Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Asbestos Exposure in the Workplace

Multiple government agencies have confirmed that tobacco smoke causes 80-90% of all lung cancer-related deaths in the general population. However, the number one source of occupational-caused lung cancer is asbestos. The naturally-occurring, fibrous mineral was once and still is used in some consumer products due to its strength and heat-resistant qualities. In fact, the National Cancer Institute states that up to 5,000 consumer products contained asbestos since it was first patented for manufacturing and construction use in 1828. Unfortunately, many people who worked around or with these asbestos-containing products became ill years after due to inhalation and ingestion of the mineral’s fibers.

Early Reports Noted Illnesses in Asbestos Workers

Official reports first emerged in the late 1800s describing illnesses in the workers employed by manufacturing and construction companies using asbestos. Those companies rejected these claims for decades, but well-respected doctors continued to publish research, which by 1960 undeniably proved that asbestos exposure leads to diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other cancers.

Legal Options for Asbestos Workers

In 1929, the first workers’ compensation cases were filed against insulation and roofing company Johns Manville for asbestos-caused illnesses and disabilities. Since then, asbestos litigation has been the longest-running toxic tort in the United States due to the fact that workplace and asbestos regulations were not put in place until the 1970s and 80s. In other words, companies using asbestos in their products continued to knowingly endanger their workers.

Our asbestos attorneys have been representing victims of workplace exposures for more than 30 years now, and new cases are being pursued on a daily basis. In fact, a recent verdict occurred in Alameda, California just last month in an asbestos-related lung cancer case. A jury awarded $4.3 million to the family of a man who died from asbestos exposures that took place during his time rigging ships for a company called Willard Marine Decking, Inc. These exposures happened while removing asbestos-containing flooring from Navy and commercial ships without the implementation of any proper safety precautions.

If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos, which led to the diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer, please contact one of our attorneys to find out more about compensation eligibility.