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Category: asbestos exposure

Defective Products: Statute of Limitations

Most people understand that Illinois, like every other state in the nation, has a statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claims, imposing a time limit on how long a plaintiff has to file an injury lawsuit.

But filing a defective products personal injury claim has its own time limits, which set further restrictions on how long a claimant has to bring their case before the courts and when that clock actually stops ticking.

Every state has such restrictions for defective product cases and time limits vary. In Illinois, a plaintiff must bring action in a defective products case within two years of the date on which the injury occurred. This differs from other states, which set specific time limits from the date upon which the injury was discovered. The distinction is important because you might suffer an injury and not discover it for weeks or months after (as in the case of a fall that seems harmless but leads to back pain later or exposure to toxic chemicals that later develop into lung injury, for instance).

Illinois also has enacted a 12 year statute of repose that begins the day the product is sold and a 10 year statute of repose that begins the day the product is delivered to the consumer. A statute of repose sets further restriction on defective products suits in that it limits the amount of time you have to file suit irrespective of when you discovered or suffered injury as a result of the product's use.

This places the onus on the consumer to be vigilant in using the product within a time period that the courts deems reasonable.

So if you had purchased a hair dryer in the year 2000, and just recently suffered shock while using it because of what turns out to be a defective switch, even though you filed your case within two years of the injury, your case would likely be summarily dismissed because of the Illinois statute of repose.

These limitations underscore the importance of bringing your claim before the courts as early as possible in these cases. It's also extremely important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney when filing a defective products case.

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Product Liability: Who Can Sue?

In most defective products cases, the individual that brings the claim is the consumer that purchased and used the product. Yet many do not realize that you don’t actually have to be the buyer of the defective product to sue for damages from a defective products claim.

Recovering damages for injury in these cases is not necessarily a legal right exclusive to the consumer that buys the product in question. For instance, if you purchase a travel iron and, while on vacation, a travel companion borrows the iron, which then causes a small fire due to frayed wiring consistent with all models from that specific brand, and that companion suffers burns as a result, the companion can recover damages from the manufacturer, retailer, distributor and any other entities involved in the chain of distribution for that product.

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Product Liability: Who to Sue?

When a person is injured as a result of a product that is defective or whose design poses a danger, identifying all parties that may be liable for your injury is not always the easiest thing. Yet it is extremely important that each party responsible for that product’s availability in the market place be identified because doing so increases your chances for full recovery of damages in a personal injury claim.

Essentially, all parties within the chain of distribution may be considered responsible for any injuries that product poses. So any person or entity that participates in getting the product from manufacture to distribution to consumers may be fair game when considering a defective products case.

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Workers’ Compenation: Occupational Illnesses

Occupational illnesses are illnesses directly related to the employee's work and work place conditions and are often covered by state worker's compensation systems. Many workplaces are simply ripe for specific illnesses and medical conditions and though they may not cause the condition, they do hasten or worsen its progress in the affected worker.

Take, for instance, stress-related illness. Workers with heart conditions, ulcers, hypertension and the like can suffer greatly in positions with higher than normal stress. Police officers and emergency personnel are presumed to experience much more stress in their positions than the average US worker and, as such, are often eligible for worker's compensation benefits when they suffer stress related illness.

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Workplace Injury – Asbestos Exposure

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 1.3 million people in the U.S. work every day in an environment  where they are regularly exposed to large amounts of asbestos.

For many years now asbestos (a known carcinogen) has been linked to the development of serious health problems, including lung cancer, colorectal and gastrointestinal cancer and mesothelioma. As such, OSHA, along with other workplace safety agencies, carefully monitor and regulate exposure to asbestos in the workplace. Regulations mandate that employers limit employees' risks for developing health problems as a result of exposure to significant levels of asbestos.

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