Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally. Although asbestos originally comes from the environment it is by no means safe for humans. The same is true of the poisonous mushrooms or the sun. Long valued for its low cost, strength, binding properties and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used by companies as a cheap ingredient in products for decades in the United States. Companies who included asbestos in products or used raw asbestos in industrial settings were left to police themselves in terms of disclosing the health hazards and consequence to human beings. Almost entirely always choosing business profits over human life and worker safety, asbestos was used unchecked until the governmental through OSHA finally stepped in after decades to try to control the use and unmanaged exposures.
Beginning in the early 1900s, the use of asbestos in products and industry was widespread. It was cheap and easily obtained. Although workers and the public were not aware of the health hazards and dangers, companies released the deadly nature of asbestos as early as the 1940s as shown by internal industry trade organizations and company documents now made public after lawsuits from well know corporations like General Electric, Ford Motor Company, Westinghouse, and Union Carbide to name a few. These companies were among the largest contractors to the United States Government who also told them directly that asbestos use uncontrolled as dangerous to health. Regulations requiring asbestos to be used in controlled settings such as the Walsh Healey Act were passed. But with no enforcement, industry was free to ignore many laws and rules on the books that were designed to protect people. In fact, by 1960 the fact that mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure was established and settled by the medical community and the attention turned to treatments that could save lives.
Today, medical science has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos below which mesothelioma will not occur in some people. Like anthrax, inhalation can be that deadly although it takes decades for cancer to form unlike the immediacy of other ingested or inhaled poisons. With a long incubation or latency period, mesothelioma is considered a silent killer to those who discover they are sick decades after they were exposed.
If exposed to asbestos, you may have a legal claim for compensation to help you with medical expenses, replace lost wages, and other damages recognized by law:
Product liability or product responsibility: If exposed to an asbestos-containing products, those companies that designed the products and chose the ingredients including asbestos may be responsible. Companies that profited from manufacture, assembly, distribution or sale may be responsible under law versus you bearing the expense of illness and loss. The law is such because those companies likely bought insurance at the time of manufacture and sale for the possibility that the products might hurt someone whereas customer and users who had no idea of the risk could not and did not similar insure against injury. That is why the law says the companies and not those who are injured should be liable for damages for the injury and illness you suffer from their products. Though mostly regulated away, asbestos has not been banned even though the government tried to do so but was sued by companies who were against a ban. Thus, asbestos remains in our lives and in products such as automotive products (brakes, clutches, etc.), building products (drywall, flooring, exterior stucco, roofing, etc.) and even other household products that may be used in arts.
Premises owners liability and responsibility: If exposed to asbestos at your workplace where your employer used asbestos fibers, asbestos products, or even asbestos containing industrial talc such as oil refineries, power plants, auto and vehicle assembly, aircraft manufacture & assembly, water hygiene & sanitation, tire & rubber making, sugar and other raw refining processes, constructions and demolition sites, etc., you may have a premises liability claim against companies that controlled the worksite or supplied or installed products. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), approximately 27 million American workers were exposed to aerosolized asbestos in the air at work in the decades between 1940 and 1979.
Wrongful death: When a loved one is ill with an asbestos-associated condition dies from that condition, those persons considered heirs under law or surviving family members may be entitled by law to bring a wrongful death claim.
Posted in Mesothelioma