James Wylder suffers a conspiracy against fatally flawed lawsuits

The Madison County Record Feb. 4, 2012, 12:44am

Never in the history of the world has there been an age that was not characterized by conspiracies. Conspiracies of various magnitude go on all over the world, but not everything is a conspiracy. Some things just happen.

The problem with conspiracy theories – and conspiracy theorists -- is that they tend to go overboard. Take Bloomington plaintiffs attorney James Wylder, for instance.

Wylder's made something of a name for himself in Illinois legal circles by filing lawsuits alleging conspiracies between living and dead manufacturers and distributors of materials containing asbestos.

How do the living conspire with the dead? Don't ask us. Ask Wylder. It's his theory.

He was doing pretty well with it, too, for a while there – until the Fourth District Appellate Court "conspired" to gum up his conspiracy theories.

Twice last year, Fourth District judges reversed jury verdicts in Wylder's asbestos conspiracy trials against Honeywell International. In the process, they preempted the precedents propping up his postulations.

This January, the justices stopped Wylder's argument dead in its tracks once again, concluding that the McLean County Circuit Court should have dismissed his three negligence suits against Illinois Central Railroad.

Wylder had argued that Illinois Central was responsible for the alleged asbestos-related injuries of workers at an asbestos plant because the asbestos had arrived there by rail.

That's three times in the last six months that the Fourth District Appellate Court has shot down James Wylder's fanciful theories. Are the judges conspiring against him? Or is Wylder finally getting what's appropriate for floating far-fetched theories in our legal system that challenge the patience, and perhaps insult the intelligence of our judges?

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