This is almost exactly what happened the last time, right down to it being an asbestos case. I guess the defense looked at the questionnaires and KNEW that we'd end up giving the plaintiffs even more money than they were currently asking for so they settled while they could.
Either way, all done with that for another year. The thing is, I'd actually LOVE to be on a jury---it's just not convenient right now. Call me when I've sold a novel to Hollywood and it's in turnaround hell, but I'm living happily on the first payment or something.