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Lawsuit alleges asbestos in car parts caused woman’s mesothelioma

In our last blog post, we discussed the fact that people in the automotive industry are at risk of developing an asbestos-related illness, asbestos was commonly used – and continues to be used – in several different car parts.

Recently, a woman made this very claim in her lawsuit against more than 12 companies that allegedly manufactured and sold parts containing asbestos between the 1980s and 2000s. She and her husband filed the lawsuit after the woman was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, an illness for which there is no cure.

According to reports, the woman worked for many years performing maintenance on her own cars, though the number of vehicles and amount of work performed on them is not specified. During that time, she says, she was exposed to asbestos in the brakes she replaced as well as other products. She also states that she was working around other vehicles that contained asbestos, including trailers and tractors.

There are many challenges that come with asbestos litigation, and it is likely that this case will see some of those challenges. One primary challenge could be linked to the fact that it can be very difficult to tie a particular company to intermittent or fleeting exposure. Many people develop asbestos-related illnesses after periods of lengthy or concentrated exposure. In this case, it is difficult to tell the extent to which the woman worked on cars with asbestos-containing products.

Companies who are named in asbestos lawsuits typically do whatever they can to avoid taking any legal or financial responsibility for someone's illness, and this case may be no different.

For these reasons, it is crucial for people like the woman in this case to have legal representation and support as they pursue a negligence claim seeking compensation. These cases can be complicated, but they can also be crucial in getting financial support to those who have been hurt by the actions or inaction of others.

Source: Cook County Record, "Couple alleges wife suffers from asbestos-related mesothelioma," Dan Harkins, July 15, 2015

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