According to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, virtually every individual on the earth has been exposed to asbestos during some point in their lives, and Illinois residents are not excluded. With such a broad range of industries and facilities that have used asbestos in the state for fire resistance and insulating properties, it is not surprising that Illinois ranks 7th in the nation for asbestos related fatalities.
Exposure to asbestos can cause serious, and sometimes deadly lung diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Those who have been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease can file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product with the assistance of a Chicago injury attorney. In some cases, claims can even be filed against employers. Unfortunately, many victims of exposure may not show any signs or symptoms for years after exposure, and a recent decision by the Illinois Supreme Court has limited the ability of those who have been injured from asbestos to bringing claims for injuries suffered more than 25 years ago.
Four of the six Supreme Court judges ruled that the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act prohibit workers from filing claims for injuries or illnesses that result from activities that occurred more than 25 years prior, even if the diagnosis was recent.
According to Chicago injury lawyer Howard Ankin, “While exposure that occurred decades ago might be more difficult to prove in a court of law, the extensive amount of time that it might take to bring forth a diagnosis should be taken into consideration with cases like these.” Unfortunately, the High Court did not agree. “The fact that (the claimant) was not at fault for failing to file a claim sooner due to the nature of the disease is not a consideration that is relevant to a statute of repose,” was recorded in the November opinion.