ESTATE OF LAURA POWELL AWARDED $290,000 BY JURY IN MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE VERDICT

3.10.17: Lisa Corwin and Chip Corwin of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly were the lawyers representing the Estate of Laura Alice Powell, deceased, in a jury trial March 6-10, 2017. The jury found in favor of the Powell family and against Dr. Victor Eloy, a gastroenterologist. The jury returned damages of $290,000.

Laura Alice Powell bled to death at Decatur Memorial Hospital November 27, 2004. Five days before she died, Laura received a diagnosis of esophageal varices from Dr. Eloy. Esophageal varices are enlarged veins in the esophagus that are susceptible to bleeding. If these veins start to bleed, a procedure called esophageal banding can stop the bleeding. If the bleeding is not controlled, a person can quickly bleed to death.

Laura’s esophageal varices started to bleed the night of November 26, 2004. She went to the hospital and was seen by Dr. Eloy, who concluded her esophageal varices had bled. The jury found Dr. Eloy was negligent for failing to check if Laura’s varices were still bleeding and for failing to perform the banding procedure on Laura to ensure she would not bleed to death. The jury found Dr. Eloy’s negligence was a cause of Laura’s premature death.

The one-week jury trial was held in Macon County in front of Judge Thomas E. Little. The jury deliberated for approximately four hours.

JURY RETURNS $4.6 MILLION VERDICT IN FAVOR OF WORKER WITH MESOTHELIOMA EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS IN WELDING RODS

10/21/16: James Wylder and Andrew Kelly of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly LLP were the lawyers representing Colfax resident, Charles McKinney, in a 2-week trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict at approximately 11:00 a.m. today. The jury found in favor of Charles McKinney against Hobart Brothers Company and returned damages in the amount of $4,600,000.00.

At age 19, upon his graduation from Octavia High School, Charles McKinney worked at Portable Elevator Company in Bloomington and was exposed to asbestos from Hobart Brothers Company 6010 stick welding electrodes. Charles McKinney developed mesothelioma, a cancer caused solely by exposure to asbestos. The jury received evidence that mesothelioma is an incurable and always fatal cancer.

The case was filed in McLean County Circuit Court. The jury found the Hobart Brothers Company had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos and negligently failed to warn Charles McKinney about the hazards of the asbestos in the flux of its welding stick electrodes.

The 2-week trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Rebecca Foley. The jury deliberated for approximately 6 hours.

JURY AWARDS $3.1 MILLION TO ESTATE OF FORMER RAILROAD WORKER EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS WHO DIED OF LUNG CANCER

2.23.15: James Wylder and Lisa Corwin of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly LLP were the lawyers representing the Estate of Paul McGowan, deceased, in a 3-week trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict at approximately 9:30 a.m. today. The jury found in favor of the McGowan family against the Illinois Central Railroad Company and returned damages in the amount of $3,107,250.00.

Paul McGowan began working for the GM&O Railroad (a predecessor to the Illinois Central Railroad Company) at its shops and rail yard on Bloomington’s west side in 1956 and was exposed to asbestos from various materials including asbestos rope, asbestos insulation, asbestos brakes, asbestos gaskets/packing and other asbestos materials. Paul worked for the railroad until 1993, when he retired. Paul later developed lung cancer, and died December 4, 2003.

The case was filed in McLean County Circuit Court under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). The Act covers injuries sustained by railroad workers in the course of their employment. The jury found the railroad had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos and negligently failed to warn Paul McGowan about the hazards of asbestos, including failure to provide a reasonably safe work environment. The jury further found that the railroad’s negligence in failing to protect Paul McGowan from asbestos exposure was a cause of his lung cancer and death.

The 3-week trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Rebecca Foley. The jury deliberated for approximately 5 hours.

JURY RETURNS VERDICT OF $218,350 IN FAVOR OF MAN BATTERED BY BOUNCERS

9/11/14 Steve Wood of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly LLP was the lawyer representing plaintiff, Austin Schmeisser, in a trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict at approximately 12:30 this afternoon. The jury found in favor of Austin Schmeisser and against Defendant, Europe, Inc., which does business as Chasers Bar in Bloomington. The jury returned $18,350 in compensatory damages for the Plaintiff and further returned punitive damages in the amount of $200,000.00. The jury found Chasers guilty of negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, and battery against Austin Schmeisser.

