Robert Sopha (co-plaintiff) allegedly contracted nonmalignant lung disease from making asbestos for his employer, Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation (defendant). In 1987 Robert and his wife Margaret Sopha (co-plaintiff) sued the company for damages caused by the disease. A state circuit court dismissed the suit on its merits and with prejudice. In 1996, Robert was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a separate asbestos-related disease that Robert could not have foreseen with reasonable certainty in 1987. In 1997, the Sophas sued the company for this new injury. The court dismissed the 1997 suit as having been filed after the three-year limitation period lapsed. After Robert's death from mesothelioma, Margaret appealed the dismissal of the 1997 action to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.