“This case is significant because it is the first time I am aware of that a jury has found that asbestos plaintiffs’ lawyers committed fraud,” said Mark Behrens, a Washington, D.C., attorney with Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
A spokesperson for Illinois Central said the company will continue aggressively pursue suspected fraud or litigation abuses.
The complaints allege the company would not have been obligated to pay the settlements had it known that Harried joined the mass action, titled Cosey, in 1995 and Turner in 1996.
Harried and Turner both filed suit against Illinois Central in 2001. The complaints say the attorneys knew of the previous lawsuits.
“Guy and Brock did not disclose Turner’s prior asbestos claim in Cosey to Illinois Central at any time before Turner’s settlement was consummated and the settlement check was accepted and deposited by Guy and Brock,” the Turner complaint says.