James Folta had stopped working at Ferro Engineering 41 years before he was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. He claimed that while working for Ferro Engineering he was exposed to “tremendous amounts of airborne asbestos fibers.” According to the lawsuit, Folta knew that exposure to asbestos dust was dangerous, but Ferro Engineering did not warn him and did not provide respiratory safety equipment.
By the time Folta received the fatal diagnosis, the statutes of repose had expired for claims under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (the statute is 25 years) and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (the statute is 3 years after the claimant stopped working for the employer).
As Folta had no other available course of action, he filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County claiming that his mesothelioma was caused by the negligence of Ferro Engineering. Because of the exclusive-remedy provisions found in the Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases statutes, the lawsuit was dismissed. Continue reading