Illinois Asbestos Lawyers

Our Illinois asbestos attorneys represent victims who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma (and other asbestos-related diseases) civil lawsuits against the asbestos companies. We have the expertise and resources victims and their families need to get maximum financial compensation. This page looks at mesothelioma asbestos lawsuits in Illinois and their potential settlement value.

About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that primarily affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers most of the internal organs. Mesothelioma is very unique among cancers because it only has 1 cause, and we know exactly what that is. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become lodged in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or other organs, leading to inflammation, scarring, and eventually the development of cancerous cells.

In the world of cancer, mesothelioma is very rare, with just over 3,000 cases being diagnosed each year. That accounts for less than 1% of all cancer cases. Mesothelioma is also very deadly. In fact, mesothelioma is probably the most dangerous type of cancer that you can be diagnosed with. It has a 5-year survival rate below 12% and a seven-year survival rate below 1%. This means that out of 100 people diagnosed with mesothelioma, only 12 of them will still be alive 5-years later.

There are several different subtypes of mesothelioma, depending on exactly where the cancer originates. The most common subtype is pleural mesothelioma (which originates in the lining around the lungs). Pleural accounts for over 80% of all mesothelioma cases. The onset of mesothelioma is characterized by a prolonged latency period spanning 15 to 40 years post-initial asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Use in the U.S.

For almost a century, asbestos was considered a wonder material and it was widely use in thousands of products and industrial applications. Asbestos is a mineral that is commonly found and easily mined from the earth. The asbestos mineral is fibrous and pliable and it has number of very unique properties that make it unlike any other natural material on earth.

Asbestos is highly heat resistant, even at extreme temperatures. It is also incredibly durable, resistant to corrosion and it does not conduct electricity. These are the qualifies that made asbestos so useful for some many different purposes.

From the start of the 20th century until the late 1970s, asbestos was a very commonly used material in the United States. It was commonly used in a wide range of products and industries, including construction, insulation, automotive manufacturing, shipbuilding, and more. Some of the common products that contained asbestos included insulation, roofing materials, flooring tiles, automotive brake pads, and even household appliances.

Over 3,000 commercial and consumer products once contained or were made from asbestos. This included things like automotive brakes and parts, talcum powder, insulation, roofing shingles, tiles, and on boilers. There were specific fields or industries where use of asbestos products was especially common. Industries with high levels of asbestos use and exposure included shipbuilding, steam fitting, manufacturing, railroads, steel working, and more.

Asbestos Exposure in Illinois

Illinois has the 7th highest rate of asbestos-related deaths in the U.S., with 600 people dying each year in the state from mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.

Asbestos Exposure Sites in Illinois

Asbestos was widely used in various industries throughout Illinois. However, individuals who worked in the state’s power plants and oil refineries were most at risk of asbestos exposure. Major oil companies such as Amoco, CITGO, Mobil, Shell and Standard operated oil refineries in Illinois, and all these companies have been found guilty of exposing employees to asbestos.

Baldwin Power Plant Chicago Nuclear Powerhouse
Crawford Generating Station Dearborn Rubber Corporation
Dresden Generating Station Eureka Company in Bloomington
Emerson Electric Facility Grundy Industries (Joliet)
Fisk Generating Station Johns-Mansville Corp.
Illinois Light and Power Powerton Powerhouse
LTV Steel Amoco

Facilities in Illinois that were involved in the generation of electrical power commonly used asbestos-containing products, primarily as insulation. Power plants in Illinois where asbestos exposure may have occurred include Zion Nuclear Power Station, Powerton Powerhouse, Dresden Generating Station and Quad Cities Station.

Johns-Manville – Waukegan

Illinois hosts several Superfund Sites grappling with asbestos-related issues. The most notorious of these is the Johns-Manville disposal site in Waukegan. Covering 150 acres, this site contains approximately three million cubic yards of wastewater sludge laden with asbestos and other toxins.

Situated near Lake Michigan and Illinois Beach State Park, the site poses a significant risk of airborne asbestos exposure, as studies have revealed. Operations at the Johns-Manville site ceased in 1998, yet asbestos hazards persist, requiring ongoing remediation efforts.

W.R. Grace & Co. – West Chicago

From the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, a company called WR Grace operated a major facility on the west side of Chicago. Records from an asbestos supplier in Montana indicate that the WR Grace facility in west Chicago received and processed over 270,000 tons of asbestos.

Anyone who worked at (or even near) the WR Grace plant in Chicago could have been exposed to high levels of asbestos. The facility stopped operations in 1996. As recently as 2003, however, the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry reported finding asbestos in the soil around the site.

Illinois Mesothelioma Verdicts and Settlements

  • $40,750,000 Verdict (2023): The decedent was reportedly employed from 1963 through 1996 in various positions working at various oil refineries and oil production fields. During the course of his employment, he was allegedly exposed to and inhaled asbestos fibers emanating from certain products that he worked with and around which were manufactured, sold, distributed, marketed or installed by defendant John Crane Inc. He died from mesothelioma at age 78. The lawsuit against John Crane alleged negligent failure to warn.
  • $7,212,000 Verdict (2022): The decedent died at age-62 from mesothelioma after working for decades as a union pipefitter at various industrial facilities for over twenty years, one employer being defendant United States Steel Corporation. The lawsuit was filed against a host of defendants, but most of them settled and the trial proceeded against U.S. Steel Corporation and Fisher Controls, which manufactured valves used at U.S. Steel. he decedent’s estate brought a premises liability suit against U.S. Steel, claiming it failed to properly operate and manage its South Works and Gary Works mills, and knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers found in the pumps, valves, gaskets, insulation and piping insulation used by its employees were toxic.
  • $23,000,000 Verdict (2022): An adult female commercial/industrial laundry worker in the 1970s, allegedly suffered mesothelioma/cancer due to exposure to asbestos from defendant Qualitex Company’s press pads during the 1970s, as she often stood nearby when workers removed and replaced the pads once or twice a week, a routine that spread dust that she inhaled. The lawsuit contended the defendant was at fault under a negligence theory for including asbestos in its products, failing to test those products for hazards, failing to warn of danger and failing to require a substitution of materials in certain products when adequate substitutes were available.
  • $6,022,814 Verdict (2019): The plaintiff, an adult male pipefitter, reportedly suffered from mesothelioma and died due to exposure during his employment to asbestos-containing products manufactured by defendant John Crane Inc. f/k/a Crane Packing Co. The plaintiff reportedly worked with and around John Crane products, including gaskets, insulation and packing. The plaintiff contended the defendant negligently, among other things, failed to warn of the dangers of its products, negligently included asbestos in its products, failed to provide adequate instructions, failed to test its asbestos-containing products and designed respiratory equipment which failed to protect the plaintiff. He also claimed the defendant acted willfully and wantonly.

Contact Our Illinois Asbestos Lawyers

If you (or a family member) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and want compensation, contact our Illinois asbestos lawyers today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation

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