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October 12th, 2016

With ‘Epidemic’ of Multiple-Defendant Claims, Madison County Remains the Nation’s Leader in New Asbestos Cases

Perennial Judicial Hellhole Madison County, Illinois is not ready to give up its dubious distinction as the top asbestos litigation destination anytime soon. According to a recent midyear report and earlier annual report by KCIC Consulting, Madison County’s asbestos filings increased by 5% from 2014 to 2015 and continued to increase during the first half of 2016. The riverside county of fewer than 270,000 people was home to 29% of the nation’s asbestos filings in the first half of 2016 – up from 25% of the nation’s asbestos filings in 2015. Now, the county sits atop the ranking with more than twice as many filings as second place Baltimore City. . . . → Read More: With ‘Epidemic’ of Multiple-Defendant Claims, Madison County Remains the Nation’s Leader in New Asbestos Cases

January 26th, 2016

Another Asbestos Defendant Seeks to Join RICO Litigation Against Plaintiffs’ Firms Accused of Fraud

Asbestos defendant John Crane Inc. this week filed motions in federal district court seeking to intervene in the Garlock Sealing Technologies-led fraud litigation against two plaintiffs’ law firms, Dallas-based Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett and the Shein Law Center of Philadelphia . . . → Read More: Another Asbestos Defendant Seeks to Join RICO Litigation Against Plaintiffs’ Firms Accused of Fraud

February 23rd, 2015

Southern Illinois Federal Court Shines Brightly in Dismissing Defendants from Non-Illinois Asbestos Exposure Claim

On February 17th and 19th, Judge Staci M. Yandle for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois granted seven motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction for defendants involved in a large multi-defendant asbestos case. In each claim, the plaintiff, a former Navy worker, fell far short of alleging sufficient contacts by the defendants to the state of Illinois to satisfy constitutional due process requirements. . . . → Read More: Southern Illinois Federal Court Shines Brightly in Dismissing Defendants from Non-Illinois Asbestos Exposure Claim

February 5th, 2015

Good News from Pennsylvania High Court: Statute of Repose Applies to Asbestos Claims

In deciding not to hear a plaintiff’s appeal, Pennsylvania’s high court has upheld application the state’s 12-year statute of repose to asbestos claims . . . → Read More: Good News from Pennsylvania High Court: Statute of Repose Applies to Asbestos Claims

January 13th, 2015

A Rare ‘Point of Light’ in ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’

Judicial Hellholes reporters have long kept an eye on St. Louis, Missouri, one of the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions in the nation. So in the rare instance that a judge there is willing to take even a small stand against the reflexive expansion of civil liability, it’s worthy of kudos . . . → Read More: A Rare ‘Point of Light’ in ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’

January 12th, 2015

MadCo: Where 1,200 Out-of-State Lawsuits is a Dip

Madison County hosted 1,300 new asbestos lawsuit filings in 2014. Madison County’s docket has doubled in the last four years and tripled in the last seven. Nine of ten plaintiffs who file in Madison County don’t live in Illinois. And less than 1% live in Madison County. . . . → Read More: MadCo: Where 1,200 Out-of-State Lawsuits is a Dip

April 2nd, 2013

Punishing Lawyers, Plaintiffs and Witnesses Who Conspire and Lie to Defraud Our Courts

It’s long overdue, but a nascent movement to hold accountable and punish those who pursue fraudulent lawsuits at the expense of taxpayers, consumers and jobseekers may finally be materializing . . . → Read More: Punishing Lawyers, Plaintiffs and Witnesses Who Conspire and Lie to Defraud Our Courts

January 9th, 2013

Madison County Shatters Asbestos Lawsuits Record

Madison County, Illinois, currently ranked as the #3 Judicial Hellhole nationwide, managed in 2012 to shatter its old record for newly filed asbestos lawsuits . . . → Read More: Madison County Shatters Asbestos Lawsuits Record

December 12th, 2012

Ohio Lawmakers Pass First of Its Kind Asbestos Transparency Legislation

As noted in the soon-to-be-released Judicial Hellholes 2012/2013 report, Ohio lawmakers have passed a first of its kind tort reform bill that aims to prevent asbestos plaintiffs from “double dipping” – filing claims with asbestos bankruptcy trust funds while also pursuing separate lawsuits. . . . → Read More: Ohio Lawmakers Pass First of Its Kind Asbestos Transparency Legislation

September 24th, 2012

Grassroots Group Working to Unseat 4 Madison County Judges up for ‘Retention’

