A Madison County, Illinois jury awarded a $250 million dollar verdict on Friday in favor of 70-year-old Roby Whittington, a retired U.S. Steel worker from Gary, Indiana. Whittington was diagnosed in 2001 with mesothelioma, a cancerous tumor caused by exposure to asbestos.
Randall Bono and Perry Browder of Simmons Hanly Conroy from East Alton, Illinois and Michael Brickman of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook and Brickman, L.L.C. of Charleston, South Carolina represented Whittington, who worked at U.S. Steel’s Gary, Indiana plant, from 1950 until his retirement in 1981. U.S. Steel was represented by R. Patrick Baughman and Susan Henderson of Baughman & Associates from Cleveland, Ohio and Ed Matushek and Douglas Sinars of Matushek & Associates from Chicago.
U.S. Steel, founded in 1901, manufactures and sells a wide variety of steel sheet, plate, tubular and tin products. U.S. Steel based in Pittsburgh has interests in coal mining, mineral resources management, transportation, real estate, and leasing and financial services. Gary Works is U.S. Steel’s largest steel manufacturing plant and the largest integrated steel plant in North America.
In response to the jury’s verdict, John Simmons stated, “Justice has been served to the extent it could be; but the reality is U.S. Steel will recover – Roby Whittington will not.”
“Roby Whittington was a hard worker and a loyal employee of U.S. Steel for 30 years,” said Browder. “U.S. Steel didn’t care about him. They didn’t protect him and ultimately will take his life.”
“There is no doubt U.S. Steel knew about the danger,” according to Randall Bono. “The jury expects an employer to provide a safe place to work. It expects the employer, if they know of the danger, to tell people about it.”
The $250 million award won by Simmons Hanly Conroy on behalf of Roby Whittington is the largest jury verdict awarded in Madison County, Illinois and the largest asbestos verdict for a single plaintiff in the United
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