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Family members seek justice after asbestos-related fatalities

Losing a loved one to an asbestos-related illness can be devastating. Mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis can all be caused by exposure to asbestos and they can all be aggressive, painful illnesses that may not respond to treatment. Because of how difficult it can be to treat these conditions, victims can often pass away relatively quickly after diagnosis.

Family members who lose a loved one to these illnesses can be left with more answers than questions. It is common for people to feel angry and helpless, especially when people learn that the illness could have been prevented. For decades, people have been exposed to asbestos without knowing it. The makers of asbestos-containing products and employers in companies that used these products did not always take their responsibilities seriously when it came to alerting others to the hazards of asbestos. This negligence resulted in many people breathing in asbestos and learning 10, 20 or even 40 years later that they were exposed to toxic materials. 

Because of the aggressive nature of these illnesses, victims often pass away before they can take action against a negligent party. In these cases, family members can act on their behalf and work to hold the appropriate parties accountable.

Two women recently filed separate lawsuits against dozens of companies after they each lost a loved one to asbestos-related illnesses.

Though the cases are separate, there are some similarities that many wrongful death cases stemming from asbestos exposure share. Both of the victims died after being diagnosed with an illness linked to asbestos, which both of the victims were exposed to during their careers. Neither of them was warned of the hazards associated with breathing in asbestos and the companies cited in each case are accused of failing to warn and protect others from the asbestos.

The women who filed the claims are each seeking damages from a total of 62 companies for their negligence. In cases like these, it is common for people to request financial compensation as a way to punish companies for misconduct and in an effort to recover the costs stemming from the loss of a loved one. Money cannot truly repair the damage that has been done by negligent companies, but it can be a very effective way to hold them accountable and get the financial support that victims of asbestos exposure and their families may need and deserve.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, "Relatives of Oklahoma, Illinois laborers file asbestos suits in St. Clair County," March 24, 2014

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