For the second time this year, an Indiana appellate court has expanded the scope of asbestos liability in the Hoosier state. Hot on the heels of the Indiana Supreme Court’s invalidation of the state’s Product Liability Act statute of repose in asbestos cases in Myers v. Crouse-Hinds Division of Cooper Industries, Inc., 53 N.E.3d 1160 (Ind. 2016), the Indiana Court of Appeals has issued another opinion arising out of the Larry Myers case, this time bearing on premises liability and the scope of the general rule of non-liability for the negligence of independent contractors. Read More »
Archives for 2016
The Illinois Supreme Court held on September 22, 2016 in Kakos v. Butler, 2016 IL 120377, that the right to trial by jury includes the right to demand a 12-member jury. The change to Illinois’ jury system to reduce the size of juries in civil cases was proposed by the plaintiffs’ bar and had passed the Illinois legislature without much real debate in the waning days of former Gov. Patrick J. Quinn’s time in office, and became effective June 1, 2015. The Court held PA 98-1132 which reduced civil juries to only six members, and the statute it amended, 735 ILCS 5/2-1105(b), was facially unconstitutional. Because the provision regarding jury size could not be severed from the Act, the Court held the entire Act invalid. The 5-0 decision was authored by Justice Garman, with Justices Thomas and Kilbride taking no part. Read More »
On September 12, 2016, Ed Matushek spoke at Perrin Conferences’ Asbestos Litigation Conference in San Francisco, California on “Settlement Dynamics and Negotiation Strategies: Ethical Considerations and Effective Strategies for Finding Middle Ground.” This highly acclaimed annual event assembled leaders in U.S. asbestos litigation, including many of the most prominent plaintiff and defense attorneys, judges, in-house counsel, insurance professionals, risk managers, and scientific and medical experts. Matushek LLC was a co-sponsor of the conference, which was attended by nearly 600 registrants.
Partner Amy Callaghan was named Rising Stars by Illinois Super Lawyer, a distinction given to only the top 2.5% of lawyers.
The firm of Matushek LLC was again rated AV Preeminent by its peers in Martindale-Hubbell, as were all of the firm’s partners individually. AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.
In a victory for the asbestos defense bar, Randy Smith of Matushek LLC secured summary judgment for Brand Insulations, Inc. in the case of Rex Hill (Morgan County, Illinois, Case No. 13 L 21). Randy convinced Judge Christopher R. Reif to reject a novel attempt by the plaintiff to circumvent and nullify the effect of Folta v. Ferro Engineering by pursuing claims of secondary exposure between coworkers. Read More »
The Court applied the ten-year statute of repose applicable to all product liability plaintiffs, and restored as controlling precedent Covalt v. Carey Canada, Inc., 543 N.E.2d 382 (Ind. 1989), finding the Act unconstitutional as applied to asbestos plaintiffs. Read More »
A new decision may herald a flood of asbestos claims in the Hoosier State. The Indiana Supreme Court declared the Indiana Product Liability Act statute of repose unconstitutional as applied to asbestos claims, essentially overruling the court’s prior decision in AlliedSignal v. Ott, 785 N.E.2d 1068 (Ind. 2003). Read More »