Cates

Gori

A group of four new asbestos lawsuits have been added to St. Clair County's asbestos docket.

Mark Nuzzo filed the second asbestos lawsuit of the year in St. Clair County Circuit Court, while Gloria Hale filed the third; Marilyn Grapperhaus filed the fourth; and Joseph and Mary Bayer filed the fifth.

Mark Nuzzo is represented by Judy L. Cates of The Cates Law Firm in Swansea and by Cooney and Conway in Chicago. The Bayers, Marilyn Grapperhaus and Gloria Hale are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville.

As St. Clair County's asbestos docket continues to grow with out-of-state plaintiffs, defendants await an appellate court ruling which challenges orders from former Circuit Judge Patrick Young, who accepted cases from Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania a day before he retired last December.

In his complaint filed Jan. 5, Mark Nuzzo alleges 55 defendant companies caused his recently deceased wife, Robin Nuzzo, to develop mesothelioma after her exposure to asbestos-containing products through her father. Mark Nuzzo's complaint does not specify where he resides.

Robin Nuzzo's father worked as an insulator, plant worker, home renovator and shade tree mechanic at various locations from 1968 until 1992, according to the complaint. After his work, Robin Nuzzo's father would carry asbestos particles home on his clothing, thereby exposing his daughter to the toxic substance, the suit states.

In her complaint filed Jan. 28, Gloria Hale alleges 45 defendant companies caused the recently deceased Franklin Hale to develop lung cancer after his work near asbestos-containing products.

In her complaint filed Jan. 28, Marilyn Grapperhaus alleges 20 defendant companies caused her recently deceased husband, Charles Grapperhaus, to develop lung cancer after his work as a member of the U.S. Navy from 1959 until 1963 and as a truck driver, brick layer and carpenter at various locations throughout Illinois from 1963 until 2000.

In their complaint filed Jan. 28, the Bayers allege 62 defendant companies caused Joseph Bayer to develop esophageal cancer after his career working near asbestos-containing products. In their complaint, the Bayers do not specify where they reside, but do mention that Joseph Bayer worked in various plants in Illinois and Missouri.

Joseph Bayer worked as a maintenance worker at Owens Illinois Glass from 1962 until 1963; as a sheet metal worker at McDonnell Douglas from 1963 until 1970; as a salesman at Prudential Life Insurance from 1970 until 1978; and as a salesman at Joe Bayer and Associates from 1978 until 2009, the complaint says.

The defendants should have known of the harmful effects of asbestos, but failed to exercise reasonable care and caution for Robin Nuzzo's, Joseph Bayer's, Charles Grapperhaus' and Franklin Hale's safety, the suits state.

As a result of their asbestos-related disease, Robin Nuzzo, Joseph Bayer, Charles Grapperhaus and Franklin Hale incurred medical costs and suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, the complaints say. In addition, they became prevented from pursuing their normal courses of employment and, as a result, lost large sums of money that would have accrued to them, the plaintiffs claim.

Because of Robin Nuzzo's death on July 22, 2009, her family incurred substantial funeral and burial expenses, according to the complaint.

Because of Charles Grapperhaus' death on Sept. 8, his family lost his support and services and incurred funeral and burial expenses, the suit states.

Because of Franklin Hale's death on June 19, 2009, his family has been deprived of his support and services and incurred funeral and burial expenses, the complaint says.

In his 16-count complaint, Mark Nuzzo is seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional amount, plus costs.

In his 10-count complaint, Joseph Bayer is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, punitive and exemplary damages of more than $150,000, economic damages of more than $150,000, compensatory damages of more than $100,000 and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish the defendants and to discourage them from committing similar actions in the future.

In her 10-count complaint, Marilyn Grapperhaus is seeking economic damages of more than $200,000, a judgment of more than $150,000, punitive and exemplary damages of more than $50,000, compensatory damages of more than $100,000 and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish the defendants and to discourage them from committing similar actions in the future.

In her 10-count complaint, Gloria Hale is seeking economic damages of more than $200,000, plus a judgment of more than $150,000, punitive and exemplary damages of more than $50,000, compensatory damages of more than $150,000 and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish the defendants and to discourage them from committing similar actions in the future.

At the appellate court in Mount Vernon, justices are hearing an appeal made by defendants in several asbestos cases filed by out of state plaintiffs in St. Clair County. The defendants are arguing that St. Clair County is not an appropriate venue.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case numbers: 11-L-3, 11-L-46, 11-L-47, 11-L-48.

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