Find a Mesothelioma Lawyer in Madison County, Illinois
Madison County, located in the southwest corner of Illinois, is small and nameless compared to bigger cities around the United States, but it is a famous jurisdiction for asbestos litigation and mesothelioma lawsuits. Approximately 1,000 asbestos cases are filed each year in Madison County. The reason for this is due to the speed at which cases move through the court system and the usual favorability given to victims of asbestos exposure.
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Top Mesothelioma Lawyers and Law Firms in Madison County, Illinois
There are a handful of mesothelioma law firms based in Madison County. There are actually more mesothelioma lawyers in offices in this county than most other counties of similar size, or larger. If you’re searching for a mesothelioma lawyer in Madison County, Illinois, you’ll have no issue finding one with the skills and experience needed to support victims and represent them in the legal process.
The reason for the high number of law firms based in Madison County is the benefits of filing asbestos claims in Madison County Circuit Court. The National Public Radio station in St. Louis published an article about the favorability toward plaintiffs. It labeled Illinois as a “rocket docket” state, meaning that terminally ill patients “can get a case from filing to trial in six months,” according to the NPR St. Louis report.
Most people with mesothelioma are considered terminally ill because of the short life expectancy for this cancer. The average survival length is 12-16 months, meaning there is a short window for victims to get compensation before many pass away from their cancer.
Madison County is one such court district that hastens the process to expedite cases through the legal system. While defendants feel this is unfair, the mesothelioma diagnosis given to 3,000 people in the U.S. each year is also unfair – and these cases of cancer are linked to preventable asbestos exposure.
Madison County is a suburban region of St. Louis, Missouri. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, there are approximately 264,000 people in Madison County. Edwardsville is the county seat, and Granite City is the largest city by population. Southern Illinois University is the main college in Madison County.
Reasons to Find a National Asbestos Law Firm for Madison County Claims
You should always prioritize finding a national asbestos law firm no matter where you plan to file your claim. There are many reasons why you need a national firm with a license to practice law in multiple places, spanning multiple states or even regions of the country.
Filing Your Case in Multiple States
Madison County, Illinois is considered a favorable jurisdiction for asbestos lawsuits. Many victims and their legal team file claims here initially or move their case to Madison County. Even so, you should still find a national law firm in case you can file your claim in more places than just Madison County.
Most mesothelioma cases involve multiple locations, so restricting yourself to just Madison County, Illinois, will limit the potential compensation you and your family may deservedly receive.
Experience Is Important
Finding a local law firm in Madison County, Illinois, may mean you’ll be represented by a firm with less knowledge of the process. Find a national law firm that has a long list of winning cases – and not just in Madison County.
Top Asbestos Lawsuit Verdicts in Madison County, Illinois
The sheer volume of cases filed in Madison County, Illinois, would lend to there being a lot of asbestos lawsuit verdicts from this jurisdiction. However, most cases reach settlements. Few cases go to trial or reach verdicts.
According to the NPR St. Louis article, one verdict in 2003 led to a $250 million verdict for an asbestos exposure victim. The majority of the 1,000 cases filed each year in Madison County are settled. Mesothelioma settlements save the victims and their loved ones time, but they may result in less compensation.
Steps to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Madison County, Illinois
The first and most important step is finding a mesothelioma lawyer, ideally one with experience filing claims in Madison County. They’ll understand the value of filing cases in this jurisdiction for patients.
After that first step, the main steps of mesothelioma lawsuits are:
Meet your lawyers, ideally where you live
Get a medical diagnosis from a doctor or oncologist if you haven’t yet
Review your history of asbestos exposure with your lawyer
Analyze your work history and whether any jobs involved handling asbestos
Determine the companies that are at fault for your disease
Put together evidence that links your exposure to these companies
File your mesothelioma claim or claims in Madison County
Provide a deposition, which is testimony from a victim
Discuss with the defendant’s side about a potential settlement
Take the case to trial with eyes on a verdict
Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim in Madison County
Madison County is a famous location for the history of mesothelioma claims, particularly asbestos trust funds. The first asbestos trust fund was from Johns Manville Corporation, which had a plant located in Madison County, Illinois.
Asbestos trust funds are bank accounts pre-filled to fund future asbestos disease claimants. Mesothelioma victims and their families can file with asbestos trust funds if the company that is at-fault is bankrupt and no longer an “active defendant.” If they’re not an active defendant, then they cannot be the defendant of a lawsuit.
Johns Manville filed for bankruptcy in the 1980s to sidestep future mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits. The asbestos trust fund began in 1987 with an initial funding amount of $2.5 billion.
The creation of this trust fund paved the way for other asbestos companies to make their own trust funds through filing for bankruptcy. Employees of Johns Manville began filing for disability due to lung diseases as early as 1929.
Asbestos Exposure in Madison County, Illinois
The size of Madison County limits the locations of asbestos exposure. There is not a long list of places where people might have been exposed.
As mentioned earlier regarding filing asbestos trust funds, the most notorious location was the Johns-Manville Plant. Johns Manville is a corporation based in Denver, Colorado, that manufactures insulation, roofing materials and engineered products.
There was a plant in Madison County that was a location for rampant asbestos exposure due to the use of asbestos in roofing and insulation materials.
Other asbestos exposure locations in Madison County – specifically, Granite City – include:
- American Steel
- General Steel
- Madison County Light and Power Company
- U.S. Steel Mill
At-Risk Occupations for Workers in Madison County
Asbestos exposure usually happens through work and is tied to specific occupations. Some of the top occupations linked to asbestos exposure are construction and electrical work. This is because asbestos was used during the 20th century to fortify roof shingles, floor tiles, insulation and more parts of buildings.
Other at-risk occupations for workers in Madison County include:
- Johns-Manville plant workers
- Construction workers
- Steel mill workers
- Power line workers
Asbestos Laws and Regulations in Madison County
Asbestos is not banned in the United States, although there have been multiple efforts to do so. Each state has its own regulatory agencies and rules to keep workers safe from legacy asbestos. Older homes and offices consist of asbestos that was applied decades ago. This old asbestos in old buildings is called “legacy asbestos.”
Renovating old homes or offices can disturb legacy asbestos and expose renovation workers, residents or office employees to loose fibers. Certification is required for workers to manage or remove asbestos. They are required to wear protective equipment while touching or even just in the vicinity of asbestos that’s in siding, roof tiles or insulation.
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Legal in Madison County, Illinois
Statute of limitations is a law that limits how long victims of personal injury cases can file a claim against a person or company. Asbestos exposure lawsuits fall within personal injury.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois is two (2) years. The two-year limit is also for wrongful death cases, which are when the victim has passed away from the injury or disease.
Asbestos diseases like mesothelioma usually manifest 15-50 years after the exposure occurs. Therefore, the statute of limitations does not begin once the exposure occurs. Rather, it begins once the patient learns of their asbestos disease, usually through an official medical diagnosis, or after the family learns that their loved one died of the asbestos disease.
If you want to file a mesothelioma lawsuit in Madison County, you’ll have plenty of options to find a lawyer. There are a lot of qualified and experienced attorneys based in this county. Additionally, many others – like BCBH Law – are certified to practice law in Illinois.
Mesothelioma Guide’s team can assist you in finding a law firm for your Madison County mesothelioma claim. Please contact our legal staff to learn about your legal options.