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Rob represents manufacturing and financial services industry clients in complex commercial litigation in state and federal court. His work involves managing the defense of entire dockets of toxic tort, products liability, and premises liability cases for Fortune 500 manufacturing, chemical, and petrochemical companies.

This week, the Illinois Supreme Court enforced the exclusive remedy provisions of the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act and the Worker’s Occupational Disease Act (“the Statutes”) for latent diseases, including asbestos-related diseases that fall outside the 25-year limit of the statute of repose. The Court’s 4-2 decision in Folta v. Ferro Engineering, No. 118070 (Ill. Sup. Ct.) means plaintiffs can no longer successfully argue that the long latency period for mesothelioma renders their asbestos claims “non-compensable” as to their employers. Thus, their claims no longer meet that exception of the Statutes’ exclusive remedy bar.

Talc, the mineral from which talcum powder is made, is rather innocuous by itself. However, because its chemical makeup and geologic formation is similar to tremolite, a form of asbestos, deposits of the two substances often are located near each other.  This proximity creates the possibility for contamination of the talc, and plaintiff’s attorneys are taking advantage of that possibility.