A Manhattan jury made the news recently when they awarded the family of a deceased construction worker $60 million for the loss of their loved one.
Asbestos Exposure Claims A Life
In the 70’s and 80’s the deceased started his career by working in Brooklyn. For the most part, his job consisted of demolition work – the demolition of single family homes to be exact. This meant that he was often sent into rip out old boilers which contained asbestos.
Believe it or not, asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals which became popular after it was discovered that they are not only flexible but also resistant to heat, fire, and electricity. It was these qualities that caused asbestos to be used heavily in industrial settings and combined with other materials in products that were used throughout homes.
What wasn’t realized quickly enough is that asbestos can cause numerous health problems and ultimately the death of those who are exposed to it regularly, like construction workers.
The three most common health conditions caused by asbestos exposure include:
The mesothelium is a membrane which coats and protects the organs in both the chest and abdomen. When someone is regularly exposed to asbestos, they can develop mesothelioma which is a cancer of the mesothelium. There are four types of mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is the only confirmed way that a patient can obtain this type of cancer.
There are many factors which can increase the risk that a patient will develop lung cancer and asbestos exposure is one of them.
When a construction worker inhales asbestos, the tiny fibers enter the lungs and cause inflammation and injury. Over time, this can result in scar tissue on the lung linings which results in a degenerative lung condition called Asbestosis.
In this case, the construction worker who breathed in asbestos while working around boilers over several decades developed mesothelioma. He fought the disease for total of 14-months before succumbing to his illness and dying. Prior to his death he filed lawsuits against three boiler manufacturers – A.O. Smith Corp., Burnham Commericial, and Peerless.
Family Pursues Lawsuit After Construction Worker’s Death
When it became clear that he would not survive before the case went to trial, the plaintiff recorded his testimony on his death bed so that the jury could hear from him. When he passed, his family continued to fight in his place.
The trial lasted a total of nine weeks, during which the plaintiff’s legal team argued that the boiler manufacturing companies knew about the health risks associated with asbestos but did absolutely nothing to warn the public, putting millions at risk.
The jury agreed and after deliberating, they awarded the plaintiffs, including the deceased’s 11-year-old twins, $60 million for their loss.
Workers Throughout New York Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Although construction workers are certainly at risk for being exposed to asbestos, construction isn’t the only industry where workers are at risk. Other industries include:
- energy generation
- automobile manufacturing
- metal working
Workers throughout all of these industries have been filing mesothelioma lawsuits since the 1970’s, not only seeking compensation for their losses but also seeking raise awareness about the dangers of being exposed to asbestos – dangers that most asbestos suppliers and manufacturers knew about long before the public. Take the following facts into consideration:
- Data from the late 1800’s showed an extreme increase in lung disease among workers in asbestos factories, but company owners failed to inform their employees about this increase.
- In 1918, a U.S. government report revealed that life insurance companies weren’t offering coverage to asbestos workers due to the high chance of developing lung diseases.
- In the 1920’s medical journals begin to talk about the lung diseases diagnosed in asbestos workers and the term asbestosis is coined.
- In 1930, a medical article was published which clearly said that all asbestos workers should be protected from the dust and fully informed of the risk of working near it.
- In 1949, Exxon generated an internal report in which the company admitted that they knew asbestos caused lung cancer.
These are just a few examples of the knowledge that industry leaders had about the dangerous conditions that thousands of workers were exposed to on a daily basis – conditions they did nothing to change.
While a lawsuit may not be able to change the past, it can often provide the plaintiff with compensation that can help them create a brighter future. Compensation can pay for:
- medical expenses
- lost earnings
- physical suffering
- emotional trauma
- funeral and burial expenses
- lost inheritance
- lost parental guidance
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos related medical condition, contact Banville Law as soon as possible. We can help you get the compensation that you both need and deserve.