Ann Maher Dec. 11, 2014, 2:42pm

Madison County's asbestos docket has long been known as a national court open to claimants from across the country.

In a review of year to date filings, the docket has taken on a slight international composition with claims from Australia, Nova Scotia and Puerto Rico.

As of Dec. 9, the number of new cases filed in 2014 stood at 1,213. If the pace of filings stays consistent through the rest of the year, the docket will see approximately 20 percent fewer cases than it did last year when a record-setting 1,678 cases were filed.

Last year's growth was mainly explained by a large number of lung cancer cases brought by Napoli Bern Ripka and Shkolnik - a New York-based firm that opened an office in Glen Carbon in 2012.

While Napoli filed approximately 10 percent more cases than the Simmons firm of Alton in 2013, this year Simmons is clearly the leading asbestos filer in Madison County.

To date, Simmons has filed approximately 30 percent of all 2014 cases, or 357.

Gori and Julian of Edwardsville has filed approximately 20 percent, or 231.

Maune Raichle of Edwardsville has filed approximately 15 percent, or 183.

Napoli has filed approximately 11 percent, or 132.

The remaining cases have been filed by nine other firms or lawyers.

One of the docket's controversial characteristics persists again in 2014: Approximately 92 percent of the cases were filed on behalf of out of state (or country) residents. Of the 95 claimants from Illinois, it is not clear at this point how many of those are residents of Madison County.

Mesothelioma claims represent 75 percent of the total.

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