Asbestos-related litigation blossomed in the 1980s and has grown and evolved over the last four decades. Nearly 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy as a result of asbestos litigation, causing plaintiffs' attorneys to focus on solvent, yet peripheral new defendants.iIn the last four decades, over 10,000 different companies have been named in asbestos lawsuits.ii The average number of companies named on a single asbestos complaint in 2015 was 69.iii Although the expiration of asbestos litigation has been predicted many times since it began nearly 40 years ago, there does not appear to be a clear end in sight. Recent filing trends, new plaintiff accessibility, and medical advances (among other factors) seem to indicate that asbestos-related litigation will continue well into the next decade and beyond.
You have worked hard your entire life to build your family business from a small, two man crew to a successful and profitable operation with several dozen employees. You have always treated your employees fairly and have prided yourself in consistently making the most ethical of business decisions. Despite all of this, you now find yourself with an unforeseen and terrifying problem: you have been sued in an asbestos lawsuit. The lawsuit has been filed in Madison County, Illinois, a place you have never heard of. It lists your small, family business alongside the names of 100 other companies, including huge, well-known corporations like Pfizer, Ford Motor Company, and General Electric. It claims that your small business exposed a man to asbestos and caused his death. You are distraught. What do you do now? Will this be the end of your business? What will happen to your family? To your employees?