The Occupational Safety & Health Administration website defines asbestos as being “naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion.” Given the durability of asbestos, it has been widely used in a number of building materials as well as floor tiles and brake pads. Upon the discovery that exposure to asbestos materials poses multiple adverse health risks, strict safety policies and regulations were put in place to protect workers and members of the public. However, for many workers and their family members, such safety policies came too late.
In December of 2012 a man, who was employed as a welder from 1962 to 1966, learned he had asbestos-related lung cancer. The man traced his exposure to the deadly material back the four years he spent working as a welder when he completed work for numerous companies. The man recently filed a lawsuit in which he names numerous companies that he believes are negligent in failing to protect both himself and his family members from exposure to materials known to contain asbestos.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff is seeking to recover damages related to medical and nursing expenses as well as lost earnings and disability. The defendants in the case are accused of failing to inform workers about the existence of asbestos materials as well as take steps to protect workers from exposure to the deadly materials. Additionally, the plaintiff asserts that, while the defendants knew about risks associated with both first-hand and second-hand asbestos exposure, they failed to take action.
For many individuals diagnosed with asbestos-related medical conditions such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos materials occurred years ago. This does not, however, absolve companies that failed to inform and protect workers of responsibility. Individuals who were subjected to asbestos exposure either directly or second-hand would be wise to discuss their situation with an attorney who can help determine whether such exposure warrants legal action.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Numerous energy, insurance and industrial entities sued by worker claiming asbestos exposure,” Galia Binder, Feb. 20, 2014 U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Asbestos,” 2014