General Motors 
Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer

Nationwide Success

Asbestos Lawyers

Representing GM Plant Workers with Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer Claims

Thousands of retired workers at General Motors Auto and Truck Assembly facilities are at risk of developing dangerous health issues as a result of asbestos exposure.

A landslide of occupational cancer litigation caused GM to file for bankruptcy in 2009. A trust fund then began processing claims in with an estimated $625 million to compensate cancer victims.

For over 60 years, several thousand GM plant employees were hired and subsequently exposed to asbestos in the production facilities, as well as different types of toxic auto parts.

For much of that time, health professionals warned employers and workers about the dangers of auto plant exposure, though many companies, including General Motors, failed to heed the warnings and properly protect their employees.

A study published nearly 40 years ago by the Journal of Occupational Medicine concluded automobile manufacturing employees have an increased risk of lung cancer.

With this knowledge that workers were facing dire health hazards, corporations like GM carried on manufacturing and chose not to warn employees of the risks.

Nearly any worker at a GM Assembly plant could be at risk of developing serious health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.

General Motors Plant Cancer Risk

The majority of General Motor major injury lawsuits implicates the company’s asbestos-containing brake linings and clutch facings. Any person handling these products, or facing direct exposure, is at risk of developing a future illness, including factory line workers, brake and clutch assemblers, and warehouse employees.

Many factory workers at GM plants faced an occupational exposure. These production sites were built with asbestos bricks, drywall, and heating and water pipes. And some employees were even at a higher risk. The General Motors occupations most endangered by asbestos include the following:

  • Brake and Clutch assemblers
  • Boiler workers
  • Lathe operators
  • Drill press operators
  • Grinding operators—any workers polishing product surfaces
  • Assembly line workers
  • Maintenance Crews
  • Welders
  • Machinists
  • Warehouse workers

Auto Industry Asbestos Exposure

GM and other auto companies used asbestos in auto parts and buildings because of its heat-resistant quality. But when these auto parts begin to break down through friction, toxic dust can fill factory floors and warehouses.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that dust and fibers can spread far and wide, up to 75 feet from the point of initial disruption.

As of the 1990’s General Motors still used asbestos some capacity in brake systems. Toxic linings are also still used in certain imports models. Other common auto parts that may pose a health risk include the following:

  • Adhesives
  • Transmissions—manual and automatic
  • Clutch Linings
  • Brake Linings
  • Engine housing
  • Gaskets
  • Disc brakes
  • Drum Brakes

    St. Louis Assembly Asbestos

    When inhaled, asbestos fibers can become lodged in the tissue surrounding the lungs and cause permanent scarring. The embedded fibers can later cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

    Related diseases may present with a variety of symptoms, and may not show until many years after exposure. Due to a long latency period, many former GM workers may not be diagnosed for up to decades after exposure. Signs and symptoms of lung cancer and mesothelioma typically include:

    • Chest Pain
    • Cough
    • Persistent fatigue
    • Trouble swallowing and breathing
    • Swelling of the abdomen

    Legal Action for General Motors Workers

    The majority of the numerous lawsuits filed against GM involve the use of asbestos in its brakes, clutches, transmissions and factory building materials. Brake linings may have contained up to 40 to 60 percent asbestos fibers. The linings were often ground and sanded, causing asbestos fibers to enter the air where it was inhaled by employees.

    Employees of GM plants who have been exposed to an unsafe work environment may have been put at risk with various dangerous products.

    If former or current workers in GM plants have been ill and diagnosed with lung conditions, it may be a result of occupational asbestos exposure. Affected employees have a valid claim against their employers, and should consider seeking experienced legal assistance.


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    Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

    The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


    The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

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    A Voice for Those who have suffered
    Why File an Asbestos Claim?

    Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety and compensates victims and their families who have suffered. 


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    Your Right to Safety
    The Statute of Limitations for Asbestos

    Asbestos can be found in many auto manufacturing facilities built before 1980. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are around 75 different jobs that could expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Thousands of American workers are still affected each year. 

    Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be many new cases after 2020 due to the latency period of 20-50 years after first exposure.

    Our Victories

    The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.


    Asbestos (Mesothelioma)


    Asbestos (Mesothelioma)

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