The state of Illinois is ranked seventh in the nation for asbestos and mesothelioma cancer-related deaths due to the presence of asbestos in many workplaces and buildings. According to research, an estimated 372, 000 tons of vermiculite contaminated with asbestos was shipped to 30 locations in Illinois from Libby, Montana. Facilities that processed the asbestos-laden vermiculite were located in Chicago, Girard, Peoria, Quincy, Buda and Calumet County. W.R. Grace & Company, which is located in the Western part of Chicago, processed more than 273,000 tons of Libby’s vermiculite from 1974 to the early 1990’s. This, alone, has contributed to thousands of cases of asbestos exposure.
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos while working or living in Illinois and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you may be entitled to a significant amount of compensation. For more information about asbestos exposure in Illinois or to discuss a possible asbestos claim with a qualified attorney, please call 1-800-352-0871 or send us an email today. We will discuss your history of asbestos exposure and will help you recover compensation for damages such as past and present medical bills, lost wages and emotional suffering.
Asbestos Exposure in Illinois
The economy in Illinois is driven by the agriculture, coal, petroleum, timber, power and manufacturing industries; all of which have been responsible for harmful amounts of asbestos exposure to workers, their families and nearby residents. Workers who have worked for the following companies may have been put at risk for inhaling dangerous amounts of asbestos:
- Oil companies such as Amoco, Mobile, Shell, CITGO and Standard
- Power plants such as Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, Illinois Light & Power, Chicago Nuclear Power House and
- Powerton Powerhouse
- Mining companies such as Construction & Mining Services Inc., International Mining Service, Mach Mining LLC
Other industries that relied heavily on asbestos include:
- Textile plants
- Asbestos cement plants
- Manufacturing plants
- Steel companies
- Auto mechanic
Mesothelioma Statistics in Illinois
The 2000 Census found that that population of this state was nearly 13 million, and there were 1731 deaths that were attributed in asbestos from 1980 until 2000. It should be noted that usually mesothelioma is much rarer than asbestosis, but there were three times as many mesothelioma cases as asbestosis cases. Experts believe there were two reasons for this:
- Mesothelioma often is diagnosed very late when it is essentially terminal. Remember that mesothelioma is not a tumor per se, but is cancer of the linings of the organs, as well as the nerve and vessels around them. It is very important to get mesothelioma diagnosed as early as possible, so it is a good idea to be checked out by a doctor if you were possibly exposed long term to asbestos.
- Amphibole asbestos, which is often the culprit in mesothelioma, was used much more regularly than other types of asbestos, which often cause asbestosis.
Legal Aspects of Mesothelioma Cases in Cook County
In the past, Cook County IL was considered a very friendly venue for plaintiffs suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. However a local judge a few years ago put a stop to most asbestos actions where the plaintiff had not yet been diagnosed with cancer.
The reasoning: Almost everyone alive has had exposure to asbestos at some time. Asbestos diseases have a latency period of 20 years or more. Someone who was exposed repeatedly could have no symptoms for 20 years or more.
However, asbestos diseases are rare among the population generally, so even for those who worked in asbestos-related industries, few of them will ever develop asbestosis, or rarer, mesothelioma.
Asbestos Cases in Illinois
IL is home to at least 60 companies, schools and factories that have been involved in asbestos lawsuits. Most of them are ones that you may commonly associate with asbestos, such as oil refineries – Amoco, Citgo, Mobil and Shell. Also, some of the defendants have been power companies, and another one was the Great Lakes Naval Base.
Oddly enough, one defendant included PepsiCo. The likely reason is that PepsiCo often is involved in mergers and acquisitions. When Pepsi buys firms that do not relate to soft drinks, which can include defense related companies and media corporations, the soft drink giant may acquire assets and liabilities related to past dealings with asbestos.
Asbestos often was used in many public buildings in this state and sometimes in public water systems. This is due to the fact that asbestos cement was used to make water pipes from the 1930s until the 1970s.
Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
During the 20th century asbestos was considered a miracle material because it was naturally occurring, relatively cheap to harvest, flexible and pliable, and resistant to heat and fire. It is no wonder why so many companies in industrial cities such as Chicago and other places across the U.S. relied so heavily on its use. The problem; however, is that once the dangers of asbestos dust were discovered, many companies concealed the safety risks and continued to expose workers and consumers to the dangers, despite knowing of the risks.
Many major companies throughout Chicago and across the state of Illinois have wrongfully exposed thousands of workers and residents to the harmful effects of the toxic material; and, as Chicago mesothelioma lawyers, we believe they should be held accountable. We have a taken a special interest in defending the rights of American workers and consumers and have dedicated our practice to fighting to protect them from the unlawful and greedy actions of corporations.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-caused illness and you have a history of working or living in Illinois, we may be able to help you collect compensation for your suffering. To find out more, contact us today.