Hours before opening arguments were set to begin in a Bollingbrook, Ill. man's Madison County asbestos trial, attorneys settled.
The case was being litigated in Associate Judge Clarence Harrison’s courtroom.
Arguments were to begin today at 9 a.m.
Harrison said he received an email that the case had resolved between 1:30-2 a.m. Friday.
“Once you’re at trial, you’re at trial,” Harrison said. “You don’t stop working.”
According to the complaint, plaintiff George Hamblet first learned he had developed mesothelioma, an asbestos-induced disease, on April 2, 2012.
Attorneys Randy Gori and Erin Beavers of Gori Julian & Associates in Edwardsville, Aaron Heckman and Fletcher Trammel of Bailey Perrin Bailey in Houston, Texas filed the case for Hamblet last June.
Jury selection started at 1 p.m. Wednesday and continued all day Thursday.
Hamblett and his wife, Doris, remained seated in the jury box as the jury was selected for the case against John Crane and Crane Company.
The suit originally sought damages from more than 50 other defendants, but only John Crane and Crane Company remained as defendants at trial.
Harrison said he was not aware of the details of the settlement.
“They just report that the parties have resolved all remaining issues," he said. "There are plenty of victims who don’t survive. Their life expectancy is very short once they receive the diagnosis.”
According to the suit, Hamblet was a laborer from 1961-1963 at the Owens Illinois Plastics Plant in Chicago; as a fireman in the U.S. Navy from 1963-1967 in Illinois, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts and aboard the USS Damato and USS Joseph P. Kennedy; as a laborer at the Argo Corn Refining Plant in Bedford Park, Ill in 1968; as a laborer and fork lift operator at Continental Can Company in Chicago, 1968-1978; and as a shade tree mechanic in the state of Illinois from 1960-1979.
During the course of employment, he claims he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from certain products he was working with and around, which were manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by the defendants.
Nicole Behnen and Leo Chmielewski and Dennis Dobbels, Brandy Harty and Allison Sonneveld of Polsinelli Shughart represented Crane Company.
Ed Burns represented John Crane.
Madison County case number 12-L-821.