Madison County asbestos case settles; Hyster last defendant standing

Amelia Flood Apr. 13, 2011, 11:29am



Although jurors filled the basement of the Madison County courthouse Wednesday for most of the day, their service was not needed as an asbestos case brought by an Arizona retired mechanic settled around 3 p.m.

Hyster, forklift manufacturer, became the last defendant to settle the suit brought by Mack Hambicki that is now headed by Stephanie Jones as admistrator of the Hambicki estate.

Details of the settlements in the case are not yet available.

Hambicki filed suit against Hyster and companies like Arvinmeritor Inc., A.W. Chesterton Inc., Baldor Electric Co. Ford Motor Company, and Volvo Trucks alleging that exposure to asbestos caused him to develop mesothelioma.

The 2009 suit alleged that from the 1960s onward, Hambicki worked as a mechanic in
Michigan, and later in Arizona.

During his employment, the plaintiff contended that he inhaled asbestos from products made by the defendants.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2009.

His suit sought damages in excess of $50,000.

Jones was substituted as plaintiff following Hambicki's death.

Several defendants were still standing in the case at the beginning of this week.

Some, including Ford, Daimler Trucks North America LLC, Dana Companies LLC, and Saint-Gobain Abrasives Inc., submitted filings asking for the application of foreign law as late as April 12.

Attorneys for the remaining parties spent much of their time Tuesday and Wednesday in negotiations.

Those negotiations pushed off pre-trial motion hearings set for 10 a.m. Wednesday morning before Hyster became the last defendant to settle.

Randy Gori represents the plaintiff.

Several attorneys from the Houston, TX- based Lanier Law Firm were admitted to the case pro hac vice.

They are Lauren Ware, Bridget Truxillo, Sam Richard, Angela Greenberg, W. Mark Lanier, and Patrick Haines.

The Lanier attorneys also served on the plaintiff's team.

Jerome Simon represents Hyster.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder presides.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-877

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