For decades, workers at high risk of asbestos exposure, directly or indirectly, were unaware of the health risks and were rarely supplied with respirators or other safety and protective gear to prevent asbestos injuries and illness.
The most serious and deadly of these illnesses is mesothelioma. In many cases, employers knew about the risks but failed to warn of the hazards. For that reason, “failure to warn” has become the main point of asbestos lawsuits.
In the past decade, more than 600,000 victims have filed asbestos lawsuits across the United States. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits have been diagnosed with and are suffering from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.
Since the 1800s, asbestos-containing products have been mined and commercially used. Products include baby powder, clutch pads, car brake shoes, and building materials such as floor and ceiling tiles, plastics, adhesives, paints and coating, as well as vermiculite-containing products.
In the past two decades, rising health concerns and federal regulations have significantly diminished the use of asbestos-containing products in the United States. For many, however, it’s too late. Individuals are still being affected throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento, and other areas of California.
These diseases can also be caused by secondary exposure when fibers are transferred from a worker’s clothing to the home environment, exposing family members.
Entire communities have also been exposed due to mines or manufacturers of products that contain asbestos. For over 70 years, people in Libby, Montana were exposed to asbestos associated with Libby’s vermiculite mining and milling operations.
Trades and work environments where asbestos exposure is high include:
- Boiler and furnace locations
- Car mechanics and brake shops
- Railroad workers
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases often go undetected for decades. Up to 3,500 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S., many of which represent asbestos exposure that occurred up to 50 years ago.
For that reason, it’s important to hire an attorney experienced in asbestos and mesothelioma litigation who understands the full implication of exposure and can help investigate and develop your work history and health timeline.
Diseases Caused By Asbestos Exposure
- Mesothelioma, cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity or abdomen
- Asbestosis, an inflammatory condition of the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing and scarring in the lungs, which makes it hard to breathe
- Lung cancer
- Other lung problems, including pleural plaques, pleural effusions, and thickening of the membranes that surround the lungs
Asbestos exposure has also been linked to other cancers such as throat, kidney, brain, bladder, voice box, gastrointestinal tract, gallbladder, and more.
Statute Of Limitations
Similar to other injury matters, it is critical that you seek legal counsel and look to file your lawsuit as soon as possible. Asbestos lawsuits are time-sensitive and the statute of limitations varies from state to state.
State laws typically give plaintiffs one to five years to file suit, and the clock begins ticking once an individual’s asbestos-related illness is discovered and/or diagnosed.
If the victim has passed away, the spouse and/or heirs typically have one to three years from the date of the individual’s death to file a wrongful death claim.
It is important to look up your state’s statute of limitations.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today: No Fee Unless We Win
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos or diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, please contact us today.
Our mesothelioma attorneys will ensure that you understand your rights, and if we accept your case, there’s never a fee unless we win.
Give us a call toll-free at 916-461-8409 or request a free consultation online.
We serve clients throughout California and nationwide; we’re here to help and fight for you every step of the way.