Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Illinois May Be Extended
Illinois lawmakers have moved a step closer to extending the amount of time plaintiffs have to file mesothelioma lawsuits, acknowledging that the current 10-year statute of limitations does not take into account how long it takes for individuals to develop symptoms of cancer-related illnesses..
The Illinois House of Representatives voted 70-43 earlier this month to approve a bill that would eliminate asbestos lawsuit statute of limitation laws. The bill now moves on to the state senate. If approved there, it must be signed by the governor into law.
The legislation was introduced by Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook. She noted in her bill that the 10 year time limit does not account for the fact that mesothelioma and some other asbestos illnesses may not surface until 20 years or more after last exposure to asbestos.
Republicans have criticized the bill for being too broadly written and say it is an anti-business bill.
Asbestos is a highly fibrous substance, which has been linked to a number of serious health problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Although use of asbestos has been banned for nearly 30 years, the substances remains in many older homes and buildings. In addition, many of the health problems linked to asbestos are not diagnosed until decades after exposure..
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, which is only known to be caused by exposure to asbestos and breathing asbestos fibers. It is a lethal disease that is often at a very advanced stage when a diagnosis is made, resulting in a very short life-expectancy.
Abestos lawsuits are the longest-running mass tort in U.S. history, with more than 600,000 people having filed a case against more than 6,000 defendants after being diagnosed with mesothelioma or other related injuries that were allegedly caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
In addition to claims for workers exposed to asbestos in the course of their employment, in recent years there have been a growing number of secondary exposure mesothelioma cases have been brought on behalf of spouses, children and other family members alleging they developed the disease after breathing asbestos fibers brought home in the hair or on the clothing of individuals who worked directly with the material.
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