Folta v. Ferro Eng'gAnnotate this Case
From 1966-1970, Folta was a shipping clerk and product tester for Ferro Engineering and was exposed to products containing asbestos. In 2011, Folta was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a disease associated with asbestos exposure. He sued Ferro, alleging negligence. Ferro moved to dismiss under ILCS 5/2-619(a)(9), arguing that the claimswere barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act (820 ILCS 305/5(a)) and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (820 ILCS 310/5(a)). Ferro maintained that his action fell outside the exclusive remedy provisions because his claims were not “compensable” under the statutes: the symptoms did not manifest until more than 40 years after his last exposure to asbestos, and any potential asbestos-related compensation claim was barred under the 25-year limitation provision. The circuit court dismissed, holding that the action was barred by the exclusive remedy provisions. The appellate court reversed, reasoning that the term “compensability” must relate to the “ability to recover under the Act.” The Illinois Supreme Court reinstated the dismissal, noting that the acts do not prevent an employee from seeking a remedy against other third parties for an injury or disease and that Folta had also sued manufacturers.