The Litigation Industry – 1 Lung Cancer and 17 Mesothelioma Lawsuits – A Week’s Wo

Many words have been written and said about asbestos litigation and class action litigation in Madison County. Disturbingly, academics and many others lack meaningful access to many concrete facts regarding the day in, day out events in Madison County and other courts that are very active in tort litigation. Instead, war stories and antecdotes – often but not always extreme – tend to dominate the media and academic exchanges, and produce many disputes about what really is and is not happening. In that light, the points of this post are 1) to provide an example of one week of asbestos claims filed in Madison County and 2) also to point out that the litigation industry now includes free news sources focused on providing a continuing flow of information regarding some of the active forums for tort litigation.

One group of sources for data consist of “the Record” publications that focus on Illinois’ Madison and St. Clair counties, Southeast Texas and West Virginia. Specific to Illinois are the Madison and St. Clair County Records. All are free online publications, with paid print versions. The publications are run by private ownership, with an investment from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of course has a view but that does not change the facts nor the reality that these publications provide by far the best real time, free and easy windows in to the goings on in these active venues that are so much a part of the litigation industry.

Free email subscriptions bring readers the news each week as defined by the Record; subscription sign up is available at the Ma,dison Record’s home page (here). More or less each week the Record publishes a summary of the new asbstos case filings ( I keep bugging them to also put the complaints online, but so far that has not happened.) Set out below is the weekly summary for the week July 27-31.

As you read the case summaries, note how few of the cases appear to have a meaningful connection to Illinois. And, beyond considering the litigation industry view, consider also the widespread impact of cancer. Imagine what these families have been through or are going through as they try to cope with the devastion caused by these 18 of the 1.4 million cancers that will be diagnosed this year in the United Sates according to this detailed Powerpoint presentation for 2009 from from the American Cancer Society.

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18 new asbestos cases filed July 27-31

8/20/2009 8:39 AM By Kelly Holleran

A total of 18 new asbestos lawsuits were filed in Madison County during the week of July 27 through July 31.

The following claims were filed:

–Norbert and Marjorie Bossen of Iowa allege Norbert Bossen developed mesothelioma after his work in the United States Navy from 1944 until 1946; as a boilermaker in the late 1940s and early 1950s; with Gilbert and Bossen Farm Implements from the early 1950s until 1967; as a pipe fitter from 1967 until 1982; and performing home remodeling work to his homes in the mid 1970s. The Bossens are represented by Robert Rowland and Elizabeth V. Heller of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Sean P. Worsey of Levin, Simes, Kaiser and Gornick in San Francisco will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-795.

–Walter Derby of Colorado, an aviation mechanic, consulting engineer, police officer, security guard, laborer, tree trimmer and contractor/construction worker at various locations throughout Illinois, California, Colorado and Oklahoma from 1967 until 2007 claims mesothelioma. Derby is represented by Timothy F. Thompson Jr. and Ryan J. Kiwala of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in East Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-789.

–Catherine Fridmanski claims her recently deceased cousin, Andrew Mulato, developed mesothelioma after his work as a bricklayer and steelworker at various locations from 1940 until 1980. Fridmanski is represented by Andrew O’Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of the O’Brien Law Firm in St. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-792.

–Josie Gonzales of Texas claims her recently deceased husband, Eulalio Gonzales, developed mesothelioma after his work as a laborer and foreman at various locations throughout Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas from 1958 until 1985. Josie Gonzales is represented by Amy E. Garrett and W. Brent Copple of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in East Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-798.

–Joseph and Sandra Goudreau of Michigan claim Joseph Goudreau developed mesothelioma after his work as a laborer, painter, operator and engineer at various locations in Illinois, Michigan, Alabama and Wisconsin from 1950 until 2000. The Goudreaus are represented by Timothy F. Thompson Jr. and Ryan J. Kiwala of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in East Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-801.

–Julie Hied of Montana claims her recently deceased husband, Lyle Woolston,developed mesothelioma after his work as a rancher and mechanic at various locations from 1968 until 1978. Hied is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in East Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-775.

–Betty Hughes of Virginia claims her recently deceased husband, Cecil Hughes, developed mesothelioma after his work as a laborer and carpenter from 1970 until 1979. Hughes is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelisdes and Barnerd in East Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-776.

–Robert and Barbara Krupp of Illinois allege Robert Krupp developed lung cancer after his work in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1952 until 1955; as a laborer at Mallinckrodt Chemical Company from 1955 until 1957; as a laborer at The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company from 1957 until 1961; as a laborer at Stickland Trucklines from 1962 until 1965; and as a laborer at Manufacturers Railway Company from 1965 until 1991. The Krupps are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-777.

