Secondhand asbestos suit sent back to Madison County

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Secondhand asbestos suit sent back to Madison County


MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2012 1:38:00 PM


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) – The Illinois Supreme Court has remanded a secondhand asbestos exposure case to Madison County to decide whether CSX Transportation had a duty of care to a railroad worker’s wife who suffered from mesothelioma.

In a 4-2 split decision where conservative justices sided with the injured plaintiff and liberal justices sided with the accused business, the high court upheld the Fifth District which had reversed former Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack’s decision to dismiss Annette Simpkins’ lawsuit, for different reasons involving duty.

Justice Rita Garman, for the majority, wrote that the court cannot assess the existence of a duty without further facts.

“Because foreseeability is such an integral factor to the existence of duty and because the weight to be accorded to that foreseeability (as well as to the other factors) depends on the particular circumstances of the case, without more detailed pleadings we cannot determine whether, if all well-pled facts are taken as true, a duty of care ran from defendant to plaintiff in this case,” Garman wrote.

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