St. Clair County adds another asbestos case

Kelly Holleran Mar. 7, 2011, 2:41am


Another asbestos lawsuit has been added to St. Clair County's docket.

Pat Maple of Kentucky filed a lawsuit Feb. 4 in St. Clair County Circuit Court on behalf of her recently deceased next-of-kin, Durwood Maple, against 68 defendant companies.

Pat Maple is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Erik Karst and Matthew J. Wright of Karst and von Oiste in Houston will serve of counsel.

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 her complaint, Pat Maple alleges the defendant companies caused her recently deceased next-of-kin, Durwood Maple, to develop lung cancer after his exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout his career.

Durwood Maple worked in Kentucky at Illinois Central during the 1950s, as a millwright at various industrial sites from 1959 until 1980, as a home repairman from 1946 until 1980 and as a shade tree mechanic from 1946 until 1980, the suit states.

The defendants should have known of the harmful effects of asbestos, but failed to exercise reasonable care and caution for Durwood Maple's safety, the suit states.

As a result of his asbestos-related disease, Durwood Maple incurred medical costs and suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, the complaint says. In addition, he became prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment and, as a result, lost large sums of money that would have accrued to him, the Pat Maple claims.

Because of Durwood Maple's death on Nov. 14, 2009, his family incurred substantial funeral and burial expenses, according to the complaint.

In her 12-count complaint, Pat Maple is seeking a judgment for more than $100,000, plus economic damages of more than $150,000, punitive and exemplary damages of more than $100,000, compensatory damages of more than $200,000.

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 number: 11-L-59.

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