​SST Obtains Summary Judgment in McLean County

On February 4, 2019, Judge Rebecca Foley of the Circuit Court of McLean County, Illinois granted summary judgment in favor of a defendant-manufacturer of laundry equipment in Est. of Gerald Kessinger v. Honeywell International, et al. based on lack of causation under the Illinois Supreme Court's decision in Thacker v. UNR Indus., Inc.

The plaintiff had alleged that the decedent, a 78-year-old laborer, was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma while servicing Defendant’s laundry equipment. In support, the plaintiff pointed to testimony by the decedent’s sons, who testified that from 1970-78, the decedent had performed routine maintenance on washers and dryers at various laundromats in the McLean County area. 

Defendant argued that even if the decedent could show that the component parts had contained encapsulated asbestos (and there was no such evidence in the record), there was no evidence that the decedent’s purported manipulation of those component parts had resulted in a release of respirable asbestos sufficient to satisfy the “frequency, regularity, and proximity” causation standard set forth by the Illinois Supreme Court in Thacker v. UNR Indus., Inc., and, more recently, McKinney v. Hobart Brothers Co. Specifically, the Court found that the plaintiff had failed to present evidence that the decedent had experienced any quantifiable exposure to asbestos from his work on the subject laundry equipment. Given this lack of causation, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant-manufacturer.

For additional information about this decision, please contact James Tomaska or Kate Ofenloch of Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska, who represented the defendant-manufacturer.