What Are Asbestos-Related Illnesses You Can File a Lawsuit For?
You can file a lawsuit for various asbestos-related illnesses if you believe your condition is a result of asbestos exposure. Some common asbestos-related illnesses that individuals or their families may seek legal action for include:
- Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs, but can also occur in the abdomen or other areas. It is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure.
- Lung Cancer: While asbestos exposure is not the primary cause of lung cancer, it is a known risk factor, particularly for individuals who smoke.
- Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. It results in lung scarring and breathing difficulties.
- Pleural Disease: This includes various non-cancerous conditions affecting the lining of the lungs, such as pleural plaques, pleural effusions, and diffuse pleural thickening. These conditions can cause pain and breathing problems.
- Other Cancers: Asbestos exposure has been associated with other cancers, such as pulmonary fibrosis, adenocarcinoma, esophageal cancer, and gastrointestinal cancers. Legal action may be pursued if these conditions are linked to asbestos exposure.
It’s important to consult with an experienced asbestos attorney to determine if you have a valid legal claim based on your specific circumstances and the laws in your jurisdiction.
Lawsuits can help victims or their families seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages resulting from asbestos-related illnesses.
Additionally, various compensation trust funds have been established by asbestos companies to provide financial relief to victims and their families, even if the responsible company has filed for bankruptcy.
Asbestos Exposure Questions
School Asbestos Exposure
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are asbestos-containing materials in the majority of schools. Asbestos was commonly used in the materials used to construct schools in Ohio, which means children may be exposed anywhere on the premises, included in classrooms, cafeterias, hallways and gymnasiums.
In 2013, inspectors found damaged asbestos that needed repair or removal in more than 600 locations at more than 180 schools in Chicago. In 2014, families and teaching staff at several California school districts were seriously concerned when contractors removed asbestos materials unsafely earlier that year.
The school districts reportedly failed to warn parents and teachers about the project, and also failed to use proper preventative measures to prevent exposure. The schools and its contractors violated EPA regulations and put teachers and students at risk.
Shipyard Workers Cancer
For the last 75 years, shipyard workers have been among those in the U.S. workforce with an elevated risk of asbestos exposure. Particularly before 1980, it is likely that workers in the ship building industry were in contact with dangerous levels of asbestos, increasing their chances of developing diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
A 2008 study, published by the Ulster Medical Society, indicated shipyard workers have an asbestosis mortality rate 16-times greater than other studied occupations. Authorities have estimated that thousands of shipyard workers—many in Ohio—have died as a result of excess asbestos exposure.
Construction Asbestos Lawsuits
Nearly any construction, renovation or demolition site could have the potential to expose workers to harmful asbestos fibers. Asbestos has numerous applications in the construction industry, and many were used as common practice up until the 1980s in the construction of homes, schools and commercial buildings. Some of the most commonly used materials include the following:
- Adhesives (asphaltic cutback adhesive, emulsion adhesive, fibrous adhesive, lagging adhesive)
- Construction Mastics
- Gold Bond Adhesives
- Gunning Mix
- Ductwork Connectors and duct adhesive
- Floor Backing
- Drywall taping compounds
- Flooring tiles
- Roofing tiles and seals
- Cement and Cement adhesive
- Vinyl flooring
- Spray-on acoustic insulation
- Duct tape
- Joint packing
- Construction felts
- Siding panels
- Textured paints
- Loose-fill attic insulation
Asbestos exposure and its deadly consequences are an ongoing issue throughout the country. Medical studies estimate that the cumulative total number of asbestos associated deaths in the United States may exceed 200,000 by the year 2030.
Construction companies and manufacturers of building materials have a responsibility to provide America’s employees with safe working environments.
To the untrained eye, it may be impossible to identify an asbestos product unless labeling indicates a known asbestos name brand. Even taking normal precautions, a visual inspection of a building structure is not sufficient to determine if it contains asbestos.
Rather, abatement professionals should contacted and samples of suspected asbestos fibers should be sent to a laboratory for confirmation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlines how to collect material samples that may contain asbestos, but the American Lung Association recommends hiring a certified asbestos professional.
There may be dangerous asbestos materials in any older building in the U.S. built before 1980. If notice the following when identifying asbestos, it may be prudent to contact a professional to help assess the risk and need of abatement.
Asbestos Insulation Board was commonly used in walls, building façades, ceilings, fire-proofing, and elevator shafts. It can be found in kitchens and bathrooms. Sometimes the material has been coated with paint or clad with tiles.
Ceiling Tiles may contain asbestos and there are several different types. When dealing with older ceiling tiles it is best to wait for a professional to identify the type.
Asbestos Cement products were widely used due to the product longevity. Products include roofing sheets, roof tiles, flues and drainage pipes.
Asbestos Corrugated Cement Roofing Sheets were used in a number of applications including garages, sheds and commercial buildings.
Vinyl Tiles containing asbestos were used until the 1980s. Often hidden beneath other flooring, asbestos tiles were commonly used prior to more decorative finishes.
Asbestos Sheet Vinyl was used as a backing material or as a decorative finish. These may be found in toilet seats, cisterns or window sills.
Asbestos Textured Coatings were used to cover walls and ceilings from the 1960s until the 1980s. A well-known brand of textured coating that did contain asbestos was Artex. The patterns used for textured coatings included swirls and circles.
Asbestos Pipe Insulation was used to insulate hot water pipes, both in commercial and residential properties. The insulation coated the outside of pipes and often wrapped in a protective coating or painted, making it difficult to identify.
Asbestos Loose Fill insulation is among the most dangerous forms. It was used to insulate floors and walls in primarily commercial buildings. It was also used in the ship-building industry. Loose fill asbestos usually has a blue-grey or white in color, and looks similar to candy floss.