Greenstone Pantier Bartlett (Simon), moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. Shein also moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The District Court dismissed for after determining it lacked personal jurisdiction.…

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Seventh Circuit Upholds Dismiss of John Crane’s Fraud Suit Against Plaintiff’s Counsel Based Upon Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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