One asbestos trial settles, another one begins in Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 4, 2007, 5:46am

A day after asbestos plaintiff Chester Black settled his trial in Madison County another asbestos trial began.

Black's trial against Georgia-Pacific and John Crane began on Sept. 25 and settled on Oct. 2. Closing arguments were to begin the next day.

Asbestos cases rarely go to trial. In Madison County they have normally settled out of court for millions of dollars.

Madison County Associate Judge Tom Chapman presided over the trial.

Black, of Joplin, Mo., alleged he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from products he was working with or around.

Represented by Randy Gori of The Goldenberg firm in Edwardsville, Black filed suit earlier this year, seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $400,000.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2006.

Jeff Hebrank of Edwardsville, represents Georgia-Pacific, which was granted defense verdicts in the last two Madison County trials they were involved in.

Chapman granted a directed verdict for John Crane after Gori rested his case.

The second asbestos trial began on Oct. 2. The is being brought by John Larson of Missouri.

Larson was diagnosed with mesothelioma on Nov. 15, 2006, and claims his father, William Larson, would bring asbestos dust home on his clothes after which time it would again become airborne.

He claims he was repeatedly exposed to asbestos dust from his father's clothing and person.

Larson is represented by Ted Gianaris of SimmonsCooper in East Alton.

Associate Judge Clarence Harrison is presiding over the trial that is expected to last five to six days.

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