St. Clair County's asbestos docket has jumped so significantly in the last year to the point that presiding Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson is now scheduling monthly motion calls.
In 2009, a total of four asbestos cases were filed in St. Clair County, compared to 53 new cases filed as of Dec. 1. Most of the cases have been filed by attorneys Judy Cates of Belleville, Richard Saville of Alton and Randy Gori of Edwardsville.
Gleeson was assigned to the asbestos docket in the wake of Circuit Judge Patrick Young's retirement last week. Before Young, Circuit Judge Robert LeChien oversaw asbestos cases in St. Clair County.
Meanwhile, neighboring Madison County has seen a steady number of cases added to its already heavy asbestos docket.
As of Oct. 27, 650 asbestos cases had been filed in Madison County.
Long-time asbestos chief Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack retired Dec. 3 after six years heading Madison's packed docket.
The docket hit an all-time high just prior to Stack's tenure at 953 the year before he took over the docket from then-Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.
The numbers dipped into the 300s following Byron's retirement but have been going up since 2007.
Last year there were 814 asbestos cases filed in Madison County.