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December 2015 Archives

Asbestos in schools remains both a hazard and a mystery

This blog has repeatedly discussed the hazard posed by asbestos-containing products in older buildings. An especially dangerous hazard is posed by asbestos products in schools. Congress passed two measures intended to ascertain the scope of and abate this hazard, the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Act of 1984 and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986. In spite of broad language that required local education agencies to inspect schools for asbestos-containing products, develop plans to manage and remove the hazard, and create plans for continued monitoring, the actual extent of asbestos in schools remains largely unknown.

Experts recognize "third wave" of asbestos disease

When the health hazards of exposure to asbestos fibers first intruded into the public consciousness in the 1960s, the victims were asbestos miners, millers and persons who worked for industries that manufactured asbestos products. The second wave of victims involved persons who installed asbestos-containing products such as insulation, boiler coverings, gaskets and brake linings. Now a third wave of asbestos-caused disease is threatening workers in North Carolina and elsewhere.

NC Workers Killed In Industrial Accident

Every job has its fair share of potential dangers that can lead to a worker's inability to be able to function at his or her job, or in more extreme and tragic situations, lead to death. Industrial plants are one of those jobs that contain more risks than others and an accident at one in Goldsboro has left three workers' families looking for answers.

Respirator maker sued in connection with mesothelioma

Because of the pain and suffering associated with mesothelioma, it is not uncommon for those who are diagnosed with the disease to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for exposure to asbestos—the substance that causes the condition. In many situations when lawsuits are filed in connection with mesothelioma, it is on the basis that the worker was unaware that they were exposed to asbestos in the first place. As an asbestos lawsuit that was recently consolidated illustrates, this is not the only basis for such a lawsuit however.

Understanding asbestos trust funds

Over the course of six decades of litigation in North Carolina and elsewhere involving the health hazards of asbestos, many companies have elected to seek protection from such claims under the federal Bankruptcy Act. A bankruptcy proceeding proved to be an effective method of controlling an asbestos company's legal exposure for damages, but claimants were often left short-changed or even empty-handed even when they had compelling claims for damages.

The importance of determining the source of asbestos in lawsuits

The diagnosis of mesothelioma is devastating. As we covered in the last post, the medical condition—for which there is no cure—is caused by an exposure to asbestos. The exposure can take place decades before the condition is diagnosed and is often tied to one’s employment. Legal action may be taken by the affected person or his or her family, to try to recoup damages for the exposure. Before this can be done however, the liable party must be identified. To accomplish this, the source of the asbestos must be identified.

Renovation workers subject to asbestos exposure

This blog has included many posts about the various kinds of occupations that entail a high risk of asbestos exposure, including construction, ship building, roofing and installation and removal of thermal insulation. As states such as North Carolina begin the demolition or renovation of older buildings, a new class of occupation can be added to the list of workers at risk for asbestos product exposure: renovation workers.

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