Diseases that are caused because of exposure to asbestos can be some of the most devastating illnesses. Many victims of mesothelioma, asbestosis and other types of lung cancer often develop the disease long before they notice any symptoms. In fact, a diagnosis for these illnesses often comes decades after exposure has taken place. Even more upsetting is that they can be quite aggressive. By the time a victim learns that he or she is suffering from an asbestos-related condition, it is too late for treatment to be effective. In many cases, it is just a matter of a few months before a person passes away.
This is why so many families are left to deal with the aftermath of exposure. Coping with the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult, but families have options when it comes to holding a negligent party accountable for the fatality and pursuing compensation. One woman recently took legal action against a railroad company after the death of her husband.
The man had reportedly worked for GM&O Railroad for more than 15 years. Over the course of his employment, he was exposed to toxic levels of asbestos, according to the lawsuit filed by his family. In the suit, it was argued that the railroad company not only knew that their workers were being exposed to asbestos, but they did nothing to protect them from getting sick. The man passed away in 2009 from an asbestos-related illness.
The case went to trial where a jury determined that the man’s family was eligible for compensation. They awarded the family $1.4 million for the wrongful death.
Railroad workers are among those who were particularly vulnerable to dangerous work conditions. Asbestos was used widely in a number of products used in locomotives, including brakes. Often times, workers on the railroad breathed in a fine asbestos dust caused by brake linings that wore down. Once the dust is breathed in, the asbestos particles can cause significant and ultimately fatal damage to the lungs.
Pursing compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one is not something that can undo the devastation of a loss. However, it is one way that a victim’s family members can hold negligent employer responsible for maintaining hazardous work environments and compensate them for the costs associated medical treatment, lost wages and emotional trauma.
Source: Pantagraph, “Family to get $1.4 million in asbestos lawsuit,” June 26, 2013