The Madison County Record Dec. 11, 2014, 4:16pm

Defendants in a random sample of 10 Gori and Julian mesothelioma cases set for trial in Madison County on Dec. 8 have filed more than 1,000 motions for relief, yet none of those motions have been answered.

Motions to dismiss the suits, send them to other courts, or stop them by summary judgment remain pending by the hundreds.

Review of more than 5,000 docket entries in the 10 cases shows phenomenal output from defendants and hardly any from Gori attorneys beyond motions to amend complaints and pick trial dates.

Gori filed no other motions at all in four of the 10 cases.

Gori filed 14 motions to compel discovery from particular defendants in five cases.

For two of those five clients and another, he filed copies of mass motions to limit testimony and evidence as trial dates approached.

The dockets reveal no trace of judicial decision making.

Four asbestos judges who handled the cases over the span of five years functioned more as clerks, signing routine orders that Gori and defendants brought forward by agreement.

Defendants set hearings by the hundreds, and the hearings never happened.

Defendants generated witness lists, exhibits, and summary judgment motions as trial dates approached, but judges continued the trials.

Madison County’s revenue from the litigation reflects the lopsided division of effort.

Plaintiff attorneys pay the circuit clerk $219 to file a suit, no matter how many defendants are sued.

For one of the 10 cases reviewed, Gori sued 133 defendants, for an effective fee of $1.65 per claim.

Defendants must pay $119 to answer a complaint, although a single fee sometimes covers two or three defendants.

Defense fees in the 10 cases ranged from $4,760 to $10,948, adding up to $80,920.

If the sample accurately represents all of Gori’s mesothelioma cases from the Dec. 8 docket, Madison County made about $1.3 million.

Those cases in turn represent a microscopic fraction of the asbestos docket.

The sample was drawn from 157 Gori mesothelioma suits set for trial on Dec. 8. Gori also had 15 lung cancer cases on the trial docket that date.

One of the 10 started in 2009, one in 2010, two in 2011, two in 2012, three in 2013, and one this year.

Together the suits asserted 974 separate claims against hundreds of defendants, although 110 claims expired because defendants simply didn’t respond.

As of Dec. 8, Gori and defendants had dismissed 473 claims by agreement.

Judges dismissed some with prejudice, some without it, and some with no indication one way or the other.

The suits still asserted 391 active claims as of Dec. 8, including 87 in the most recent suit and 76 in one of the suits from last year.

In the other eight, the number of active claims ranged from 21 to 32.

If the sample accurately represents all of Gori’s mesothelioma cases from the Dec. 8 docket, he brought more than 6,000 active claims into court.

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