If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’ve no doubt spoken to medical professionals, begun treatment and discussed all of your options from a medical standpoint. But have you considered tackling your mesothelioma cancer from a legal standpoint? If not, you should and we can help.
Consider these shocking legal aspects of asbestos cancers and how they relate to victims:
#1 There are no comprehensive federal laws regarding asbestos
Despite the fact that our government has known for decades that asbestos is a dangerous substance that makes people seriously ill, lawmakers have passed no comprehensive law to help workers exposed to asbestos. There are a few environmental laws passed by the EPA, but a national law banning all asbestos products was struck down and we still lack a law universally banning the use of asbestos.
#2 There are no laws to protect against damage already done
Because asbestos exposure takes decades from exposure to diagnosis of disease, the laws passed in recent years and any pending legislation will not help the legion of workers already exposed. For too long, workers across America were exposed routinely on the job and once that happened, it was only a matter of time before devastating illnesses resulted. Proposed laws are too late for many workers.
#3 There are no laws to ensure compensation for victims of asbestos
One of the most important aspects of tackling asbestos related cancer from a legal standpoint relates to compensating victims who have lost years of their life to this disease. Other industrial illnesses such as black lung disease for coal miners have seen laws passed to compensate for exposure to a potentially fatal substance, but so far, workers exposed to asbestos have enjoyed no similar legal protection.
Next, consider these more promising legal aspects of asbestos cancers and how they relate to victims:
#1 The court system first acted in 1973 to protect victims of asbestos
The first successful asbestos litigation was Borel v Fireboard Paper ruled in favor of the plaintiff in 1973. Clarence Borel was exposed for 30 years on the job and developed asbestosis. Borel received worker’s compensation, but the settlement was low and he filed suit. Although he passed away before the ruling was made, Borel paved the way for workers to be compensated for exposure to the deadly substance.
#2 The changes in tort laws made it easier for asbestos accountability
In 1965, the American Law Institute changed tort law interpretation relating to companies that sold products that resulted in harm to users or consumers – which also includes workers. This change allowed the courts to hold manufacturers of asbestos containing products and components accountable for selling a dangerous product without warning of the potentially life-threatening risks of exposure.
#3 The changes in bankruptcy codes have tried to protect workers
Rather than deal with the consequences of knowingly exposing workers, many companies filed bankruptcy to avoid compensation claims. But changes to the bankruptcy code forced the establishment of settlement trusts to pay asbestos claimants rather than allowing corporations to simply skip out on paying workers they had damaged. This has provided an ongoing source of funds for these claims.
There are two unfortunate truths when it comes to asbestos. First is that asbestos-induced illnesses rob victims of years of their lives. The second is that when it comes to tackling asbestos related cancer from a legal standpoint, it’s virtually impossible to proceed without an attorney fighting on your behalf. The complexity of personal injury and tort law as well as the maze of bankruptcy trusts related to asbestos make it difficult for a layman to comprehend.
Bergman Draper Oslund can help.
The best thing for you to do – if you or a loved one have mesothelioma or suspect you might– hire an expert advocate to take care of your compensation claim while you focus on your health. At Bergman Draper Oslund, mesothelioma cases are all we do so we have the expertise you need and can help you get justice for what was done to you or your loved one.
No matter your circumstances or where you were exposed – even if you’re unsure how or when you were exposed – contact us as soon as possible to get the answers you need. To date, we have won over $700 million in damages for mesothelioma victims just like you.
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