In Madison County, Illinois, Bill Fahey represented of James H., a roofer who had on numerous occasions been sent to the Shell refinery in Wood River, Illinois to work on the roofs of the large tanks on the premises. The tanks were laden with asbestos insulation. Mr. H. had been invited to perform work on these premises for approximately two weeks each year for a ten-year period in the 1960's and 1970's. Shell Oil allowed him to work in areas where dangerous asbestos was being used without warning him of the dangers. Their failure to provide him with a safe workplace resulted in him developing malignant pleural mesothelioma while he was in his early sixties, which was incurable and would later take his life.
Mr. Fahey and his co-counsel uncovered evidence that had been hidden from them by attorneys from Shell Oil which indicated that Shell Oil possessed actual knowledge of the dangers of asbestos as early as the late 1930's but did nothing to warn or protect individuals like Mr. H. who were being asked to come on to their property to work. This hidden evidence also showed that non-asbestos materials were available to Shell Oil that could have been used and which would have prevented Mr. H.'s disease.
After deliberating on the evidence presented by Mr. Fahey and his co-counsel and hearing their arguments, the jury awarded Mr. H. over $35.1 million in damages.