Plaintiff was injured as a result of being taken into a stairwell and battered by Chasers’ bouncers while a patron of Chasers on January 27, 2012.

The three-day trial was held in McLean County Circuit Court in front of Judge Rebecca Foley. The jury deliberated for approximately five hours.

TWO FORMER RAILROAD WORKERS AWARDED OVER $1.7 MILLION IN FELA CLAIMS FOR ASBESTOS DISEASE

1.27.14: James Wylder and Lisa Corwin of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly LLP were the lawyers representing two plaintiffs, Jim Smith and Mary Hernandez, Administrator of the Estate of John Nafziger, deceased, in a 3 week trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict at approximately 9:30 a.m. today.  The jury found in favor of Jim Smith against the Illinois Central Railroad Company and returned damages in the amount of $1,371,184.05.  The jury also found in favor of Mary Hernandez, Administrator of the Estate of John Nafziger, deceased, in the amount of $384,146.98, against defendant, Illinois Central Railroad Company.

Jim Smith began working for the GM&O Railroad (a predecessor to the Illinois Central Railroad Company) at its shops and rail yard on Bloomington’s west side in 1955 and was exposed to asbestos from various materials including asbestos rope, asbestos insulations, asbestos brakes, asbestos gaskets/packing and other asbestos materials until 1958 when he left his employment.  He developed asbestosis (scarring of the lungs) from his exposures to asbestos.

John Nafziger worked for the GM&O from 1949-50 and again from 1969-72.  He also worked at the rail yards on Bloomington’s west side and was exposed to asbestos while in the course of his employment.  He developed asbestosis and lung cancer, and died September 19, 2007 from the lung cancer.

The case was filed in McLean County Circuit Court under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).  The Act covers injuries sustained by railroad workers in the course of their employment.  The jury found the railroad had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos and negligently failed to warn Jim Smith and John Nafziger about the hazards of asbestos, including failure to provide a reasonably safe work environment.  The jury further found that the railroad’s negligence in failing to protect Jim Smith and John Nafziger from asbestos exposure was a cause of their development of asbestosis, and in the case of John Nafziger, his lung cancer and death.

The 3-week trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Rebecca Foley.  The jury deliberated for approximately 5 hours.

Estate of Railroad Worker Awarded $1.4 Million in Asbestos Fela Action

06.26.2013: James Wylder and Andrew Kelly of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly LLP were the lawyers representing Jane Lilienthal, Administrator of the Estate of Jake Lilienthal, deceased in a 2 week trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict at approximately 5:30 p.m. yesterday in the total amount of $1,443,810.53 against defendant, Illinois Central Railroad Company.

Jane Lilienthal’s husband, Jake Lilienthal was born and raised in Bloomington-Normal and began working for the GM&O Railroad (a predecessor to the Illinois Central Railroad Company) at its shops and railyard on Bloomington’s west-side in 1957 as a laborer and machinist. From 1957-1972 in Bloomington, and after 1972 when he was transferred to the railroad’s Paducah, Kentucky shops, Jake Lilienthal was exposed to asbestos from various materials including asbestos rope, asbestos insulations, asbestos brakes, asbestos gaskets/packing and other asbestos materials. Jake Lilienthal developed asbestosis (scarring of the lungs) and lung cancer from his exposures to asbestos. He died on November 4, 2009 from the lung cancer.

The case was filed in McLean County Circuit Court under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) that covers injuries sustained by railroad workers in the course of their employment. The jury found the railroad had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos and negligently failed to warn Jake Lilienthal about the hazards of asbestos, including failure to provide a reasonably safe work environment, and that the railroad’s negligence in protecting Jake from asbestos exposure was a cause of his development of asbestosis and lung cancer, and a cause of Jake’s death.

The 2 week trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Paul Lawrence. The jury deliberated over parts of 2 days.

Honeywell sanctioned for violating the Illinois Supreme Court Rules; Jurors award $4.3 million

04.08.2011: James Wylder and Lisa Corwin of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly, LLP were the lawyers representing Vicki Hoogerwerf, widow of John Hoogerwerf, in a trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict in the amount of $4,320,000.00 against defendant Honeywell International, Inc.

The jury assessed damages in the amount of $300,000.00 to Vicki Hoogerwerf, individually, for her damages during her husband’s lifetime. The jury assessed damages in the amount of $4,020,000.00 to the estate of John Hoogerwerf, for his injuries and wrongful death.

