Uncle’s company can be held accountable for nephew’s mesothelioma

When someone is diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, he or she typically wants to know what or who is to blame for the devastating condition. This can be a difficult for a victim or loved ones to do alone, especially when they should be focused on getting care and providing support to a victim.

One thing that many people may not realize is that illnesses like mesothelioma are generally developed after years of exposure, which means that there can be a number of sources that can be cited in a lawsuit. Some sources may be obvious while others can be more complicated to establish.

For example, one man who developed with mesothelioma filed a lawsuit against several companies. All but one company were his previous employers and have settled their cases. However, the final company was one that his uncle had worked for and has tried to deny accountability.

The uncle reportedly would come to his home and play with his nephew, who was a frequent visitor. All while still covered in asbestos dust from his job. The company said it was not responsible for warning employees’ family members about the risk of exposure, even though the workers were carrying the toxic fiber back home to their loved ones.

An appeals court recently disagreed, however, and ruled that the company did in fact have a duty of care that extended to family members and other who shared a home with their workers.

Illnesses caused by asbestos can be especially catastrophic, as they generally lie dormant for years before showing symptoms and by the time a person is diagnosed, they can be very aggressive. That is why it can be crucial for victims of these conditions and their families to take their own aggressive action to hold all appropriate parties accountable and pursue compensation.

Source: Legal Newsline, “Duty to warn extended to nephew in Calif. asbestos case, court rules,” Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, June 6, 2014