As we have previously written, workers in certain industries are more likely than others to be exposed to asbestos - which also makes them more likely to develop asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. Because asbestos was primarily used for insulation (thermal, electrical, etc.) and fireproofing, workers in the manufacturing and construction industries were often exposed to the deadly fibers.
Also exposed were individuals who worked in mining and drilling operations. Late last month, the widow of a former ExxonMobil employee sued the company for her husband's "painful and terrible death" from mesothelioma. The man died in July of this year.
News of the lawsuit does not specify what type of work the man performed while employed by Mobil Oil. But his widow claims that the company knew of the dangers of asbestos for decades yet allowed employees to work near it and with it.
Lawsuits like this one are becoming increasingly common. Companies that knowingly exposed their workers to asbestos may have been counting on the fact that mesothelioma often takes decades to develop. By the time it is diagnosed, it might be difficult to trace exposure back to its source. Sadly, this approach works in some cases.
Thankfully, plaintiffs and their attorneys are working diligently to ensure that negligent companies are not allowed to abdicate responsibility for the harms they have caused. Through litigation, they can help victims and their families recover compensation while deterring negligent behavior in the future.
If you or a loved one has developed any disease related to asbestos exposure, please don't be dissuaded from taking action simply because the exposure may have happened decades ago. You may still be able to pursue damages against a former employer or other negligent party.