Many people in North Carolina think that asbestos claims are a thing of the past, but they are wrong. In the past several weeks, this blog has cited a number of cases in which exposure to asbestos-containing products has been cited as a present and serious public health risk. We also mentioned congressional efforts to pass the Further Asbestos Claims Transparency Act (“FACT Act”), which is viewed by many observers as an effort by the asbestos industry and its defenders to raise the barriers to successful pursuit of claims for damages caused by asbestos exposure. Plainly, asbestos has not “gone away” – it is still viewed as a significant health hazard and it still makes people sick.
The health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos fibers were discovered shortly after the end of World War II. Persons who had worked in shipyards, workers who installed insulated heating lines and others whose work required them to be in the presence of asbestos fibers were reporting illnesses such as inflammation of the lining of the lungs (asbestosis), a rare form of lung cancer (mesothelioma) and other diseases that diminished the human respiratory system. Medical research soon proved that inhalation of asbestos fibers was the cause of these diseases.
Thousands of afflicted asbestos workers recovered compensation for their illnesses from the companies who manufactured the asbestos and from companies who used asbestos in their products. Many claimants died before their cases were resolved, but the families of these workers were able to recover what lawyers call “wrongful death” damages from these same companies.
Workers afflicted by asbestos product exposure and their families are still recovering damages from the companies that are responsible for placing asbestos in the environment. But success is not assured. The services of a lawyer and a law firm with experience in pursuing such cases are an essential ingredient of success. Asbestos litigation requires a knowledge of medical science, chemistry and a complex area of the law. The lawyers at Wallace & Graham satisfy all of these criteria. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos fibers and feels they may have a claim for damages will benefit from contacting Wallace & Graham for a free review of their case.