Madison County saw 1,224 asbestos cases filed in 2015, just over what was projected for the year but down from case filings in 2014.
The total in 2014 was 1,300.
Asbestos suits accounted for 72 percent of the law cases filed in Madison County in 2015, with 1,698 total law cases filed on the civil docket. The remaining 28 percent of the cases included medical malpractice, personal injury and breach of contract, among others.
Simmons Hanly Conroy of Alton filed the most at 331, or 27 percent of the total, and Gori Julian and Associates of Edwardsville filed the second most cases at 316, or 26 percent of the total.
The cases were filed by 16 different firms, most of them local. The others:
- St. Louis firm Maune Raichle Hartley French and Mudd: 211 cases
- Glen Carbon firm Shrader and Associates: 99
- St. Louis firm SWMK Law: 96
- Glen Carbon firm Flint Law Firm: 61
- Edwardsville firm Scheon Walton Telken and Foster and Houston firm Bullock Campbell Bullock & Harris: 31
- Edwardsville firm Richardson Patrick Westbrook Brickman: 21
- Edwardsville firm Napoli Shkolnik: 18
- St. Louis firm O’Brien Law Firm: 13
- Edwardsville firm Goldenberg Heller Antognoli and Rowland: 11
- Chicago firm Cooney and Conway: seven
- Springfield, Mo., firm Carver, Cantin and Grantham: four
- Houston firm Karst & von Oiste: three
- Houston firm The Lanier Law Firm: two
- Chicago firm Pintas and Mullins Law Firm: one
During the HarrisMartin Midwest Asbestos Conference in September, attorney Marcus Raichle Jr. of Maune Raichle projected that approximately 1,118 cases would be filed in 2015, roughly 100 cases less than what Madison County actually saw for the year.
Of the 1,224 cases filed last year, roughly 6 percent, or 75 cases, were filed on behalf of Illinois residents, a decrease from years before where roughly 10 percent of the cases were brought by Illinois residents.
Only six of the 1,224 total plaintiffs, or less than half of 1 percent, were filed on behalf of Madison County residents. However, 20 of the cases filed for Illinois residents do not include the county in which they reside.
Information on the plaintiff’s state of residence was not provided for 26 of the cases filed.
And nine plaintiffs are from outside the U.S., including Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany and the Philippines.
Roughly 11 percent of the plaintiffs allege they developed lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, a drop from last year’s 35 percent.
While the Gori firm filed 33 lung cancer cases, the most filed by a single firm, 90 percent of the cases it filed last year were mesothelioma cases.
Pintas and Mullin only filed one case in 2015, but it was a lung cancer case.
And the Napoli firm may have filed one of the fewest number of cases last year, but roughly 89 percent, or 16 cases, of those filed by the firm were lung cancer cases, which is in line with what it has traditionally filed in Madison County. Five of Napoli’s lung cancer cases were filed against just one defendant.
The new Napoli firm was formed after Napoli Bern split last year.
The remaining firms filing lung cancer cases include:
- Carver, Cantin and Grantham: two lung cancer cases, or 67 percent of its cases filed
- Goldenberg: five lung cancer cases, or 45 percent of its cases filed
- Flint: 19 lung cancer cases, or 31 percent of its cases filed
- Simmons: 24 lung cancer cases, or 7 percent of its cases filed
- Schoen: nine lung cancer cases, or 29 percent of its cases filed
- SWMK: 24 lung cancer cases, or 25 percent of its cases filed
- Shrader: two lung cancer cases, or 2 percent of its cases filed
One plaintiff alleges colon cancer as a result of asbestos exposure. The Illinois plaintiff’s case was filed by the Goldenberg firm.
Five plaintiffs allege asbestosis, and the remaining plaintiffs allege a form of mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure.
Five plaintiffs failed to allege a specific injury, only saying they developed an “asbestos-related” disease.
In years past, records show there were 325 cases filed in 2006; 455 cases in 2007; 659 cases in 2008; 814 in 2009; 752 in 2010; 953 in 2011, 1,563 in 2012, 1,678 in 2013 and 1,300 in 2014.