In a recent landmark ruling, a Missouri judge ruled that a company named as a defendant in an asbestos case may not reserve the right to autopsy the plaintiff in the event that he succumbs to the mesothelioma that is at the center of his case. The judge gave several reasons for denying the defendant company's autopsy motion, the most significant being that the plaintiff is not deceased, and that he will likely still be alive when his mesothelioma trial starts in the next few months.
For people who develop mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, time often becomes a major focus of their lives. They may think about the long time they lived completely unaware that asbestos was causing irreversible damage to their lungs or other organs. They may think about the short time they have left to live as a result. And they may think about the fact that, even if they pursue litigation against the parties responsible for their asbestos exposure and life-altering diagnosis, the time it will take to get to trial may prevent them from ever benefiting from that effort.
On our mesothelioma law blog, we focus almost exclusively on the risks facing contractors, construction workers, insulation installers, shipyard and railroad employees and other workers who are exposed to asbestos over the course of their employment. We do not often focus on the people who live near a mine or other source of asbestos, and who are therefore exposed to the deadly fibers on a daily basis and, often, without knowledge of that exposure.
The location of a now-demolished blue asbestos mill and mine is being described is seeing 10 new cases of mesothelioma a year, which a local physician is describing as "wiping out entire families."
Imagine this scenario. You are unknowingly exposed to asbestos, and you learn of that exposure a few weeks after it occurs. Perhaps you were not familiar of the risks associated with asbestos prior to your exposure, but research after the fact informs you that you are now at a high risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or a host of other diseases. Unfortunately, those ailments often take decades to materialize, meaning that you will spend the next several years worrying about the future and angry about the events that got you to this place.
Last week, we wrote about the ongoing asbestos cleanup process in Libby, Montana, and what seemed to be a major milestone in the ongoing battle to clean up the town and protect residents from additional harm: the reopening of a public park. But in the wake of that feat, environmental experts have questioned whether Riverfront Park is truly cleared of asbestos or whether it continues to place residents of the embattled town at risk.
For most U.S. cities, a wedding in a public park is a common occurrence. But for the town of Libby, Montana, a recent wedding in the newly-renovated Riverfront Park marked a major milestone for the town and its residents. It was one of the first events held in the park following more than a decade of illness, stress and hard work as a result of the mass asbestos contamination that has plagued the town for years.
Three former employees of BNSF Railways and the widow of a fourth have filed lawsuits against the railroad company, claiming that they were exposed to asbestos during the course of their employment, causing them to suffer irreversible damage to their health. All four employees worked as carmen on BNSF passenger and freight cars, which caused them to contract lung diseases and, in the case of the deceased worker, the colon cancer that would ultimately claim his life.
Diesel fumes may have the same carcinogenic properties as asbestos and other similar harmful substances, according to a new release from the World Health Organization. If this is the case, it is not just professional truck drivers who are at an increased risk of contracting lung cancer, but every driver and passenger who travels on streets and highways in Illinois and throughout the country.
Juries in Illinois and across the country have been returning multi-million dollar verdicts in asbestos-related injury cases. This is in part because of the culpability of companies that exposed workers to asbestos fumes, and also in part because of the severity of illness or injury that has often resulted because such asbestos exposure has taken place.