Individuals who developed mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure may be able to recover damages or other compensation through personal injury litigation. If your spouse died of asbestos related mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Asbestos is comprised of six silicate materials and, in the past, was widely used in many industries. Asbestos was commonly used in automotive, construction, and other industries because its fibers do not conduct electricity and are resistant to fire, heat, and chemicals. However, if asbestos is disturbed, fibers are released, inhaled, and become trapped in the lungs for many years.
Exposure to asbestos continued for decades before the health risks of exposure became widely known. As a result, many workers have suffered serious health issues. Short term exposure to asbestos can cause asbestosis, causing coughing and shortness of breath. Eventually, asbestosis can lead to lung scarring. Long term exposure can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, pleural plaques, membrane thickening, and pleural effusions. In addition, some studies have suggested that asbestos exposure is associated with cancers of the throat, gastrointestinal tract, kidney, bladder, brain, voice box, and gallbladder.
Once the negative health effects of asbestos became well known, actions were taken to protect individuals from exposure. However, some occupations are still high-risk for asbestos exposure. Some particularly risky occupations in the past and present include:
- Auto repair
- Asbestos manufacturers
- Paper mills
- Janitorial work (in older buildings that used asbestos)
- Heating and cooling equipment repair
Any workplace that exposes employees to asbestos should have protections in place to minimize risk including proper ventilation, respirators, warning signs, training, protective clothing, and showers.
Asbestos exposure causes serious health problems with long-term, expensive consequences. If you or your spouse has developed one of these conditions as a result of asbestos exposure, contact a lawyer experienced in personal injury or wrongful death litigation as soon as possible to explore your legal rights and options.