In many personal injury lawsuits, the goal of both parties is to reach a settlement prior to going to trial. This can result in significantly lower court costs and attorney fees all around. In addition, defendant companies often prefer settlements because they reduce the chances of confidential information being released to the public through in-court testimony.
In one recent Madison County asbestos lawsuit, the plaintiff and defendant were able to reach a settlement at what was basically the last possible minute. After the jury had been selected and moments before the trial was scheduled to begin, the final two defendants of the more than 50 initially named in the suit announced that they had reached a settlement with the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit was reportedly filed by a husband and wife last August. According to the suit, the husband had worked as a millwright, power plant consultant and maintenance workers at various locations between 1966 and 2011. He was exposed to asbestos during his employment, which ultimately caused him to be diagnosed with mesothelioma in May of last year.
The plaintiffs reached settlements with all but two of the defendants. Remaining were John Crane, an international gasket maker, and Crane Company, an industrial products manufacturer. The former is based in Illinois, providing the out-of-state plaintiffs with a basis for jurisdiction in Madison County. The names of the other 54 defendants have not been reported.
At the time of jury selection, only those two defendants remained. However, they were able to reach an undisclosed settlement with the plaintiffs prior to the start of the trial.
Source: The Madison Record, “Asbestos case settles after jury picked in Harrison’s court,” Christina Stueve, Mar. 7, 2012