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Case involving asbestos reopened after successful appeal

North Carolina construction workers are well aware of many of the possible dangers associated with their work. However, it can sometimes be the unseen dangers that can be deadly. A construction worker from a Midwest state suffered from mesothelioma asbestos exposure and might not have been aware that it could take his life, even years later.

From the middle of the 1950's to the early part of the 1980's, one man worked as a pipe insulator for a utility company. During that time, his estate claims he was consistently exposed to asbestos dust. The man later developed cancer and died in 2009.

The man's estate sued the utility company for negligence after his death. The company asserted that no damages claim existed because the worker performed some of the work that caused the dust to be airborne. The trial court seemingly agreed with this argument and dismissed the case.

Recently, the estate appealed to the 1st District Court of Appeals. The appeals court overturned the trial court's decision and remanded the case for trial. The court ruled a claim of negligence was properly alleged.

The problem with asbestos exposure is that the effects may not become immediately apparent for several years, if not decades, afterward. Sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of the exposure, and, thus, who may be culpable. In this case, the family believes they know where and how the exposure took place, making it easier to assert a claim. Anyone in North Carolina who contracts mesothelioma or another illness related to the exposure to asbestos may file a civil action seeking damages against the party or parties they too feel to be responsible.

Source: startribune.com, Wisconsin appeals court says asbestos case against power company wrongly dismissed, No author, Dec. 27, 2013

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