Two days into jury selection, asbestos plaintiff Joyce Applequist avoided a lengthy trial by settling her claims against Bondex and Georgia-Pacific.
Applequist's attorney, Randy Gori of the Goldenberg firm, was going to try to prove his client was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from products she was working with or around.
Asbestos cases rarely go to trial. Had this one proceeded, it likely would have lasted until Christmas.
Terms of Applequist's settlement were not disclosed, but normally asbestos cases settle for millions of dollars.
"The defendants knew of or should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous, and highly deleterious effect upon the health of people inhaling, ingesting, or otherwise absorbing them," Applequist's complaint stated.
Applequist alleged the defendants were guilty of willful and wanton misconduct. She claimed she has had to undergo costly medical treatment and that she suffers great physical pain and mental anguish as a result of her asbestos exposure.
She alleged that the defendants included asbestos in their products even when adequate substitutes were available and failed to provide any or adequate instructions concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos.
Applequist also claimed she was exposed to asbestos during non-occupational work projects including home and automotive repairs, maintenance and remodeling.
In the last two Madison County trials, Bondex and Georgia-Pacific were found not to be at fault.
Jeff Hebrank of the Hepler Broom firm represented the defendants.