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Johnson & Bell Shareholders, H. Patrick Morris and David F. Fanning, analyze a recent Illinois Appellate Court ruling that appears to have altered the legal landscape in toxic tort cases in Illinois.  The ruling allows direct claims against one’s employer for asbestos-related injuries, which frequently do not manifest until all relevant statutes of repose have elapsed.  Such direct claims were consistently barred in both Cook County and Madison County, Illinois by the judges presiding over the respective asbestos dockets.  Without a reversal, this dramatic change portends a massive influx of new case filings and significant motion practice by current Illinois plaintiffs to seek leave to amend their pleadings to add direct employers.  This, in turn, may create a whole new subset of newly-invigorated legal and factual analyses related to each employer’s relative role in the causation of the claimed injury, which plaintiffs will now be obligated to address.  Click here to read Pat and David's overview of this ruling.