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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

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

June 9th, 2014

7th Circuit Serves Harsh Ethics Lesson on Chicago Shyster, Father-in-Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit tossed out a “scandalous” settlement stemming from a Pella window consumer protection class action suit that would have paid the plaintiffs’ attorneys $11 million up front, with $2 million going to the ethically-challenged lead counsel. It’s just one more example of how state Consumer Protection Acts are abused . . . → Read More: 7th Circuit Serves Harsh Ethics Lesson on Chicago Shyster, Father-in-Law

May 14th, 2013

#1 Hellhole Ranks as ‘Worst State for Business’

A newly released annual survey of the nation’s CEOs confirms that California, currently ranked as the #1 Judicial Hellhole, not coincidentally ranks as the worst state in which to do business, as well . . . → Read More: #1 Hellhole Ranks as ‘Worst State for Business’

September 24th, 2012

Illinois High Court Decision Shines among ‘Points of Light’

Illinois’ highest court last week reversed two lower court decisions in striking down a $3.9 million dollar jury award of damages for a youngster injured while trespassing and horsing around on a moving freight train . . . → Read More: Illinois High Court Decision Shines among ‘Points of Light’

May 21st, 2012

Dog Bites Man

A recent study performed by the insurance industry says dog bite claims in 2011 cost the industry $478.9 million, a 12 percent increase from 2010. Specifically, State Farm California had 527 dog bite claims and paid more than $20.3 million as a result. This is a 31% increase in claims over 2010 . . . → Read More: Dog Bites Man

May 9th, 2012

With Hellholes Leading the Way, Bogus Slip-and-Fall Claims Rise Nationwide

A just-released report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows that questionable slip-and-fall claims rose by 12% from 2010 through 2011, and not coincidentally many past and present Judicial Hellholes are where most of these bogus, bottom-feeding lawsuits are filed . . . → Read More: With Hellholes Leading the Way, Bogus Slip-and-Fall Claims Rise Nationwide

April 10th, 2012

Once & Future ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Dominate New List of States with Highest Medical Lawsuit Payouts

According to 2011 data, the six states with the highest average payouts for medical liability lawsuits are all home to current or recently named Judicial Hellholes. Go figure . . . → Read More: Once & Future ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Dominate New List of States with Highest Medical Lawsuit Payouts

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

January 27th, 2012

‘Organic’ Advocates Seek to Influence Madison County Atrazine Case

We’ll post more about this soon, but sources tell Judicial Hellholes reporters that a would-be WikiLeaks-like website is poised to post previously unsealed, proprietary documents provided during discovery by Syngenta, the defendant in a long-running, if meritless, class action in Madison County, Illinois. Continue reading ‘Organic’ Advocates Seek to Influence Madison County Atrazine Case

May 6th, 2011

Four ‘Judicial Hellholes’ States Ranked as Worst for Business

No one will be surprised to learn that four states notorious for their Judicial Hellholes and Watch List jurisdictions — California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey — have been ranked by corporate CEOs as the worst in the nation for doing business . . . → Read More: Four ‘Judicial Hellholes’ States Ranked as Worst for Business

March 18th, 2011

McLean County Poised To Become Illinois’ Latest ‘Judicial Hellhole’

The biased handling of a pernicious new wave of asbestos lawsuits has McLean County poised to join Illinois’ notorious list of Judicial Hellholes . . . → Read More: McLean County Poised To Become Illinois’ Latest ‘Judicial Hellhole’

January 24th, 2011

Lawsuit Loan Industry Lobbies for Legalization in ‘Hellholes’ and Beyond

Taking aim at lawsuit loan industry lobbyists and investors now pushing to have their pernicious and parasitic racket legalized in several states, which, in some cases, are home to Judicial Hellholes, ATRA scored a hit with a letter to the editor published in the New York Times . . . → Read More: Lawsuit Loan Industry Lobbies for Legalization in ‘Hellholes’ and Beyond

December 22nd, 2010

Reforms Sought in Madison County

“Seven businesses that constantly defend asbestos suits in Madison County have urged Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder to curtail the county’s role as a litigation magnet,” according to The Madison Record today.

Though the judiciary deserves credit for significantly improving the county’s civil justice system since Madison County, Illinois was named the report’s first #1 Judicial Hellhole, it remains on the Watch List due to concerns that it is backsliding.  In 2006, asbestos cases had waned to 325 after waxing to a high of about 950 in 2003. In 2009, however, the number of such filings surged back up to 814.  According to the proposal filed with Judge Crowder, lawyers have filed 738 . . . → Read More: Reforms Sought in Madison County