One of the most upsetting aspects of an asbestos-related disease can be the length of time it can take for symptoms to show up. A person can be healthy for decades after exposure and then suddenly start feeling the shortness of breath that can be the first sign of mesothelioma or other lung diseases. Many of them go to the doctor, but they may still not get a diagnosis asbestos-related illnesses can often look like other conditions at first.
By the time a person does learn that he or she is suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma or lung cancer, it can be too late for treatments to be effective. From the time of exposure to the time of diagnosis, several decades may have passed and a victim may only have a matter of months to live. This does not mean that there are not consequences for the party responsible for the negligent exposure. There are legal options for victims of asbestos exposure that can help them get the financial support they need.
Like many other victims of asbestos exposure, employees at a former steelworks plant had no idea that their old jobs would come back to devastate their lives decades later. At least 10 former workers have filed lawsuits against the owner of the plant, which has since closed down, after getting sick because of negligent exposure to asbestos.
The lawsuits argue that plant owners and employers were very aware that asbestos was a toxic substance, but they took no steps to prevent their employees from being exposed to it on the job or warn the workers that breathing in airborne asbestos was dangerous. In fact, workers were so oblivious to the risks to their health that they would dump and throw asbestos dust on each other.
Not surprisingly, people got sick because of that exposure. Even though it is nearly a half-century later, former workers want the owners to be held accountable for causing their illnesses. Other victims who have also been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease should remember that with the help of an attorney, taking legal action against a negligent party is an option, even many years after exposure. It cannot undo the damage that has been done, but taking action and pursuing compensation can help victims get the support and justice they deserve.
Source: Wales Online, “Former steelworks staff claiming for asbestos-related diseases,” Graham Henry, Sept. 30, 2013