Edward J. Matushek III
- Highest professional rating, “AV Preeminent (5.0 out of 5)” from his peers in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.
- Named to Illinois Super Lawyers as among the top 5% of Illinois attorneys who practice in the area of mass torts.
- Named a “Leading Lawyer” in mass tort defense by the Law Bulletin.
- Avvo Rating: Superb, 10.0 out of 10.0.
Edward J. Matushek III founded Matushek Nilles LLC in 1998. He has more than 35 years of legal experience handling civil jury trials and appeals, and is widely respected in the defense of product liability, construction defect, toxic torts, and transportation claims, and aviation law, FELA and employer’s liability and occupational exposure claims. Much of his practice involves asbestos litigation. He has received the very highest rating, “AV-Preeminent (5.0 out of 5)” from his peers, as published by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and he has been named a “Leading Lawyer” in the area of mass tort defense by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. He was featured in the February 2017 issues of Chicago Magazine and Illinois Super Lawyers as among the top 5% of Illinois attorneys who practice in the area of mass torts.
Legal Experience: As first-chair trial counsel, Ed Matushek has tried cases to verdict in Cook, McLean and Madison County, Illinois. He has defended thousands of complex mass toxic tort and product liability cases, including multi-party personal injury and property damage claims involving asbestos exposure, benzene and chemical exposures, construction defect and water infiltration, motorcycle manufacturing and design defects, air crashes and aviation hull damage, and mechanical press and electrical switch manufacturing defects. He has also defended FELA railroad and other employee liability claims. He is widely respected for his effective litigation skills and often achieves an early favorable resolution on behalf of his clients as a result. For example, in Cook County asbestos litigation, Mr. Matushek has obtained summary judgment in over 50% of the claims filed against his clients, and obtained dismissals without indemnity payout in the vast majority of Madison County cases he has defended. He co-authored the joint defense brief which defeated the motion of all Cook County asbestos plaintiffs for a single consolidated trial. Ed Matushek has also successfully defended a national window manufacturer and a construction caulking subcontractor in multiple construction defect and property damage claims involving water infiltration and mold claims. Summary judgments in favor of his clients in toxic tort, construction defect, and general aviation claims have been upheld on appeals.
In numerous jurisdictions around the country, Mr. Matushek has repeatedly convinced courts that no liability continued for dissolved Illinois corporations for asbestos claims filed after the date of corporate dissolution, including industrial insulaton contractors and safety equipment manufacturers. This resulted in the efficient dismissals of hundreds of claims pending against our clients, and the savings of millions of dollars in policy limits which otherwise might have become exhausted. Matushek has also won summary judgment on behalf of a talc manufacturer on the basis it has no successor liability for the purchase of the assets of a prior company. Ed Matushek has also reduced forum shopping by plaintiffs against his clients by pursuing personal jurisdiction defenses.
Mr. Matushek has demonstrated he is not afraid to try a case where warranted. He has substantial first-chair trial experience, and has tried high-profile cases to verdict in Cook, McLean, and Madison Counties in Illinois. On behalf of an industrial insulation distributor/contractor, he obtained the only not-guilty jury verdict among several defendants in an asbestos-related product liability trial of a wrongful death case involving lung cancer in McLean County, Illinois. He also represented an insurance company in a jury trial of a declaratory judgment action brought by a widow for death benefits under a $1,000,000.00 insurance policy. Despite the sympathy displayed toward the plaintiff whose husband died from injuries resulting from a gasoline explosion, Mr. Matushek achieved a Cook County jury verdict in favor of the insurer which had denied coverage.
In addition to jury trials, Mr. Matushek also has extensive appellate experience. This includes Aldridge, et al. v. Pittsburgh Corning, et al., (Ill.App. Ct., 4th Dist. No. 4-95-0239)(upholding the entry of summary judgment in favor of his client in 27 cases brought by Firestone plant production workers), and cases of first impression such as McIntosh v. A & M Insulation Co., 244 Ill. App. 3d 247 (1st Dist.1993) (the first application of the Illinois Construction Statute of Repose defense to asbestos claims against insulation contractors), Leng v. Celotex Corp., 196 Ill. App. 3d 647 (1st Dist.1990) (prevention of the application of market share liability to Illinois asbestos defendants), Smith v. A.P. Green, et al., (Ill.App.Ct. 1st Dist., No. 1-01-1639)(upholding summary judgment in favor of his manufacturer-defendant on statute of limitations grounds concerning a steelworker’s latent lung injury), and Garland v. Morgan Stanley & Co., et al., (Ill. App. Ct., 1st Dist. No 11-2121) (upholding the entry of summary judgment in favor of his defendant-employer in an air crash case and finding that the dual capacity exception to the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act did not apply). Ed Matushek was retained as amicus counsel on behalf of an Illinois contractors’ association in Krueger v. A.P. Green Refractories, 283 Ill.App.3d 300 (3rd Dist.1996) (asserting successfully that asbestos-containing insulation products constitute an improvement to real property which is afforded the protection of the construction statute of repose). Mr. Matushek also joined in an amicus brief filed in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of three of his employer-clients, resulting in the Court’s reversal of the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court which had created unlimited tort liability for Illinois employers of asbestos plaintiffs. Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 2015 IL 118070, November 4, 2015 (holding that it was the responsibility of the State Legislature, not the courts, to modify the language of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, thereby restoring the exclusive remedy defense to Illinois employers of asbestos plaintiffs).
Mr. Matushek also serves as national coordinating counsel for a phenolic molding compound and commutator manufacturer.
Professional Associations: Mr. Matushek has served on the Board of Managers for the Chicago Bar Association and is past Chair of the CBA’s Continuing Legal Education Committee. In 1990, he was Chair of the 11,000-member Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, with responsibility for guiding more than 30 substantive law and service committees. During his tenure, he motivated a team of volunteer lawyers to earn the ABA Award of Achievement for the success of many public service projects. From 1992 to 1998, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society. Mr. Matushek is a member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, the Defense Research Institute, the Illinois Bar Association and the American Bar Association’s Tort & Insurance Practice and Litigation Sections.
- 2018 Super Lawyers: Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Illinois.
- 2018 Martindale-Hubbell: Rated AV-Preeminent (5.0 out of 5).
- 2018 Law Bulletin Media: Leading Lawyer, Class Action/ Mass Tort Defense Law.
- 2018 Avvo Rating: Superb, (10.0 out of 10.0).
Speeches and Presentations: For the past 17 years, Ed Matushek has been one of the featured speakers at the Chicago Bar Association’s annual seminar, Taking and Defending Depositions in State and Federal Courts. Ed Matushek also recently spoke at Perrin Conferences’ National Asbestos Litigation Conference in San Francisco, California on “Settlement Dynamics and Negotiation Strategies: Ethical Considerations and Effective Strategies for Finding Middle Ground.”
Education: Mr. Matushek received his B.A. in 1975 from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1982 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he placed first in the JMLS Moot Court Competition, receiving both the Outstanding Oralist Award and Best Brief Award.
Admitted to Practice: Mr. Matushek is admitted to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and the United States District Court of Arizona. He has also been admitted pro hac vice for cases in five other states.
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