In December 2016, Arlin Campbell was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a disease attributable to exposure to asbestos. On May 4, 2017, Campbell, an Alabama resident, filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County alleging that his cancer (mesothelioma) was caused by his exposure to asbestos while working jobs in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas between 1961 and 1999.
He named more than 50 companies as defendants. Among his several allegations, Campbell claimed that his exposure to asbestos involved products “manufactured, sold, distributed or installed” by the General Electric Co. Campbell’s sole period of employment in Illinois was when he worked for Republic Steel in Chicago from 1964 through 1965.
General Electric moved to dismiss the case against it noting that in Campbell’s complaint, he did not specifically allege that he encountered asbestos from GE products while working at Republic Steel. GE argued that Campbell failed to allege sufficient facts to grant the court personal jurisdiction and noted that it did not consent to the court’s jurisdiction.