In what may seem like a landmark victory for mine and factory workers exposed to toxic chemicals, a company has been found 100 percent liable for a worker’s exposure to asbestos fibers and his ultimate death from mesothelioma. The company is responsible for a $2.86 million award to the worker’s family. However, this case illustrates the plight of mine and factory workers in North Carolina and throughout the United States, as millions of these workers over the last several decades have been unknowingly exposed to asbestos, and many of them eventually will suffer the ravages of this swift and deadly disease.
The worker in this wrongful death case was employed at a factory that made ceramic fixtures, bathtubs and sinks. For almost 40 years, the man used a talc powder that contained asbestos, but had no safety warnings on its label. The company that provided the powder has been in operation since the early 1900s, selling industrial chemicals to the petroleum, rubber, ceramic, household and cosmetic industries.
The man had retired so he could enjoy quality time with his family. Soon, he started to have trouble breathing and was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Tragically, he passed away six months later. Although the settlement awarded to his family is significant for the large amount, the family of the worker says that what is most important about this verdict is that the company was found 100 percent liable for not providing appropriate safety measures to protect workers from asbestos.
As mesothelioma can go undetected for decades and then suddenly appear and kill its victims, it is imperative that workers that are diagnosed with this disease get immediate legal representation to secure financial compensation to cover their end-of-life care. Asbestos-related mesothelioma can be traced, and companies who are responsible for this deadly cancer can be found negligent.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “$2.86 Million Asbestos Verdict Awarded to Mesothelioma Victim’s Family,” July 31, 2012