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Missouri Law Update
Judge Robert H. Dierker of the St. Louis City Circuit Court, 22nd Judicial Circuit, MO has just recently ruled in the Bergstrom case, 1322-CC09325 that prior to the end of jury selection, the plaintiff must produce settlement information setting forth “the aggregate amount of all settlements obtained from any joint tortfeasor and separately stating the amounts, if any, received from asbestos trusts established pursuant to court order or settlement with non-parties.” (See attached Order.pdf (22 KB)
While this ruling is technically only applicable to the Bergstrom case, it is significant in that it appears defendants now have the court’s approval in obtaining settlement information prior to a verdict being rendered in the case. Prior to this ruling, defendants typically were only provided such information after a verdict had been issued by the jury. While this ruling does nothing to provide defendants access to the asbestos bankruptcy trust information during discovery or any time prior to trial, it is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of providing defendants with knowledge of what set-off there may be for any verdict prior to actually trying the case.