Illinois Mesothelioma Lawyer

Illinois workers faced significant asbestos exposure throughout the Industrial Revolution when asbestos use was at its peak. Although asbestos use is limited today, exposed workers are still experiencing its deadly effects. The Illinois mesothelioma lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm help asbestos exposure victims recover significant compensation.

Approximately 110 Illinois residents were diagnosed with mesothelioma every year from 1990 through 2015. The number of new cases decreased to below 100 beginning in 2016, but this is more likely a result of people moving away rather than a decrease in new mesothelioma cases.

The state of Illinois and the asbestos industry became aware that asbestos was an occupational hazard by the 1930s. However, the asbestos industry actively engaged in coordinated efforts to ensure workers and the public were never informed.

Asbestos companies have been allowed to use their vast assets as a liability shield for too long. The Illinois mesothelioma lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm are dedicated to holding them accountable and ensuring they compensate their victims in proportion to the harm they cause.

Why The Lanier Law Firm is the Top Choice for Asbestos Exposure Victims in Illinois

If you are suffering from an illness caused by asbestos exposure, you need a law firm with the resources and experience required for mesothelioma cases. The Lanier Law Firm is one of the most experienced mesothelioma law firms in the world with more than 25 years of experience holding asbestos companies accountable.

Our Illinois mesothelioma attorneys are nationally recognized trial lawyers who have accomplished such results as the following for our Illinois clients:

  • $2.3 million settlement on behalf of a man exposed to asbestos on the job
  • $2.1 million settlement on behalf of a victim of asbestos exposure against multiple
  • $1.75 million settlement on behalf of an 82-year-old woman exposed to asbestos by
    Johnson & Johnson

These are just a few examples of the compensation our attorneys have been able to recover on behalf of our deserving asbestos exposure clients. Click here to view more of our case results in Illinois and nationwide.

Our Featured Illinois Mesothelioma Attorneys

Case Dam

Case is a fervent advocate and passionate litigator who has successfully litigated several mesothelioma cases to verdict. He has performed extensive research on the asbestos industry and served as a trial and appellate attorney for clients exposed to asbestos in a variety of circumstances, including veterans of the United States Armed Services. He is licensed to practice in California, Illinois and Florida.

Mark Linder

Mark is a toxic tort, product liability, and personal injury litigation attorney who has represented clients in state and federal courts across the country, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. He has represented persons exposed to asbestos as shipyard workers, auto mechanics, electricians, and railroad workers.

Illinois’ Asbestos History

The central position of Illinois in the United States made it a strategic center of manufacturing, agriculture, and commerce throughout the early to mid-1900s. In addition to being a major port city with access to Lake Michigan and the Mississippi, Ohio, and Illinois rivers, Chicago, together with St. Louis, comprise the largest concentration of railroads in the nation.

During World War II, Chicago became a major source of meat processing and packing for the military, while outlying areas such as Rock Island supplied ammunition. Sadly, asbestos was an integral component to these businesses in Illinois.

Industries That Used Asbestos in Illinois

The following industries exposed workers to asbestos while contributing significantly to the Chicago economy during and after the Industrial Revolution:

  • Steel mills
  • Oil refineries
  • Automobile plants
  • Paint plants
  • Chemical plants
  • Power plants

Lanier Law Firm Illinois mesothelioma attorney Case Dam says, “Outside of Chicago, Illinois was and is home to the largest farm and construction equipment manufacturers in the world. Caterpillar, Deere & Co., Allis-Chalmers, International Harvester, J.I. Case, and more all had their own foundries in addition to the assembly lines. These plants were generally located around the Quad Cities, Decatur, Springfield, and towards St. Louis.

Illinois also has a significant presence in the U.S. agricultural economy, and as such there are many sizable processing plants located throughout the state.”

Government Regulation of Asbestos

Illinois began making changes as far back as the 1930s in response to its knowledge of the risks associated with asbestos exposure. While the unions and state legislature worked towards protecting workers, the industries that hired them fought against regulations, hoping to continue exposing workers without restrictions.

The Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act

When the state of Illinois amended its workers’ compensation statutes to require workers’ compensation to cover occupational illnesses, including asbestosis, it became one of the first states to recognize asbestos-related illnesses as a compensable condition. In 1951, the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act was codified.

Due to the latency of asbestos-related illnesses, affected workers may file a workers’ compensation claim for up to 25 years after the last exposure.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officially opened for business in April 1971. OSHA’s first official act was the imposition of limits on asbestos fibers in workplace environments. OSHA remains the primary regulatory agency tasked with regulating asbestos exposure in the workplace.

At the state level, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department of Health also regulate asbestos in the workplace. Local enforcement agencies are also in place.

Asbestos Abatement

Buildings that were erected in 1986 or earlier may contain asbestos in the floors, walls, roof, and siding. Buildings constructed as late as 1990 may contain asbestos if vermiculite insulation was used. This includes the following:

  • Public buildings
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Apartment buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Private residences

Removal of asbestos may be more hazardous than leaving it in place, depending on the nature of the asbestos present. The Illinois Department of Health regulates licensing standards for asbestos abatement professionals and provides training. OSHA and the Illinois EPA provide guidelines for the removal and disposal of asbestos.

If you live or work in an older building, the following precautions will protect you from exposure and ensure you are compliant with local, state, and federal laws:

  1. If you suspect asbestos is present, hire a licensed asbestos inspector. It is not always possible to confirm the presence of asbestos without testing.
  2. Hire a licensed asbestos inspector before undertaking demolition or renovation of older buildings.
  3. Do not attempt to remove asbestos-containing materials yourself. When asbestos is disturbed, it becomes airborne and can enter the building’s ventilation system.

Asbestos Companies in Illinois

The companies listed below have a history of exposing workers to asbestos.


  • Builders Supply Company
  • C.E. Refractories
  • Caterpillar Tractor Company
  • Forty-Eight Insulation
  • M.H. Detrick Company
  • U.S. Diamond Wheel


  • A.E. Staley Manufacturing
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Firestone Tire & Rubber
  • General Electric Company – Decatur Plant
  • Mueller Company
  • Wagner Castings Company


  • American Steel and Wire Company
  • Amoco Chemicals Corporation
  • Calumet Chemical Company
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • Illinois Steel Company
  • Joliet Ammunition Plant
  • Joliet Shipyard
  • Olin Corporation
  • U.S. Steel


  • Amoco
  • Kroehler Manufacturing Company
  • National Biscuit Company (Nabisco)
  • North Star Concrete Pipe
  • Standard Oil


  • Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company
  • Aramark Uniform Services, Incorporated
  • Pillsbury
  • T. Reisch & Brothers
  • U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center – East Lake Drive
  • Western Cartridge Company

Chicago Asbestos Companies

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation
  • American Airlines
  • Brach Candy Company
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Diamond Shamrock Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors – Electro-Motive
  • Hunt-Wesson Foods, Incorporated
  • Hyde Park Electric Light and Power Company
  • Illinois Steel Company
  • Jarrow Products
  • Johns Manville
  • Kentile Floors, Incorporated
  • Kraft Foods Company
  • Mobil Oil
  • Morton Chemical
  • Nabisco Company
  • O’Hare Airport
  • Paragon Die Casting
  • Rheem Manufacturing Corporation
  • Standard Oil
  • Texaco
  • U.S. Gypsum
  • United Airlines
  • United Laboratories
  • W.R. Grace
  • Zenith Radio Corporation
  • Zonolite

Quad Cities

  • Borden Company
  • Colt Industries Fairbanks
  • Corps of Engineers
  • Deere & Company
  • Frank Foundries Corporation
  • International Harvester Company
  • John Deere Company
  • May Company
  • Quad City Die Casting
  • Rock Island Arsenal

Railroad companies, schools, and utility companies also have a long history of exposing workers to asbestos.

How much is my asbestos exposure case worth in Illinois?

