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January 03, 2005

Madison County asbestos slowdown?

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently reported that a law firm that has dominated Madison County asbestos litigation seems to be rapidly scaling back its prosecution of such suits, perhaps in anticipation of a less favorable legal climate. According to reporter Paul Hampel:

* The SimmonsCooper firm's asbestos work, formerly led by Randy Bono, is now being handled by a different partner who is, according to some on the defense side, moving quickly to settle cases instead of trying to squeeze them for top dollar;

* Two other local firms, however, have stepped up their filing efforts, and a lawyer involved in assisting one of those firms boasts of bringing Texas claimants to Madison County to avoid the effect of last year's tort reforms in the Lone Star State;

* "Mesothelioma claims worth at least $1 billion when resolved were filed last year in Madison County"; about 30 percent of the mesothelioma lawsuits brought nationally last year were filed in the small Illinois county;

* George Priest, the Yale law professor (and friend of this site), at last month's White House panel on lawsuit abuse, "specifically mentioned Madison County. He said the county was one 'where trial lawyers and judges, I don't want to say conspire, but have a mutually symbiotic relationship.'"

Posted by Walter Olson at 12:26 AM | TrackBack (0)




Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.