It's a beautiful day for the race
Stooge Hand is the favorite today
Assault is in there
Dog Biscuit is 3 to 1
Safety Pin has been scratched
And at 20 to 1 . . . Beetle Bomb
That's the opening of Spike Jones's classic parody of horse-race announcing, to the tune of the William Tell Overture, and the puns on racehorse names get cornier with each stanza: “Cabbage by a head,” “Banana coming up through the bunch,” “Girdle in the stretch,” etc.
Something about it reminds us of the annual asbestos derby in Madison County. Maybe it's the line about Dog Biscuit “leading the pack,” which is echoed in the newly released KCIC midyear update on asbestos litigation: “Taking a closer look at Madison County, IL, we see Gori, Julian & Associates leading the pack [emphasis added] with a 34% increase, compared to the first half of 2015 (179 filings vs. 134 filings).”
Gori has jockeyed for first place in the past in this dismal derby, only to be edged out by Simmons Hanly Conroy. This year, going into the home stretch, Gori has pulled away, leaving Simmons a distant second with only 160 filings. Maune Raichle Hartley is third with 107.
Asbestos suits accounted for 72 percent of the law cases filed in Madison County in 2015, only six percent of which were filed on behalf of Illinois residents, less than one percent on behalf of Madison County residents. Madison County law firms filed the majority of the cases, with Simmons Hanly Conroy of Alton responsible for 27 percent and Gori Julian of Edwardsville 26 percent.
Madison County's asbestos court retains its title in 2016 as the most active docket in the country, with the number of new cases filed through June 30 up 10 percent.
Win, place, or show, asbestos attorneys will be in the money. The odds for anyone else are a million to one.