Joined Firm in 1985
Kent defends toxic tort claims arising from environmental and occupational exposures, including product and premises liability claims.
- Edwardsville Office Managing Partner
- Heyl Royster Board of Directors member
Attorney in Edwardsville, IL
Kent joined the firm in 1985 and has been practicing in the firm's Edwardsville, Illinois office since 1988. He has more than 35 years of experience litigating asbestos matters in Madison County, Illinois, one of the most prominent asbestos jurisdictions in the country. Serving on various defense liaison committees associated with the Madison County asbestos docket, his involvement has been instrumental in developing the current Madison County Asbestos Standing Order. Kent's practice also encompasses defending asbestos cases in the greater metropolitan area of St. Louis, as well as in other notable Illinois jurisdictions, such as Cook and St. Clair Counties, and Jackson County, Missouri. He has assisted various national coordinating counsels and insurers in defending these cases. Kent has served as trial counsel for numerous clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local businesses. These clients have included product manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, asbestos fiber suppliers, contractors, local employers, and premises owners. In his toxic tort practice, Kent also protects glyphosate, diacetyl, talc, and benzene lawsuits within the state and federal courts.
Kent is the Managing Partner of the Edwardsville office and also serves on the firm's Board of Directors. He is the former Chair of the firm's Toxic Torts & Asbestos Practice Group. Kent also practices in casualty/tort and product liability litigation.
Kent received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Health from Illinois State University in 1980. He graduated from St. Louis University School of Law in 1985. Before law school, he served as the Director of Environmental Health for the Logan County, Illinois Health Department. Kent has been rated as an AV Preeminent Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell and has been designated an Illinois "Leading Lawyer" since 2008 and named to the 2010-2022 Illinois "Super Lawyers" list. He has also been recognized as a "Best Lawyer" since 2018 in the areas of Mass Tort and Product Liability Litigation for Defendants.
J.D., Saint Louis University
B.S., Illinois State University, Environmental Health
Licensure(s) and Admission(s)
State Courts of Illinois
State Courts of Missouri
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Trial Bar
United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Defense Research Institute
Illinois Defense Counsel
Illinois State Bar Association
Madison County Bar Association
St. Clair County Bar Association
The Missouri Bar Association
Board of Directors (2019-2021)
Holy Trinity Catholic Parish
Participant: Multiple School & Church Activities
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation
Madison County Capital Campaign Board (2015)
- Willis, et al. v. 84 Lumber Co., et al., Circuit Court, Sangamon County, Illinois, Case No. 07-L-0327 – Defense verdict for CertainTeed Corporation in a living mesothelioma claim.
- Berry v. American Standard, Inc., 382 Ill. App. 3d 895, 888 N.E.2d 740 (2008) – Denial of using the deceased plaintiff's discovery deposition as admissible evidence to defeat the defendant's summary judgment motion.
- Hobbs v. Hartford Ins. Co. of the Midwest, 214 Ill. 2d 11, 823 N.E.2d 561 (2005) – Client victory when Illinois Appellate Court (Second District) ruled that no ambiguity existed in auto policy that would allow for stacking of insurance coverage.
“Asbestos Injury Claims Against Employers in Missouri,” Harris Martin's Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (2010)
“Asbestos: Current Issues and Effective Litigation Tactics - Overcoming the Complexities of Asbestos Claim Disputes,” National Business Institute (2009)
“Outbreak Session: Roundtable Discussion: Hot Jurisdictions/Madison County, IL,” DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar (2002)
“Preexisting Injuries: When Are They Admissible?,” Heyl Royster 14th Annual Claims Handling Seminar (1999)
“Exploring the Claimant’s Mind-Has it Been Injured?,” Heyl Royster 9th Annual Claims Handling Seminar (1994)
- Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media℠ – Toxic Torts Defense Law; Products Liability Defense Law; Personal Injury Defense Law: General, 2005-present
- Best Lawyer in AmericaTM by The Best Lawyers in AmericaTM – Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants, 2018-2022
- Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers® – Class Action/Mass Torts: Defense, Personal Injury-General: Defense, Personal Injury-Products: Defense, 2010-2022
- Rated AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected in 2023 Best Lawyers Class of 2023
- Heyl Royster Attorneys Named "Best Lawyers®" in America
- 60 Heyl Royster Attorneys Top 2021 Leading Lawyers List
- Heyl Royster Transitions Toxic Asbestos Practice Leadership to Meet the Future
- 13 Heyl Royster Attorneys Selected by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2021