–John Lappin of Missouri, a machinist and steelworker from 1947 until 1992, claims mesothelioma. Lappin is represented by Andrew O’Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of O’Brien Law Firm in St. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-772.

–Ronald H. and Karen L. Larson claim Ronald H. Larson developed mesothelioma after his work as a field lineman with the United States Army from 1960 until 1963 and as a steel plate inspector at Bethlehem Steel from 1963 until 1987. The Larsons are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, C. Taylor Campbell, J.D. McMullen and William H. Barfield of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-781.

–Christopher Morelli of New Jersey claims his recently deceased wife, Michelle Morelli, developed mesothelioma after her work as a laborer at Lockheed Martin in 1982. She was also exposed to asbestos fibers while doing abatement work during the late 1990s and was secondarily exposed through her husband, who owned a painting, drywall and texture company from 1982 until now, according to the complaint. Christopher Morelli is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-782.

–Jimmy E. and Rosalee Murphy of Arkansas claim Jimmy Murphy developed mesothelioma after his work as a manufacturer from 1967 until 1971 at Tucker Duck and Rubber Company, Fort Smith Table and Chairs and Bowmen and Company; as a laborer for Capco from 1971 until 1976; as a welder for Structural Steel in 1976; as a forklift operator for Farmland Feed Mill from 1976 until 1980; as a welder for Branham Industries from 1980 until 1981; as a welder for Interstate Electric from 1983 until 1986; and as an assembly line worker for Trane from 1986 until 2000. The Murphys are represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-793.

–Shirley Jo Peeler of Ohio, a cashier for Liberal Markets from 1953 until 1956 and an employee at Revco and a press operator at Stanhope Products from 1956 until 1958, claims mesothelioma. Peeler is represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-794.

–Larry C. and Bettye M. Sims claim Larry C. Sims developed mesothelioma after his work as an engineer and machinist mate while in the U.S. Navy from 1962 until 1987; as a maintenance man at Dorchester School District in South Carolina from 1987 until 1998; as a home remodeler at his house from 1960 until 1970; and as a shadetree mechanic from 1959 until 1979. The Sims are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, Angela B. Greenberg, Sam T. Richard, Bridget B. Truxillo and Lauren H. Ware of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-779.

–Toni Solano of Texas claims her recently deceased husband, John M. Solano, developed mesothelioma after his work as a laborer and division engineer for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Rail Road from 1975 until 2005. Toni Solano is represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-796.

–Robert A. and Darlene M. Switzer claim Robert A. Switzer developed mesothelioma after his work as a service representative, products liability specialist, maintenance, expert claims witness for Caterpillar Tractor Company from 1953 until 1988; while being enrolled in officer’s candidate school where he learned and performed duties on Navy ship from 1944 until 1946; while working for a road equipment contractor and on welded metal tracks from 1949 until 1953; as a farmer at Norvel Switzer Farm from 1926 until 1944; as a shadetree mechanic from the 1950s until 1980; and in residential construction from the 1950s until 1980. The Switzers are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, R. Craig Bullock and J. Kyle Beane of Houston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-780.

–Leo J. and Ruth A. Vietmeier claim Leo J. Vietmeier developed mesothelioma after his work as a laborer, assembly line worker and maintenance man at American Vitrified in the 1950s; as a laborer while in the AFL-CIO Union in the 1960s; as a mine worker at Pegg’s Run Coal Mill in Pennsylvania in the 1970s; as a meat cutter at Giant Eagle from 1980 until 1996; as a home remodeler at his home from 1967 until 1990; and as a shadetree mechanic on his automobiles from 1950 until 1980. The Vietmeiers are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, Angela B. Greenburg, Sam T. Richard, Bridget Baragona and Lauren H. Ware of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-778.

–Mary Ellen White of New Hampshire claims her recently deceased husband, John Grohosky, developed mesothelioma after his work in the U.S. Navy from 1944 until 1964 and as a forklift driver from the early 1970s until 1988. White is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-784.

–Fred Young of Wisconsin, who served in the British Navy from August 1940 until August 1954 and who worked as a mechanical researcher from 1954 until 1956; as a mechanical researcher at AV Roc from 1956 until 1958; as a design engineer for Pratt and Whitney from 1958 until 1960; as a design engineer at the GE Nuclear Power Demonstration Plant from 1960 until 1963; as a senior reactor operator at Ontario Hydro from 1963 until 1965; as a maintenance supervisor at Thunder Bay Generating Plant from 1965 until 1967; as a maintenance supervisor at Wisconsin Electric Point Beach Plant from 1968 until 1972; as a laborer at Bechtel from 1972 until 1984; and as a consultant at Wisconsin Electric Point Beach Plant from 1984 until 1989, claims mesothelioma. Young is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-797.

#Asbestoslitigation #LitigationIndustry

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Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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