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Toxic Tort

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of premises owner for alleged exposure to asbestos that occurred during the initial construction of a grass roots refinery. In a case of first impression, summary judgment was upheld by the First District Court of Appeals which articulated the duties owed by premises owners in Illinois to independent contractors in the context of alleged exposure to asbestos. The court held that the refinery owner was not liable to the plaintiff for the alleged exposure to the asbestos-containing materials with which he and other construction workers were working. Gregory v. ExxonMobil, 892 N.E.2d 563 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2008).
  • Won not-guilty verdict following three week trial defending a manufacturer in a case involving 10 plaintiffs who alleged that they developed silicosis as a result of exposure to diatomaceous earth at Unarco Industries plant in Bloomington, Illinois, and asked for $6.3 million in damages.
  • Obtained directed verdict on behalf of manufacturer of a rail car containing yellow phosphorus that ruptured in a train derailment. The directed verdict was preceded by a settlement during trial on behalf of the co-defendant railroad for $16 million.
  • Successfully represented the world's largest producer of chromium chemicals in a suit alleging conspiracy over a period of many years by the company and its trade association to suepress information about the cancer-causing potential of sodium dichromate, a hexavalent chromium VI compound.
  • Successfully represented tank car manufacturer in lawsuit filed by residents alleging exposure to oxides of nitrogen and various ailments release of chemicals into community.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of two coatings manufacturers in a case in which plaintiffs claimed that the 97 deaths and more than 200 injuries arising from a New Year's Eve hotel fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico, were attributable to hydrogen cyanide off-gassing from the products.
  • Successfully defeated criminal charges and obtained favorable settlement in civil case on behalf of directors of company in case that was brought against them for one death and 28 injuries resulting from cyanide exposure in plant.
  • Filed first motion that led to the establishment of the nation’s first deferred dockets for unimpaired asbestos claimants (also know as “Pleural Registries”) in Cook County, Illinois, and in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois and the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
  • Obtained summary judgment for defendant in welding-rod fume claims in Madison County, Illinois, and dismissals of numerous cases in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio welding rod MDL, based upon court’s peripheral defendant order.

Johnson and Bell

Johnson and Bell