Take-home asbestos exposure: What businesses should know

| Jul 8, 2020 | Insurance Coverage

Asbestos claims pose a serious risk for business owners. That risk often lies in the widespread use of asbestos in the past in addition to the long latency period of mesothelioma, the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

In recent years, the risk of litigation has expanded to include cases claiming direct as well as indirect exposure. What is indirect exposure, and what must Illinois business owners know about these cases?

Take-home asbestos claims are complex in Illinois

Almost all asbestos claims are complex. Businesses deal with considerable risks if they face these claims, but it can be difficult to prove liability in these cases. When it comes to indirect exposure claims – often referred to as take-home asbestos claims – it is even more complex.

The legal precedent in Illinois regarding take-home asbestos claims makes the outcome of these claims uncertain. In some cases, Illinois courts determine that businesses owe a duty to individuals who suffered take-home asbestos exposure. In others, such as Neumann v. Borg-Warner Morse TEC LLC, courts dismissed the premises owner’s liability to the take-home exposure.

Each case is unique. Illinois courts will examine specific details and circumstances in each case. Therefore, business owners should be aware of these complexities and prepare against the risks these cases pose.

What must business owners do?

Take-home asbestos claims have become more frequent nowadays, increasing the risks that business owners face. So, what should business owners do to reduce that risk?

It is helpful to:

  • Understand and take advantage of the guidance Illinois law and the EPA Asbestos Unit provide;
  • Conduct careful inspections of the property and buildings;
  • If necessary, review policies if there is a risk of indirect asbestos exposure;
  • Obtain or review the insurance policy covering asbestos liability.

Ensuring that the business has insurance coverage in the case of an asbestos claim is critical. Additionally, business owners must confirm whether the policy covers both direct and indirect exposure.