By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 6, 2014

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - A Florida plumber's asbestos personal injury lawsuit may soon go to trial in the nation's epicenter for asbestos litigation.

Plaintiffs John and Grace Reidy filed their lawsuit in the Madison County Circuit Court, claiming the venue is proper because one of the original defendants, John Crane Inc., does business in Madison County.

Asbestos Judge Steve Stobbs continued the trial preparations during jury selection on Tuesday. If the case does not settle, jury selection will continue Thursday.

The Reidys filed their lawsuit on June 4, against 40 defendants alleging negligence, willful and wanton conduct, failure to warn, negligent spoliation of evidence, among others.

The defendant list has been dwindled down to just a handful of names as of earlier this week. Crane Co., Bryant Heating & Cooling, Carrier Corporation, Burnham LLC and Nibco, Inc. were still involved in the action on Feb. 3.

According to the complaint, John Reidy began his career as a plumber and boiler tender while serving in the U.S. Navy in 1951.

His work in the plumbing industry continued after his military career, divided between various employments until 1996.

His duties throughout the years included plumbing, as well as installing and maintaining boilers, furnaces and cement pipe.

The Reidys allege that he was exposed to and inhaled asbestos fibers contained in certain products he worked with.

He was later diagnosed with mesothelioma on Feb. 27.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants should have known of the presence of asbestos and dangers involved in working with the asbestos-containing products.

The Reidys claim John Reidy developed mesothelioma as a direct cause of working with those toxic asbestos-containing products, "which has disabled and disfigured him."

The plaintiffs also allege that the defendants at one point held documents and information relating to identification of asbestos-containing products, locations where those products were sold, identity of manufacturers and knowledge regarding the hazards of asbestos. However, the whereabouts of those documents are now unknown.

"It was foreseeable to a reasonable person/entity in the respective positions of defendants that said documents and information constituted evidence, which was material to potential civil litigation, namely asbestos litigation," the suit states.

Nate Mudd of Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd LLC in St. Louis represents plaintiffs.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Heather Isringhausen Gvillo at

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