Man in asbestos case to testify against lawyers

By Steve Korris | Jul 24, 2009



WHEELING – CSX Transportation worker Ricky May, who received $8,000 from CSX to settle an asbestos exposure suit that he filed with an X-ray of another man's chest, has agreed to pay the railroad back and testify against his former lawyers.

CSX attorney Marc Williams reported the agreement to U.S. District Judge Frederick Stamp on July 16 in a motion to exclude testimony about it at an upcoming civil trial.

Williams wrote that CSX worker Daniel Jayne, who sat for the X-ray, has agreed to testify but won't make any payment to the railroad.

Stamp plans to start trial Aug. 11 on CSX's claim that Robert Peirce's law firm in Pittsburgh conspired with Bridgeport radiologist Ray Harron to fabricate asbestos suits.

Jurors will hear about the body switch between May and CSX worker Daniel Jayne, but Williams doesn't want jurors to hear about the settlement.

"The fact that CSX voluntarily settled claims with two of the participants in the fraud that serves as the basis for this civil action is relevant, if at all, only to CSX's claimed damages and has absolutely no relevance to the validity of CSX's claims against the defendants," Williams wrote.

"Further, whether Mr. May repaid CSX for his ill gotten gains provides no assistance to the jury regarding the determination of the defendants' liability," he wrote.

On the same date Walter DeForest of Pittsburgh, representing the Peirce firm, moved to preclude hearsay testimony about a conversation between May and Jayne.

DeForest wrote that at a deposition, Jayne testified that May said Robert Gilkison suggested switching bodies.

Gilkison recruited CSX workers as clients for the Peirce firm.

Jayne had a motive to lie, DeForest wrote, and he disclosed the evidence after he and May both had a motive to lie about Gilkison.

"We are dealing with two men (Mr. May and Mr. Jayne) who admittedly committed a crime, but have been spared prosecution for that crime via their settlement agreements with CSX," DeForest wrote.

He also moved to preclude evidence that anyone in the Peirce firm besides Gilkison knew about the fraud.

"Given the complete absence of evidence supporting such allegation, to permit CSX to argue that any individual at the Peirce firm, other than Mr. Gilkison, had knowledge of the May fraud would be improper, unfairly prejudicial to the Peirce firm and confusing to the jury," he wrote.

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