A grassroots group calling itself Citizens for Judicial Integrity (CFJI) is now actively working to unseat four judges in Madison County, Illinois, a jurisdiction cited almost annually as a Judicial Hellhole . . . → Read More: Grassroots Group Working to Unseat 4 Madison County Judges up for ‘Retention’

August 15th, 2012

Washington State Ruling Expands Liability for Asbestos Injuries

On August 9, 2012, in what was a sharply divided decision, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that makers of respirators designed to prevent asbestos exposure can be held liable for failing to warn of the contaminant’s risks. This decision unfairly opens up safety product manufacturers to more lawsuits over asbestos-related injuries. . . . → Read More: Washington State Ruling Expands Liability for Asbestos Injuries

June 21st, 2012

Channeling Henny Youngman, Peter Angelos Hopes to Make Baltimore the Next Philadelphia

Mass tort kingpin Peter Angelos is apparently hoping to make Baltimore the next Philadelphia when it comes to unfairly consolidating questionable asbestos claims and pressuring defedants into settlements they might not agree to if the cases were handled separately . . . → Read More: Channeling Henny Youngman, Peter Angelos Hopes to Make Baltimore the Next Philadelphia

May 30th, 2012

Good News: PA Supreme Court Rejects the “Any Fiber” Theory of Asbestos Causation

Last week, in a 5-0 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the theory that each and every fiber of inhaled asbestos is a substantial contributing factor to any asbestos-related disease . . . → Read More: Good News: PA Supreme Court Rejects the “Any Fiber” Theory of Asbestos Causation

May 10th, 2012

Even in Philadelphia, ‘Progress Is Possible’

Medical liability reforms undertaken in Pennsylvania last decade have had the intended effect of reducing the number of meritless lawsuits, particularly in Philadelphia, and broader progress in other areas of tort law now seems possible, too . . . → Read More: Even in Philadelphia, ‘Progress Is Possible’

May 2nd, 2012

Good News, Bad News from Mississippi Courts

First the good news. Last week a jury ruled in favor of Union Carbide, the defendant in an asbestos lawsuit that once resulted in a $322 million verdict, the largest asbestos award for a single plaintiff in U.S. history. . . . → Read More: Good News, Bad News from Mississippi Courts

March 30th, 2012

Madison County Judge Orders Bold Reform

Coming less than six weeks after a potentially game-changing judicial reform order in Philadelphia, the #1 Judicial Hellhole for the past two years, a judge in another perennial Hellhole has issued a comparable reform order that could serve to significantly shrink the nation’s largest asbestos docket . . . → Read More: Madison County Judge Orders Bold Reform

March 27th, 2012

Civil Justice Reform Package Making It’s Way through the Louisiana Legislature

As the spring session heats up, the Louisiana legislature has the opportunity to adopt civil justice reform measures that would drastically change the way latent disease claims are handled in court. . . . → Read More: Civil Justice Reform Package Making It’s Way through the Louisiana Legislature

March 27th, 2012

Asbestos Defendants Make Case against ‘Reservation’ Docket in Madison County

On Monday, March 26, more than 100 attorneys crowded into a Madison County courtroom to listen as 61 asbestos defendants asked Associate Judge Clarence Harrison to revise the court’s 2013 advance trial docket . . . → Read More: Asbestos Defendants Make Case against ‘Reservation’ Docket in Madison County

March 12th, 2012

Madison County’s Controversial Asbestos Litigation System Strikes Again

Madison County’s controversial asbestos litigation system is once again under fire and causing a stir.  Recently, presiding Judge Clarence Harrison of Madison County, Illinois, denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss under the doctrine of forum non conveniens regarding a Texas resident who is alleging asbestos exposure in West Virginia and has no connection to Illinois.

In the case of Woody v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, the Plaintiff and Decedent resided in Texas and the asbestos exposure occurred in West Virginia and Korea.  The Defendants’ residences are scattered and the Defendants’ attorneys, both parties’ experts, and Plaintiff’s medical personnel involved in the cases all reside in West Virginia. 

Judge . . . → Read More: Madison County’s Controversial Asbestos Litigation System Strikes Again

February 16th, 2012

Very Good News from Philly!

After being cited as the #1 Judicial Hellhole for the past two years running, Philadelphia’s top administrative judge yesterday announced sweeping rules changes that should go a long way in mitigating the Complex Litigation Center’s troublingly plaintiff-friendly reputation . . . → Read More: Very Good News from Philly!