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Workers’ compensation act effectively disallows civil asbestos claim

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, November 4 in the case of Folta v. Ferro Engineering, which sought to find out whether an employee can bring legal action against an employer outside of the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Occupational Diseases Act when onset of the employee’s injury or disease occurs after the expiration of time limitations under those acts. The Court’s decision stated that the employee’s action is barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the two laws.

In a 4-2 decision penned by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis, the court said that James Folta, who worked for Ferro Engineering from 1966 to 1970, cannot bring common law action against his employer after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2011 due to allegedly being exposed to asbestos-containing products 41 years earlier while performing his job duties for the firm.

According to the ruling, “an occupational disease is defined as one arising out of and in the course of employment.”

If you or a loved one has been injured or become ill due to conditions of your workplace Champaign, get in touch with our attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. by calling our offices today at (217) 328-2828. We can help you fight for your rightful workers’ compensation benefits so that you are not responsible for the financial burden of your recovery.