Madison County jury rules for defense in weld rod trial

By Ann Knef | Dec 1, 2005

After deliberating two hours, a Madison County jury ruled in favor of the defense in a Cape Girardeau man's weld rod trial that lasted a month.

Steve Boren, a welder, filed suit more than five years ago alleging he suffered neurological injuries after being exposed to manganese-containing welding fumes. He was seeking close to $7 million in damages.

Some of the defendants on trial included Praxair, Viacom, Union Carbide, The BOC Group, Sandvik Inc, and Lincoln Electric.

Jeff Hebrank of the Burroughs law firm in Edwardsville represented several of the defendants. Chicago attorney Pat Gloor also was a member of the defense team.

Boren was represented by Goldenberg Miller Heller & Antognoli of Edwardsville and the Vaughan Cascino Law Offices in Chicago. He stayed at a Collinsville hotel during the trial.

In October 2003, Larry Elam of Collinsville who claimed his Parkinson’s disease was caused by welding fumes was awarded $1 million by a Madison County jury in the first ever successfully litigated weld-rod case in the country. Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn presided over the Elam case.

In Elam's case, the jury ruled that welding-rod manufacturers were responsible for failing to warn him about serious health risks. Elam said he used rods manufactured and distributed by major companies across the country.

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