If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Illinois, you are dealing with a very serious cancer caused by asbestos exposure that is usually terminal. Most mesothelioma patients who seek compensation for their illness may want to consider filing a mesothelioma and asbestos exposure lawsuit in Illinois against the company or companies that exposed them to the human carcinogen.

This page provides the information you need to know about mesothelioma lawsuits in Illinois, including past settlements and payouts, how to file, and much more.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer of the lung lining that is caused by extended asbestos exposure. The cancer attacks the mesothelial cells. These are specialized cells that are in the membranes lining the chest and abdominal cavity. The mesothelium, or the tissue that is made up of mesothelial cells, protects the organs by making a lubricating fluid that lets organs move easily in the body without irritating nerves.

Mesothelioma involves serious respiratory issues, especially in the latter stages of the disease, but it is not lung cancer, although it can involve the lungs. Mesothelioma is not caused by smoking, but it can cause lung cancer and increase the chances of getting mesothelioma as well as asbestosis. More recently, J&J’s talcum powder has shown to cause Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma most often occurs in the pleural and peritoneal areas. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the pleura, which is the membrane lining the lungs and chest cavity. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the peritoneum, which is the membrane lining the abdomen.

Risk Factors Illinois Asbestos Exposure

Several factors affect your risk for getting mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease in Illinois: (cancer.gov)

  • Dose: How much asbestos you were exposed to
  • Duration: How long you were exposed to asbestos
  • Size, shape and chemical composition of the asbestos fibers
  • What the source of the exposure was
  • Individual risk factors, such as pre-existing lung disease or smoking
  • Genetic problems, such as having a germline mutation in BAP1

All types of asbestos are human carcinogens, but different sorts of asbestos fibers are associated with varying health risks. For instance, clinical research tells us that amphibole types of asbestos could be more dangerous than chrysotile, especially for developing mesothelioma. Amphibole fibers tend to stay in the lungs longer.

Illinois Sites of Asbestos Exposure

Illinois is not the home of naturally occurring asbestos, fortunately. But there are many industries in the state that used asbestos heavily for decades:

  • Oil refineries: Corporations such as Citgo Petroleum Illinois and Mobil Oil Illinois relied heavily on asbestos for their oil refining processes because of the extreme heat resistance of asbestos.
  • Manufacturing: Asbestos is effective at resisting heat and most chemical reactions, so it was widely used in many manufacturing processes. Corporations such as Nabisco Brands and Kraft Food were well known to have asbestos in their facilities.
  • Power plants: Baldwin Power Plant and Clinton Power State, along with many other plants throughout the nation, often used asbestos in machinery. This put workers in these plants at higher of asbestos exposure.
  • Steel mills: Steel mills frequently used insulation made from asbestos to protect equipment and employees from high heat levels and fires. Some of these mills, such as Granite City Steel and Keystone Steel and Wire kept their machinery safe from fire and heat with asbestos but put employees in danger of asbestos exposure.

Illinois Asbestos Exposure Laws

The Illinois EPA Unit is designed to protect the citizens of the state from asbestos exposure. Illinois EPA has been designated by the USEPA to enforce National Emission Standards for Hazardous Pollutants (NESHAP) for asbestos when buildings are demolished or renovated. This authority also oversees any renovation projects involving asbestos.

Business owners and operators that are subject to NESHAP must submit a fee of $150 as well as a Demolition/Renovation/Asbestos Project Notification form ten working days before starting an asbestos demolition or renovation project. (Illinois.gov)

Illinois Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

If you are considering a lawsuit due to asbestos exposure and being diagnosed with mesothelioma, consider the mesothelioma statute of limitations which can lead to a mesothelioma statute of limitations claims. According to the statute of limitations laws of Illinois, you have two years from the date of your mesothelioma diagnosis to file a lawsuit against the company or companies that exposed you to asbestos.

Illinois Mesothelioma Settlements & Payouts

There is no way to predict with certainty how much you compensation you will get from a mesothelioma settlement. But recent reports indicate that amounts of compensation have been rising in the past few decades.

In 2000, RAND Corporation reported the average settlement for mesothelioma was $900,000. More recently, reports by Mealey’s Litigation Report found the average mesothelioma settlement was $1 million to $1.4 million. (Mesothelioma.com)

If plaintiffs have good, experienced attorneys working for them in Illinois, it is possible to file asbestos exposure lawsuits and receive a high level of compensation.

Below are some examples of recent mesothelioma settlements and payouts in Illinois:

  • A pipefitter in Illinois received $11 million in compensation to assist payment for medical bills, lost earnings and future income for his asbestos exposure decades ago.
  • A Coast Guard engineer in Illinois was exposed to asbestos in his work on Coast Guard ships and was awarded $8.8 million.
  • A plant worker in Illinois was exposed to asbestos around machinery that handled various chemical reactions and won a lawsuit worth $6.8 million.
  • A Navy shipbuilder received $5.5 million in compensation for his exposure to asbestos.
  • An Army engineer was exposed to asbestos in various types of military equipment and was awarded $4 million.

If your loved one dies of mesothelioma, you still have legal options. You can file a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit, and reach a fair wrongful death mesothelioma settlement.

Illinois Asbestos Trust Funds & Claims

Asbestos trust funds may be a good option for some victims of asbestos exposure to recover compensation for their illness. Asbestos bankruptcy trust funds are often formed when a company that worked with asbestos files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Asbestos trust fund/asbestos trust fund payouts can help you to get the money you need quickly to pay your medical bills and to continue your fight against the disease.

As with other mesothelioma claims, trust fund administrators will look at medical costs, lost earnings, treatment-related costs such as travel, and pain and suffering of the patient with mesothelioma.

The payout from a trust fund usually is a percentage of the total compensation amount that can be paid. Trusts in Illinois and across the world are required to have money available for asbestos claims in the future. Thus, most trust funds cannot make a 100% payment.

For example, the US Gypsum Trust has a payout percentage today of 25%. So if the victim of asbestos exposure is awarded $100,000, they will get $25,000 from the trust.

If you want to file a trust fund claim, talk to the best mesothelioma attorneys in Illinois to understand all options for compensation if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Illinois Mesothelioma Treatment Resources

There are several excellent medical facilities available for mesothelioma treatments in Illinois:

The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

This highly regarded cancer treatment hospital is located on the south side of Chicago. It treats patients with malignant mesothelioma and uses a team-based cancer team approach to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient.

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

This hospital located at Northwestern University offers a high quality of care for mesothelioma patients in its lung and thoracic cancer department. These cancer expert physicians work in multidisciplinary teams with oncologists and nurses to make the best treatment plan for the individual cancer patient.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Chicago

CTCA Chicago has the best physicians and treatment programs in the state to handle the medical needs of patients with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Doctors here have extensive experience in debulking procedures, as well as extrapleural pneumonectomies.

Illinois Mesothelioma News

Summary

It is critical to speak to an experienced asbestos and mesothelioma attorney in Illinois as soon as you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related condition by your doctor. The date of diagnosis will be well documented in evidence that is presented in court. If you do not meet the relevant Illinois statute of limitations – sometimes as short as one year from the date of diagnosis – you could be forever barred from obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Michael Bennett
About the Author

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett is Editor-in-Chief of Consumer Protect.com. Since 1999, he's worked across a multitude of areas of consumer protection including defective products, environmental issues, identity theft, predatory lending and more. If you find his articles helpful please share them with your readers.