Throughout the 20th century, asbestos was widely used as a preferred building material. It was implemented into things such as tiles and other floorings, insulation, and roofing. However, in the 1970s, public recognition of its health hazards gained traction, and asbestos was quickly outlawed in most countries. Though it is not totally banned in the US, it is highly regulated by the government’s Environmental Protection Agency. And for good reason.
Asbestos, a microscopic fiber that is harmful upon inhalation, is now recognized as a toxic material. It has been connected to several fatal health complications, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Each of these can result in severe disability and even death.
For these health reasons, asbestos is highly regulated and even banned in most instances. And workers are protected under OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) laws against exposure to this substance. That’s why if you believe that you have suffered injury from asbestos inhalation, you may have a personal injury case, either based on negligence or product liability.
For Cases Based on Negligence:
There are three elements of negligence that a worker must prove:
- They must demonstrate that the defendant was responsible for the workers’ safety and had a duty to prevent their exposure. This element is often explicit and easy to prove. OSHA requires that employers assess and monitor the air quality of a space that is expected to have asbestos. In most states, these employers have an indisputable duty to protect their workers. They are expected to do the following:
Provide equipment that will filter asbestos out of the air
Provide respiration equipment
Prevent workers’ exposure to the contaminated air
Limit the time workers’ spend in potentially contaminated air
- The worker must prove that the employer breached this duty. In this regard, breach signifies one’s failure to protect their workers from asbestos exposure. This could take place in their failure to monitor asbestos concentrations, neglecting to use ventilation systems, or not placing time limits on workers’ exposure.
- The worker must have incurred some kind of harm. In an asbestos case, this is likely physical harm.
For Cases Based on Product Liability:
A product liability claim can be brought against two kinds of manufacturers. One might be the manufacturer of the product containing asbestos. The other might be that of malfunctioned safety equipment for asbestos protection.
The most challenging part of an asbestos case is proving causation. A plaintiff may be suffering from a disease like lung cancer. But, proving that asbestos is to blame for the onset of their cancer is exceptionally difficult. However, in the case that this can be proven, a victim can collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and a hindered quality of life.
If you suffer from the complications of asbestos exposure, you may have a case of negligence or product liability. Do not hesitate to reach out to us at Peach and Weathers for expert legal counsel on this subject. We are here to provide you with compassionate and experienced advocacy in this time of need. Call on your locally trusted Redlands attorney today!