K&F IN THE NEWS: James L. Ferraro, Equity Partner of Kelley & Ferraro, LLP representing 52 former Black franchisees of McDonald's for racial discrimination.

Asbestos Awareness Week focuses on prevention

Asbestos use in building materials, brake pads and other industrial products has declined steadily since the 1970’s. From its peak in 1973 (where more than 800,000 metric tons were used) only 1,180 metric tons of asbestos were used in 2011. Nevertheless, the number of illnesses, particularly mesothelioma, has not been abated.

Analysts believe that the problem of mesothelioma cancer will not be eradicated without research, careful asbestos removal, and most importantly… awareness. Because of this, Asbestos Awareness Week has become an important aspect of a higher level campaign against the scourge of mesothelioma.

In addition to mesothelioma, ingestion of microscopic asbestos fibers can also lead to asbestosis as well as lung cancer. Many of today’s exposure cases stem from improper asbestos removal cases. We have noted in prior posts that many companies do not follow proper procedures in wetting asbestos-based materials before demolishing older buildings.

Also, the latency of mesothelioma is a problem, as people who were exposed to the product as long as 30 years ago are still being diagnosed. As such, it is no surprise that more than 3,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year, with 10,000 people losing their lives to related ailments.

Construction companies and employers who expose their personnel to asbestos could be held liable for the diseases they may contract. Essentially, employers have a duty to create (and maintain) a safe workplace for employees, and the development of mesothelioma (and other asbestos related diseases) could be viewed as a breach of that duty. As such, injured workers could seek compensation for their injuries from offending companies.

If you have additional questions about mesothelioma lawsuits, an experienced attorney can help.

Source: Asbestos.com, Asbestos Awareness Week highlights the need to ban toxic mineral, stem epidemic, April 1, 2013

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