Across the country, the rights of mesothelioma victims have been under attack. This is particularly true of people who were exposed to asbestos indirectly, usually through the clothes of a loved one. Asbestos fibers are small, and easily cling to hair, clothes and boots. When a worker gets home covered in asbestos dust, spouses, children and anyone who comes in contact is at risk of inhaling asbestos fibers. Spouses who wash clothes are particularly at risk for repeated exposure.
Ernest Quiroz Jr. died from mesothelioma in 2014. His lawsuit against his father’s former employer maintained that he had been exposed to asbestos as a boy, decades ago, from toxic dust brought home on his father’s work clothes.
In 2015, George V. Hamilton, Inc, an insulation manufacturer and distributor, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It did so after thousands of former workers sued the company for exposing them to asbestos from 1940 through the 70s.
A New Jersey man will receive $30 million after developing asbestos from inhaling Johnson & Johnson baby powder. His spouse is set to receive $7 million in compensation.
Last year, Canadian legislators promised to ban asbestos by 2018. While it appears the 2018 deadline may not be met, they have begun to follow through on that promise.
For most of the 20th century, asbestos was widely used in the U.S. Navy, both in the shipyards were the vessels were built and onboard in a wide array of applications. This resulted in widespread asbestos exposure among Navy veterans, in many cases leading to disastrous health consequences in the decades that followed. Often, the disease remains undetected for a period of 20 to 50 years before resulting in a terminal diagnosis.
The legal battle surrounding Garlock Sealing Technologies and its asbestos-containing products has taken a new turn. The company, currently in bankruptcy, has recently struck a deal with future asbestos claimants. The deal agrees to divide $358 million over the next 40 years among those who can demonstrate, in the future, that they were exposed to asbestos from Garlock's gasket technology. That agreement has sparked controversy among the people with existing claims against the company.
Illinois residents should keep an eye on a fellow Midwest state, which has recently signed into law a bill to place obstacles in the path of asbestos litigation. In what is a disturbing result for victims of mesothelioma, the state will now place extra burdens on those who pursue asbestos litigation.
In October, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, a longtime smoker, filed a lawsuit for lung cancer she has medical evidence to show was caused by exposure to asbestos when she was a teen and young adult. She was primarily exposed while doing laundry for her father and brother, both boiler makers, whose clothing came home covered in the deadly fibers. Because of her smoking, however, her lawsuit brought a storm of criticism.