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Asbestos victims' survivors file hundreds of probate court claims

Many workers in North Carolina have died from exposure to asbestos-containing products, and many of these workers received compensation for the disability and shortened life expectancy caused by this exposure. An issue now emerging is whether the survivors of those victims who did not seek compensation can recover damages for their husbands' or fathers' fatal asbestos-related diseases. A recent state court filing in probate court in Akron, OH offers a promising answer to this question.

Akron was home to tire manufacturers B.F. Goodrich and Goodyear and to other companies that manufac-tured auto parts. These companies contained significant amounts of asbestos-containing products in pipe and boiler insulation, and they used asbestos to manufacture many of their products, including brake gaskets. Many workers at these companies were exposed to asbestos fibers and thereafter died from illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.

The probate court in Akron has witnessed the filing of more than 1300 claims by survivors of workers who died from asbestos-related diseases for damages from Goodyear and B.F. Goodrich. The money to pay these claims comes from a fund established by Travelers, an insurer who provided liability coverage for many of the companies that used or manufactured asbestos-containing products. The recent surge in claims is the result of efforts by the probate court judge to notify survivors of the availability of the fund.

Persons in North Carolina may have similar claims. Anyone who has lost a loved one to the ravages of an asbestos-related disease may wish to contact an attorney who specializes in handling asbestos claims. Such an attorney can provide advice on the availability of funds that have been earmarked to pay asbestos claims and the likelihood of obtaining compensation for damages related to medical expenses, loss of income, and loss of companionship.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal, "More than 1,300 damage claims filed on behalf of former Akron-area rubber, auto workers who suffered from asbestos exposure," Ed Meyer, June 22, 2015

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