The value of a mesothelioma case is variable and can depend on the following:

  • The type of case you are eligible to file
  • The number of asbestos exposure claims you can file
  • The severity of your asbestos-related illness
  • Your age at diagnosis
  • Your life expectancy
  • The financial costs of your condition
  • The pain and suffering caused by your condition

Illinois Mesothelioma Lawsuit

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness and you can connect your illness to a company that exposed you to asbestos, you may be eligible to seek economic, non-economic, and punitive damages by filing a civil lawsuit against the company.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are documented monetary damages that are attributable to your diagnosis. These include your medical expenses and lost wages, including lost future earning capacity. You are also entitled to seek reimbursement for the cost of domestic services or other services you must hire because of your illness.

Non-Economic Damages

Subjective, intangible losses are known as non-economic damages and include but are not limited to the following, according to Illinois statutes:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of society

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and deter others from similar conduct.

According to Illinois 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.05, punitive damages are only available when the defendant’s conduct occurred with “evil motive or with a reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and with a conscious indifference to the rights and safety of others” by “clear and convincing evidence.”

An experienced and reputable Illinois mesothelioma attorney can provide clear and convincing evidence that the asbestos industry certainly did engage in conduct that meets this standard.

What if my family member passed away because of an asbestos-related illness?

If your family member has tragically succumbed to an asbestos-related illness, the personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim. Damages available in an Illinois wrongful death claim include the following:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Medical expenses of the deceased
  • Grief
  • Sorrow
  • Mental suffering

Damages are awarded to the spouse and next of kin.

Illinois Asbestos Trust Fund Claim

As the public became aware of the harm caused by asbestos, companies that exposed their workers to asbestos faced a rising tide of lawsuits. Some companies responded by seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Bankruptcy halts lawsuits against the liable companies. Due to the large number of plaintiffs who had been harmed by the egregious conduct of these companies, § 524(g) was added to the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Code, requiring companies with asbestos liabilities to establish trust funds to compensate asbestos exposure victims.

There is approximately $30 billion available in these trust funds today. Filing an asbestos trust fund claim is generally a faster process than filing a lawsuit. When filing a trust fund claim, you can still seek economic and non-economic damages. Families of deceased asbestos exposure victims can also file asbestos trust fund claims.

Workers’ Compensation

Employees who are exposed to asbestos on the job may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, which include the following:

  • Free medical care for the asbestos-related condition
  • Partial wage replacement
  • Death benefits

Although you cannot sue an employer who is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, you may have grounds to sue companies that supplied asbestos materials to your employer, in addition to receiving your workers’ compensation benefits.

VA Benefits

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness after exposure in the line of active military duty, you may qualify for VA benefits, which could include the following:

  • Free medical care for your asbestos-related illness
  • Monthly disability compensation
  • A VA pension
  • Death benefits for family members

Can I file an asbestos claim if I was exposed outside the workplace?

While the workplace is the most common source of asbestos exposure, it is by no means the only source. Asbestos exposure may occur in schools, public buildings, and even your own home. You can be exposed to asbestos through building materials, insulation, and consumer products.

You are entitled to file a mesothelioma claim as long as you have been diagnosed with a related illness and you can identify the source through which you were exposed. The exposure source need not be a place of employment.

When should I contact a
mesothelioma lawyer in Illinois?

The state of Illinois limits the amount of time you have to file a mesothelioma lawsuit to two years in most cases. Trust fund claims also impose deadlines, which vary from one trust fund to the next. When you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the following work will need to be completed before your case can be filed:

  • Identification of your exposure sources, which may be numerous
  • Retrieval and review of your medical records
  • Consultations with expert witnesses, medical experts, and other consultants

These tasks require the investment of significant time and resources. The Lanier Law Firm provides these services without charging upfront fees. However, it is crucial that we start preparing your case as early as possible to ensure these tasks can be completed before your filing deadline approaches.

Asbestos companies fight aggressively to avoid paying compensation, and building a strong case is key to defeating their tactics. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you need the support, advocacy, and representation of a reputable and capable law firm like The Lanier Law Firm. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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