Two recent mass toxic injury settlements out of Montana are a stark reminder of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust. The $24 million is the result of two distinct settlements and resolves asbestos related injury and illness claims for over 1,000 individuals.
Asbestos is a mineral that, despite the dangers, is mined and used in all sorts of products ranging from consumer goods to industrial construction materials. Products containing asbestos include automotive brakes and home and commercial insulation and fireproofing. Exposure to asbestos dust can lead to fatal illnesses including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer.
Asbestos injuries are linked to breathing in the asbestos dust. Once exposed, injuries can lay dormant for decades. Often asbestos injuries do not occur until many years after exposure. In the industrial setting, asbestos injuries tend to occur most frequently with factory, mine, construction and automotive workers. This is due in large part to the widespread use of asbestos in industrial settings.
In addition to the workers, their families often become ill due to exposure as well. Asbestos dust can stick to clothing and be breathed in my individuals who share living space with workers exposed to asbestos.
Can You Sue for an Asbestos Injury?
Even though it is generally well known that exposure to asbestos dust causes injury, when a worker, or individual, gets sick from exposure, there is likely liability against the employer. Usually, if a worker was not warned of the danger, nor protected from it, their employer will be liable. Additionally, even if warnings are provided, an employer could still be found liable depending on the precautions provided and situation. Despite the dangers having been known decades, exposures still occur, and lawsuits continue to get filed.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, even if the exposure happened over a decade ago, it may be worthwhile to contact a local injury attorney, as the claim may not be time barred under the discovery rule or other exception. Asbestos injury claims are complex, however, often result in large financial awards which can frequently help pay for medical bills and other expenses that an individual or their family might be facing after a serious diagnosis.