Controversial mesothelioma bill passes
A controversial measure was passed by lawmakers that would indefinitely extend liability for injuries, disease, disability, or death associated with asbestos in construction cases. The disease most commonly associated with asbestos exposure is mesothelioma.
“This piece of legislation creates a wide open avenue for litigation,” State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) said. “It allows for claims that go back 50 years. It will also create unlimited liability into the future.”
The bill does not contain language specifying whether or not this change would apply to pending cases. Nor does the legislation make it clear whether closed cases could be reopened or new cases could be filed, in situations where the statute of limitations has expired, but there is a newly discovered injury.
Proponents, including the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, argued that the legislation was necessary because asbestos-related mesothelioma does not manifest for at least 10 years. They say that the time it takes the disease to manifest limits the ability of those affected to file a lawsuit.