In some industries, it is not rare to work around products that may contain asbestos. Construction materials, plumbing and heating supplies, car brakes, and household cleaners have contained asbestos at some point. Once the dangers of exposure to asbestos were known, many products were pulled from the market to protect consumers.
However, it is still used in some materials so proper notification on anything that contains asbestos is imperative. When a product is mislabeled as containing no asbestos, a case for product liability may be made.
Recently, a European company called Wolseley shipped gaskets to America that were improperly labeled as “non-asbestos-containing” products. It was discovered that the gaskets contained significantly more than one percent asbestos, which is a much higher leveled than what is allowed.
Wolseley has released a statement asserting that they purchased the mislabeled gaskets from a Canadian company. Assuming there will be product liability lawsuits filed against them, Wolseley has stated that they will also be suing their Candian supplier.
Since the discovery that a number of gaskets have been contaminated, the companies who purchased them have been notified. The damage may have already been done, however, if the end-users have already had toxic exposure to the substance.
If someone is exposed to asbestos, they may develop asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma. These diseases are deadly, and accountability must be taken by those who are responsible for manufacturing these tainted goods. In this case, a company who does not properly label products that contain asbestos may be sued for damages, medical bills and wrongful death.
Source: Asbestos.com, “American Companies Warned about Buying Improperly Labeled Asbestos Products,” Mark Hall, Dec. 12, 2011