To better serve our existing clients in Southern Illinois and Missouri, on September 4, 2012, we opened a branch office in Edwardsville, Illinois. This allows us to efficiently handle our cases in Madison County, Illinois and the Metro St. Louis area in Missouri. Located off Route 157, at 600 Country Club View, Suite 300, we are only minutes from the Madison County Courthouse, and a convenient drive to St. Louis City Court. Our branch office phone is 618-307-6005.
Archives for 2012
Judge Maddux granted our motion to dismiss hundreds of claims against Sprinkmann Insulation based on the lack of corporate successor liability for the torts of Sprinkmann Sons, whose assets had been purchased by our client. The Court flatly rejected the opinions of the plaintiffs’ expert that Sprinkmann Insulation, Inc. is a continuation or alter ego of Sprinkmann Sons Corp. of Illinois. This was an interesting attempt by the plaintiffs’ attorneys to reach the remaining insurance assets of the seller, a former asbestos insulation contractor, despite our earlier success in terminating litigation based on a corporate dissolution argument. If Judge Maddux had agreed with the plaintiffs, the effect of such a ruling would have been that the insurers of Sprinkmann Sons have unlimited asbestos liability and would be required to exhaust all policy limits, even though there was no bankruptcy of the insured.
On May 1, 2012, Judge Powers agreed with our position that the plaintiff failed to meet the requirements of the Thacker test enunciated by the Illinois Supreme Court, and entered summary judgment in favor of our client, a manufacturer of asbestos-containing pipe. The plaintiff, represented by Waters & Kraus, contended that his decedent, a chemical plant equipment operator in Channahon, Illinois, was exposed to asbestos fibers from a maintenance worker who sawed and grinded the chemical pipe five feet away on only one occasion. The court agreed with us that this was not a substantial factor in causing the decedent’s mesothelioma, and did not meet the “frequency and regularity” needed to show exposure in this case. Read More »
On April 3, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio reversed the appellate court decision that had ruled that Judges Hanna and Spellacy were correct in denying our motion to dismiss Sager Corporation, a dissolved Illinois corporation, in which we had argued that a dissolved foreign corporation was no longer amenable to asbestos suits in Ohio. The Supreme Court of Ohio agreed with our position that the law of the state of incorporation controls and must be afforded full faith and credit, and concluded that asbestos claims filed against an Illinois corporation more than five years after dissolution are barred. We had previously eliminated all pending claims against Sager in Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania, based on the Illinois corporate dissolution defense, and this ruling keeps our record intact as we proceed across the country in the effort to eliminate all claims against this insured. Read More »
On March 29, 2012, Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison entered an order terminating the court’s 2013 advance setting of asbestos trial weeks. “The Court finds no continuing need for the pre-assignment of trial settings.” The order is effective immediately. The standard jury trial week calendar will be used going forward, and cases will be set by motion on a case-by-case basis. Read More »
The Illinois Supreme Court issued its opinion on March 22, 2012 in the Simpkins case involving take-home exposure to asbestos. Simpkins v. CSX Transportation, 2012 IL 110662. The majority affirmed the Fifth District Appellate Court’s reversal of the Madison County trial court’s dismissal with prejudice, but on different grounds – it held that insufficient facts were alleged in the complaint to state a duty and remanded to allow the plaintiff to re-plead. Read More »
The Illinois Appellate Court issued its opinion March 1, 2012 on the issue of whether or not volunteered flight instruction of a pilot constituted “educational malpractice” and therefore should not be a viable cause of action in Illinois. Waugh v. Morgan Stanley, et al., 2012 IL App (1st) 102653 (PDF link opens in a new window). The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s sweeping decision that granted summary judgment on every negligence claim that used the term “instruct” or “train.” Justice Pucinski wrote a dissent, agreeing with our position that claims of ordinary negligence were improperly miscategorized as “educational malpractice,” and stated a question of fact remained that warrants reversal.