Written By: Joe Lahav, Esquire,
Last modified: June 14, 2021

Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Illinois

Illinois has a long history of industrialization. During the 20th century, heavy industry and manufacturing plants sprang up throughout the state.

Unfortunately, the once-common use of asbestos in these facilities has led to Illinois ranking No. 7 in the nation for asbestos-related deaths. Since the dangers of asbestos came to light, Madison County has become one of the nation’s top jurisdictions for asbestos litigation.

According to a 2019 KCIC industry report, Madison County was the No. 1 jurisdiction in the country for mesothelioma lawsuit filings in 2018. Approximately 47% of the nation’s mesothelioma lawsuits were filed there.

Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, asbestos lawsuits became seriously backlogged in Madison County. In response, the judicial system implemented reforms to process asbestos cases more efficiently. For example, mesothelioma patients can benefit from a fast-track filing process.

Most mesothelioma claims filed in Madison County are settled out of court before going to trial. Mesothelioma claims include personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits and trust fund claims.

If you are suffering because of past asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you evaluate your options.

A qualified lawyer can advise you about statutes of limitations in the state and whether to file a claim in Illinois or another state jurisdiction.

Mesothelioma patients and family members should consult an Illinois mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible about when to file a lawsuit.

You should not rely on any information herein to make a determination about your legal rights. Please speak to an attorney licensed to practice law in your area to best understand your legal options.

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Asbestos Exposure in Illinois

Illinois ranks No. 7 in the U.S. for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths. The state’s high ranking is attributed to its extensive industrial history.

Many workers were exposed to asbestos products in factories, plants, refineries, farmhouses, schools and public buildings. Mesothelioma lawyers in Illinois have helped former factory workers, construction tradesmen and their families secure multimillion-dollar verdicts.

Illinois Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure

  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Power generation
  • Oil refining
  • Metal works
  • Chemical processing
  • Insulation installation
  • Railroad operation
  • Construction
  • Teaching

Illinois residents who develop asbestos-related diseases have access to specialized treatment in Chicago. The top mesothelioma treatment centers in Illinois include the University of Chicago Comprehensive Medical Center and the Loyola University Medical Center.

Mesothelioma Law Firms Practicing in Illinois

Illinois residents with asbestos-related diseases have many options for legal representation. Instead of going with a local firm, mesothelioma patients should consider a nationwide mesothelioma law firm because of the experience and reach they offer.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms

  • Weitz & Luxenberg
  • Cooney & Conway
  • Simmons Hanly Conroy
  • Nemeroff Law
  • Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman

Lawyers at the national mesothelioma law firms Simmons Hanly Conroy and Cooney & Conway are based in Illinois, with offices in Chicago. These mesothelioma attorneys specialize in asbestos litigation and understand federal asbestos regulations as well as Illinois state statutes.

Firms that practice nationwide have tried many different types of cases in practically every state. They have the most experience in holding large asbestos corporations liable for asbestos exposure that caused you or a loved one to develop mesothelioma.

If you can’t travel to an office location, a national mesothelioma law firm will come to you. That’s one of the perks of selecting a nationwide law firm.

Representatives from the firms travel throughout the U.S. to meet with clients and conduct depositions. You won’t be charged for their travel expenses, even if they win your case.

It’s in your best interest to hire a top mesothelioma attorney who can take on greedy and negligent companies to get the maximum value of your case in Illinois.

Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to Illinois Workers

  • $5 Million in 2017: Tremco was ordered to pay damages to the family of Willard Krumwiede. Tremco supplied asbestos-containing tape and caulk that Krumwiede used during his career as a window glazier. Krumwiede later developed mesothelioma.
  • $90 Million in 2011: During his career as a pipefitter, Charles Gillenwater was exposed to asbestos in products made by Owens-Illinois, Honeywell, Pneumo Abex and John Crane.
  • $1.5 Million in 2011: Florence Campbell was awarded damages for the death of her husband. Richard Campbell developed mesothelioma after working with asbestos-containing wires and cables at the U.S. Steel plant in Chicago. The defendant company was Ericsson.
  • $3.4 Million in 2009: A jury awarded damages to the family of Richard Worthley, who worked at a Johns-Manville cement plant. Worthley developed mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos supplied by Advocate Mines Limited.
  • $16 Million in 2001: Armstrong Contracting and Supply Company was ordered to pay damages to James Crawford and his wife. Crawford developed mesothelioma after exposure to the company’s asbestos-containing insulation products at an Owens-Illinois Glass plant.

These are among the highest verdicts awarded in Illinois. However, most mesothelioma lawsuits reach a settlement out of court.

Although settlements are typically worth less than jury verdicts, experienced mesothelioma lawyers are known to secure mesothelioma settlements worth more than a million dollars in addition to six-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds.

Illinois Asbestos Laws and Regulations

Federal, state and regional laws regulate asbestos in Illinois. Title 77 of the Illinois Administrative code details requirements for asbestos abatement in commercial and public buildings, including schools. Cook County and the City of Chicago have their own regulations as well.

Only licensed professionals may perform asbestos removal in commercial and public buildings in Illinois. This requirement also extends to residential buildings with more than four units.

Regulations Governing Asbestos in Illinois

  • Illinois Administrative Code Title 77, Chapter 855: Outlines regulations on asbestos abatement in public and private schools and commercial and public buildings in Illinois.

State Departments Overseeing Illinois’ Asbestos Laws

  • Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Asbestos Unit: The Illinois EPA enforces the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health Asbestos Program: The IDPH inspects asbestos-abatement projects and sets licensing requirements for asbestos-management professionals.
  • Cook County Department of Environmental Control: Cook County has additional permitting requirements for asbestos abatement.
  • Chicago Department of Public Health: The City of Chicago also has extra permitting requirements.
  • The Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program: Helps business owners understand the requirements for compliance with asbestos regulations.

Illinois Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits

  • Illinois Code of Civil Procedure Chapter 10: Defines statutes of limitations in Illinois.
  • Illinois Statutes Chapter 735, Section 5/2-1116: Outlines Illinois’ negligence laws.

Asbestos Litigation Trends in Illinois

Illinois courts created the following procedures to manage asbestos litigation in the most popular state for filing mesothelioma lawsuits.

  • Setoffs: In Illinois, defendants in a mesothelioma lawsuit may be entitled to a setoff if the plaintiff has already received compensation from an asbestos trust fund. A setoff reduces the amount of the damages awarded by the jury.
  • Modified Comparative Fault: In Illinois and many other states, the defendants’ combined liability must be at least 51% for a plaintiff to recover any compensation.
  • Fast-track Filing: Mesothelioma patients are eligible for fast-track filing in Illinois because their condition is terminal. It allows cases to reach trial within six months, compared to years in other states.
  • Proportionate Liability: A defendant less than 25% at fault is considered severally liable for damages, while defendants found more than 25% liable are jointly and severally liable for all other damages.

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