As readers of this blog already know, the negative health effects of asbestos exposure usually take decades to appear. For this reason, it isn't always easy to determine when and where a mesothelioma victim was exposed to asbestos. Thankfully, experienced attorneys are often able to help.
A good example comes from New York, where a jury just awarded $1.42 million to the family of a man who died from a particularly aggressive case of mesothelioma in December 2013. At first, it was thought that the man's asbestos exposure occurred in childhood, when his father worked as a brick mason. This would have put the victim in contact with asbestos on his father's work clothes. Ultimately, however, the man's asbestos exposure was traced back to his military service.
Between 1967 and 1971, the man was enlisted in the U.S. Navy and apparently spent considerable time in the engine spaces on ships. The defendant in the case was John Crane Inc., a company that manufactured asbestos gaskets and may have also manufactured other asbestos-laden parts used in Navy ship engine spaces.
The victim, who was only 65 years old, died just four months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The disease is almost always fatal, but this man's cancer progressed especially rapidly.
Because of the widespread use of asbestos in a number of products and building materials, it can be very difficult to determine exactly how and when victims were exposed. For this and other reasons, mesothelioma victims and their families can greatly benefit from the help of attorneys who dedicate a large portion of their practice to helping clients pursue asbestos-related claims.