A new Senate Bill recently signed into Illinois law creates changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act that allow workers to bring civil lawsuits against Illinois employers in occupational injury and disease cases.
Illinois employers have relied on the fact that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act has provided an “exclusive remedy” for workers to recover compensation for certain injuries from occupational illnesses, injuries, and diseases. For many years, workers were barred from bringing claims against employers after a limited time period. The recent Senate Bill 1596 signed into Illinois law by Governor J.B.Pritzker changes those provisions.
Under changes to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, workers will be permitted to file civil lawsuits against employers in latent injury cases. Senate Bill 1596 will remove all time bars for workers who suffer from latent illnesses and diseases caused by exposure to toxic substances including asbestos, beryllium, radiation, and other similar substances.
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