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The Illinois Supreme Court has removed a Cook County judge from an asbestos personal injury case, granting a request from lawyers who had asked the court to step in and block a "rogue" judge from continuing his sanctions proceedings amid a bench investigation of a situation the judge said resembled an improper “grand bargain” between plaintiffs’ lawyers and those for a company named as a defendant in the case.
The Illinois Supreme Court, acting in response to a request from lawyers who claim they and others have been targeted by a “rogue” Cook County judge, has stepped in to slap a hold on potential sanctions proceedings against lawyers and litigants on both sides of an asbestos personal injury case, blocking the judge, for now, from continuing his bench investigation of what he said resembled an improper “grand bargain” between plaintiffs’ lawyers and those for defendant gasket maker John Crane Inc.
Lawyers for John Crane Inc. have again asked a Cook County judge to reject demands by Ford Motors and other asbestos co-defendants to punish Crane, saying Ford has asked the court to do "something nothing short of revolutionary" in response to allegations Crane allowed plaintiffs' lawyers to use it as a “shill” to prevent other defendants from moving asbestos cases out of Cook County's courts.