A recent $25 million settlement for miners in another state could prove promising for asbestos victims in Ohio. More than 100 people were awarded the money from their state for its failure to warn residents and their families of the high levels of asbestos to which they were being exposed from a nearby mine, and its accompanying dangers. This case of asbestos litigation will hopefully encourage other victims to step forward and seek legal recompense for their suffering.
During the 1950s and 60s, the state’s mine safety inspectors neglected to warn miners, miner’s families and other residents of the surrounding area of the extreme risk they were under because of the exorbitant levels of asbestos dust being emitted from the mine. In addition, a physician who figured out the hazardous situation was essentially forced to leave town by mine operators. It was not until decades later that the high number of asbestos-related illnesses and deaths in the area finally drew the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency, which stepped in to address the issue.
While investigators at the time did identify the hazards and urged the miners to take precautions, it was not enough. Their safety suggestions were ignored by the mine, and many of the miners were never made aware of the risks. As documented by ensuing death certificates and medical records, they and their families paid a high price.
In Ohio, much of the danger from asbestos came, not from mines, but instead from the heavy use of asbestos as insulation and as a fire retardant. Similar to the mines, workers in manufacturing plants that frequently used asbestos were often not warned of the dangers to which they were being exposed on a daily basis. Anyone in Ohio who is suffering illnesses related to asbestos exposure might benefit from contacting an attorney to explore options for asbestos litigation. While a successful lawsuit cannot take away the physical suffering, it can perhaps provide some small amount of justice for those affected, and any monetary damages awarded can help with costly medical treatments and other monetary damages sustained.
Source: billingsgazette.com, “Montana asbestos victims to get $25M from state“, Andrew Schneider, Jan. 20, 2017