| Added On February 8, 2010
There is a lot of talk these days about asbestos, and all the health problems is causes. When you think about how many homes were wrapped in this material back in the 1940’s, just after WWII, it is no wonder.
Asbestos fibers are naturally occurring microscopic minerals that consist of tiny fibers that tend to resist heat and provide a good insulation. This is why they were originally harvested for building materials way back when. And they were used for everything from insulation in the basement; to shingles on the roof. It is still very present in many older homes today. Asbestos is basically classified into 2 groups;
1. The Serpentine fibers, that have long, curly fibers, and
2. Amphibole fibers that have the more common short, needle-like fibers.
It was the long Serpentine fibers that were mostly used in construction, but it was the short Amphibole fibers that were more likely to have been inhaled and lodged in a person’s lungs. Once inhaled, they can irritate the linings of the lungs, and remain there for several years. Over time, this irritation can mutate cells in the region and provide cancerous cells a place to grow.
These fibers can also be ingested, and produce the same results within the digestive tract, causing its victim another series of cancerous cell mutations. Asbestos anywhere in the body can cause scarring, unnatural growths, and it will definitely impede the natural functions of whatever organs it has lodged in. The most common result of asbestos in the human body is the cancer known as mesothelioma. Because of the widespread appearance of this cancer, many people are seeking legal advice about how to deal with such a life changing problem. People suffering from this disease need help, and the legal profession has developed measures to do just that.
An attorney experienced in these cases will first look at how you contracted this disease. More than likely it was through an employer. So he will begin to ask;
1. Did your employer provide you with, and train you on reasonable protective equipment while you were working in a hazardous environment? If he did, then the employer may not have much liability at all. If you had knowledge of the equipment and its uses, but chose not to wear it, then your employer will not be held accountable for what is known as your ‘contributory negligence’.
2. If your employer failed to provide, or provided less than adequate protective equipment, a good attorney will be able to decide if he was responsible for your declining health, and to what degree.
3. If the employer provided what was then the industry standard in protective gear, then your lawyer might then begin to take a look at the manufacturer of this equipment, and try to determine if he also played a part in your demise. If the manufacturer claimed that his product would protect its users from contamination, and it did not, then your attorney will know what to look for in order to determine if he was at fault in some way, and if he also contributed to your health problems. Even if the manufacturer did not realize that his product was ineffective, he is still liable for his statements in most States. Your financial recovery may be increased if the manufacturer conducted studies on the effectiveness of his products, and they still failed to provide adequate protection.
4. Your recovery will increase still more if your attorney can prove that the manufacturer knew his product was ineffective, and still marketed it as being effective. This can result in more punitive damages for you in the long run.
Once these factors have been looked over, a good attorney might look at the supplier of asbestos, and consider if they were negligent in any way by failing to inform the prospective buyer that he was about to purchase a potentially damaging product.
So the next time you are asked to sign a waiver, or read a CAUTION label on something, try to remember that it is for your own good, and not just to release the merchant from liability. If you or someone you know has suffered from an asbestos exposure; please realize that many of these types of damaging exposures can now be prevented. If you have already been exposed, and are trying to find out if you have any legal recourse, call 800-300-0001 and speak with a professional at Ledger Law firm to find out where you stand. Chances are you have a few options.