An Edwardsville man who worked as an insulator for Shell Oil refinery in Wood River for more than 30 years is expected to take his mesothelioma case to trial in Madison County Circuit Court today.
Harold Schaberg, 84, claims that cumulative exposure at his work place and through non-occupational projects caused him to develop the asbestos-related disease which he became aware of on Oct. 15, 2015.
His attorneys at Simmons Hanly Controy of Alton filed suit on March 24, 2016.
But according to a deposition taken of the plaintiff on March 16, 1988, Schaberg had been represented by Randy Bono of Bono, Haine & Schooley, an early pioneer of asbestos litigation. The transcript of the deposition also indicates that Schaberg had received at least one settlement from a company identified as GAP, decades ago.
The deposition of Schaberg, which aimed at discovering his understanding of product identification, was attached to the docket on Wednesday, along with other pre-trial filings.
Schaberg's deposition transcript indicates he had been screened by local doctors Bruce Vest in Alton and Miles Yanta in Rosewood Heights in 1986, the results of which were not discussed by Schaberg with the physicians, but rather his attorney, Bono.
Bono had litigated asbestos in Madison County until approximately 2004. He also served as a judge in Madison County. In March 2003, Bono represented Indiana steel worker Roby Whittington and secured a $250 million verdict against US Steel - $200 million of which was punitive damages. The award was later reduced through a settlement.
In his deposition, Schaberg said of the screening, "I was informed by fellows out at work they were running a screening program. And we thought it would be a good idea to go have this checked."
When asked by defense attorney Daniel Schmidt of Heyl Royster if Vest discussed results after examining his X-ray reports, Schaberg said, "He showed me on the X-rays where we had pleural thickening of the lungs."
He said the X-ray cost hundreds of dollars and he paid for it out of a $6,700 settlement he received from GAP.
Schaberg also had a pulmonary function test done by Yanta in the summer of 1986, but did not discuss results with the doctor, but with Bono.
"What did he (Bono) tell you about it (pulmonary function test)?," Schmidt asked.
"Everything isn't the way it really should be," Schaberg answered. "The results is, my results should be higher than what they are."
"Was it your lawyers that sent you over to Dr. Yanta to have this pulmonary function test?" Schmidt asked.
"That's correct," Schaberg said. He also said that neither Vest or Yanta ever gave hm any treatment.
Schaberg's trial will be presided over by Madison County Associate Judge Steve Stobbs.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-393.