John Hoogerwerf, contracted and died of lung cancer at age fifty-three after being exposed to asbestos while working as an insulator at jobsites in Central Illinois, including Illinois State University. John Hoogerwerf was not warned of the dangers of asbestos.

At the beginning of the trial, Honeywell was defaulted due to its violation of the rules of the Illinois Supreme Court. The trial proceeded on only the issue of damages.

The trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Paul Lawrence. The jury deliberated for three hours.

McLean County jury awards $89.6 million in asbestos suit

03.11.2011: James Wylder and Andrew Kelly of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly, LLP were the lawyers representing Charles Gillenwater in a 5 week trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict in the total amount of $89,600,000 against defendants Honeywell International, Inc., Pneumo Abex, LLC, Owens-Illinois, Inc. and John Crane, Inc.

The jury assessed compensatory damages in the amount of $9,600,000 against all 4 defendants. The jury further assessed punitive damages against defendant, Honeywell International, Inc. in the amount of $20,000,000, Pneumo Abex, LLC in the amount of $20,000,000, and against defendant Owens-Illinois, Inc. in the amount of $40,000,000.

Fifty-nine year old Charles Gillenwater contracted mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter in the 1970s at jobsites in Central Illinois, including at Bridgestone/Firestone, Illinois State University and Eureka Company here in Bloomington-Normal. Gillenwater was never warned of the dangers of asbestos.

The jury found Defendants, Honeywell International, Inc., Pneumo Abex, LLC, and Owens-Illinois, Inc., either themselves or through their corporate predecessors, conspired with other companies, including UNARCO, Johns-Manville, Raybestos-Manhattan, Owens Corning and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, to suppress information about the hazards of asbestos, including an agreement not to warn their employees and customers about the hazards of asbestos.

The five week trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Scott Drazewski. The jury deliberated over parts of 2 days.
On August 31, 2012, the trial court modified the jury verdict. Both the trial court’s modification and the jury verdict are currently being appealed by various parties to the case.

$17 Million for mesothelioma victim awarded by McLean Jury

02.08.2010: James Wylder and Lisa Corwin of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly, LLP were the lawyers representing Jayne Menssen in a 4 week trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict at approximately 5:00 p.m. today in the total amount of $17,870,000 against defendants Pneumo Abex, LLC, and Honeywell International, Inc.

The jury assessed compensatory damages in the amount of $3,500,000 against both defendants Pnuemo Abex, LLC and Honeywell International, Inc. The jury further assessed punitive damages against defendant Pneumo Abex, LLC in the amount of $4,370,000, and against defendant Honeywell International, Inc. in the amount of $10,000,000.

Jayne Menssen contracted mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos when she worked as a secretary at Union Asbestos & Rubber Company, later called UNARCO Industries, Inc., in Bloomington from 1967-1969. Menssen was never warned of the dangers of asbestos.

The jury found Defendants, Pneumo Abex, LLC, and Honeywell International, Inc. (through their corporate predecessors Abex and Bendix) conspired with other companies, including UNARCO, Johns-Manville, Raybestos-Manhattan, Owens Corning and Metropolitan

Life Insurance Company, to suppress information about the hazards of asbestos, including an agreement not to warn their employees and customers about the hazards of asbestos.

The four week trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Michael Prall. The jury deliberated for 1 day.

Families of former Unarco workers awarded $5.5 million by McLean County jury

10.21.2009: James Wylder and Lisa Corwin of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly LLP were the lawyers representing Doris Dukes, Judy Blessing, and Ruth Watkins, the widows of Merlon Dukes, Bob Blessing, and John Watkins, all former UNARCO workers who died of the asbestos disease mesothelioma. After a two and a half week trial, a McLean County jury returned a verdict for the families in the amount of $5,564,000.00.

Merlon Dukes, Bob Blessing, and John Watkins were all exposed to asbestos when they worked at Union Asbestos & Rubber Company, later called UNARCO Industries, Inc., in Bloomington during the 1950s and 1960s. The men were never warned of the dangers of asbestos.

The jury found Defendant, Honeywell International, Inc. (through its corporate predecessor Bendix) conspired with other companies, including UNARCO, Johns-Manville, Raybestos-Manhattan,Owens-Illinois, Owens Corning and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, to fail to disclose information about the hazards of asbestos, including an agreement not to warn their employees and customers.
The trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Scott Drazewski. The jury deliberated for about 4 ½ hours.