Chicago Tuesday Asbestos Call Recap: Major Developments for VL

Chicago Tuesday Asbestos Call Recap: Major Developments for VL

Chicago, IL (January 8, 2018) —

The Daley Center hosts an Asbestos Call every other Tuesday, which serves as the time and place to track the progress of a lawsuit in preparation for the trial date. The Vogelzang Law blog provides bi-weekly Asbestos Call updates.

The year kicked off with a lively and crowded asbestos motion call on January 8, 2019. Due to the holidays, the Court hadn’t held a motion call for a month, so there was a bit of repressed demand for the judge’s attention. Judge McWilliams handled the crowds with ease, and most of the motions were worked out prior to stepping up. Vogelzang Law had two mesothelioma cases to set for trial. The first was Mr. Laurence Yavner, who was exposed while working in his family’s dry cleaning business in New York City. The case was originally brought in New York. However, one of the Chicago-based defendants in the New York action was unwilling to litigate in New York, claiming that the Court had no jurisdiction over the matter. Therefore, plaintiff’s counsel in New York partnered up with Vogelzang Law to file that portion of the case in Chicago. The dry cleaning defendant needed additional discovery before agreeing to a trial date in September of 2019, so the matter was continued for two weeks.

In a similar matter, the case of Bruce Johnson came up before the judge. Mr. Johnson is living with mesothelioma, and his case had originally been filed in Madison County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson worked for many years in ceramics and pottery. He was exposed to talc products that allegedly contained asbestos. Since Mr. Johnson currently lives in Chicago, the case was re-filed in Cook County. Vogelzang Law has partnered up with Shrader and Associates in that case. At the asbestos call, the parties could not agree on a mutually convenient trial date at the asbestos call, so they were ordered to have a conference and attempt to work it out before bringing the matter back to the judge in two weeks.

The final development at Tuesday’s asbestos call concerned the case of Mary Miller, as Vogelzang Law had successfully moved for a site visit to Borg Warner facilities at the previous asbestos call. However, counsel for Borg Warner brought a motion to reconsider, asking the Court to reexamine the facts and review the additional assertion that there had not been a school tour of the facility. Plaintiff and Defense counsel strongly disagreed on whether a school tour or tours had occurred at the facility. The Judge took note of the dispute regarding a school tour but wanted to dig deeper into why a site visit should or should not occur. Plaintiff’s counsel again argued that Mary Miller is currently living with mesothelioma and had worked at the facility for 40 years, making this a unique situation with a limited time frame for the client to walk through and testify about where she had previously worked. Defendant Borg Warner asserted that the facility would have to shut down, that there were serious safety concerns, and that this would open the floodgates to additional site visits, among other arguments. The Judge denied the motion to reconsider and ordered the site visit to occur in the next 28 days. All photographs, video, and other evidence resulting from the site visit is to be put under seal until further notice.

The Vogelzang Law team continues to advocate for families across America who have been impacted by asbestos. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer linked to asbestos fibers, which are easily inhaled when working with asbestos materials. As a result, insulators, pipefitters, construction workers, mechanics, and more are among the most at-risk groups.


Nicholas Vogelzang


Nicholas Vogelzang has tried numerous asbestos lawsuits on behalf of families stricken with mesothelioma, in both Cook County and Madison County, Illinois. During one of his first trials on behalf of Roby Whittington in 2003, Mr. Vogelzang and his team received the most significant asbestos verdict in Illinois history at $250,000,000. Since then, he has represented more than 200 families with every imaginable type of asbestos exposure throughout the country, resulting in more than 200 million in settlements and verdicts. In 2017, he represented a variety of workers diagnosed with mesothelioma. His clients included: a bricklayer from US Steel; an insulator from Hooker Chemical; a laborer from Union Carbide; a sheet metal worker from John Deere; a plastic worker from Batts Plastics; two employees from Borg Warner; and a Local 130 Chicago union plumber. Nicholas takes pride in personally getting to know each family by working with them to determine the source of the asbestos exposure. His clients for 2018 include: a sheet metal worker; a chemical engineer from Allied Chemical; a TWA airplane mechanic; the mother and husband of a Local 597 Chicago pipefitter; a residential and commercial plumber; a window glazier; a Local 17 asbestos insulator; the wife of a John Jay High School maintenance worker; a pipe fitter that worked at Bethlehem Steel and later Kroger Dairy; and two steelworkers from US Steel. Mr. Vogelzang dedicates himself to his craft, regularly appearing in court on behalf of his clients to argue motions against Fortune 500 companies and their national counsel. He continues his dedication to his clients by working with bright young associates that assist in every aspect of the litigation.

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