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Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Employee’s Direct Action Against Employer for Claimed Asbestos Related Illness

In a much anticipated opinion, on November 4, 2015 the Illinois Supreme Court found that the provisions of Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (“the Acts”) barred an employee from bringing a direct civil action against his employer for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos (Folta v. Ferro Engineering, Ill.S.Ct. Docket No. 118070, Nov. 4, 2015).

In Illinois and elsewhere, employers have been confronted with direct civil actions brought by former employees claiming injury from asbestos exposure for many years.  According to Johnson & Bell Shareholder Kevin G. Owens, “While this opinion may not deter plaintiffs from seeking to avoid the exclusive remedy provisions of the Acts, this opinion certainly should serve as a deterrent against such actions.”  Click here to read Mr. Owens’  analysis of this opinion.