Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, September 20, 2019

Settlements reached in suit alleging chemical exposure caused Parkinson's disease

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 14, 2017

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot granted several motions for good faith finding and dismissal following settlement agreements in a man’s lawsuit alleging he developed Parkinson’s disease after years of working with chemicals in the flooring business.

Defendants W.M. Barr & Company, Inc. and Magnum International, Inc. were dismissed with prejudice on Oct. 30 following settlement.

Kessler Chemical, Inc. was dismissed with prejudice on Oct. 23 after the parties reached a settlement agreement.

Barton Solvents, Inc. was dismissed with prejudice on Oct. 16.

Walsh & Associates, Inc. was dismissed with prejudice on Oct. 12.

Brenntag Mid-South Inc. was dismissed without prejudice on Sept. 28.

Marathon Petroleum Company LP was dismissed with prejudice on Aug. 16.

Defendant Vitusa Products, Inc. filed a motion for summary judgment on Aug. 18 through attorney Christian Ambler of Stone & Johnson in Chicago.

Vitusa argued that it searched its records and found no documentation of any sales of methyl alcohol or any solvent to other listed defendants between 1965 and 2012.

Vitusa requested the plaintiff produce documents supporting the claim, he allegedly produced three pages of documents stating that the defendant may have supplied products at issue to defendant Brenntag Mid-South during the time frame.

The defendant adds that the plaintiff fails to prove causation.

“Here, no reading or interpretation of the BMS pages could possibly allow for an inference that Plaintiff was exposed to any Vitusa product, because the dates shown for the potential provision of Vitusa methyl alcohol all post-date Plaintiff’s alleged exposure period,” the motion states.

The pages allegedly show that Vitusa was a potential supplier of methyl alcohol between May 2014 and July 2015, which is after the plaintiff’s alleged exposure.

Plaintiff Vince Stevison responded by filing a motion to dismiss without prejudice on Sept. 6.

According to the complaint, Stevison claims he worked for various flooring companies from 1965 through 2012, primarily in St. Clair County.

Each of the named defendants allegedly designed, manufactured or sold products containing solvents or substances that Stevison alleges he was exposed to, the suit states.

The plaintiff claims his nervous system was damaged as a result of the alleged exposures, which eventually led to his Parkinson’s disease.

Stevison filed several separate motions to voluntarily dismiss defendants Harcros Chemicals Inc., PBF Holding Company LLC and Toledo Refining Company LLC in January.

The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $250,000, plus court costs and attorney’s fees.

Stevison is represented by Tom Burcham III and Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-663

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Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin St. Clair County Circuit Court