Some areas of Canada have been harder hit by asbestos caused-cancers like mesothelioma because of the major industries located there. One of the places this is most true is in Windsor Ontario and its metro-area where automotive manufacturers have been a prevalent industry for nearly a century.
For decades, Windsor was one of the major automobile manufacturing centres in Canada. Windsor housed the Chrysler Canada headquarters, Chrysler minivan plant, Ford motor company engine plants, GM facilities as well as many tool and die and automotive part plants. Most automotive assembly and parts manufacturing facilities used asbestos not only in the construction of the plants, but in safety equipment, assembly parts and fireproofing. This exposed multitudes of workers to asbestos over the many years these plants were in operation.
Most of these plants are now shut down or are operating at much lower capacity, but still the damage has been done. More and more workers that were exposed 10, 20 or even 50 years ago are now growing sick and being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma. For those suffering from asbestos illness – and their families – pursuing compensation is important to help cover medical care and palliative treatments to make them more comfortable as their disease progresses.
Which Windsor Area Businesses Exposed Workers to Asbestos?
The Tilbury brake factory just outside of Windsor is one worksite that has had increasing numbers of workers fall ill with mesothelioma decades after they were first exposed on the job. Rick Garant, head of the Tilbury chapter of CAW (Canadian Auto Workers), reports many of his coworkers have fallen ill saying, “Lots of people died. I dealt with guys with pleural plaques, asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer.” Garant also says many of those that died didn’t fully understand how sick they were getting, “They thought they had a stomach flu that just never went away.”
Though the Tilbury plant was closed in 2009, workers continue to grow sick –some as young as their early 40s but most in their 50s, 60s and older. In addition to the Tilbury plant, Bendix automotive is another site that made news for exposing workers to asbestos. And just an hour north of Windsor in Sarnia is the Holmes Foundry where thousands of workers were exposed in what is considered one of the worst asbestos incidents in Canadian history.
At the Holmes Foundry, workers were exposed to “some of the highest levels of asbestos… ever recorded in Canadian workplaces.” There was little to no ventilation and the company was accused of “flagrant violations” and a lack of interest in following laws and rules that would protect workers from asbestos exposure.
Here Are Some of the Windsor Area Jobs at Risk for Asbestos Exposure:
In addition to the sites mentioned above, this a brief listing of jobs that may have exposed workers to asbestos – but does not cover the full spectrum of where workers may have been put at risk in Windsor:
- Auto and transmission mechanics
- Brake installers/technicians
- Foundry workers
- Metal workers
- Construction workers
- Auto assemblers
- Auto factory workers
- HVAC workers
- Plumbers and electricians
- Refinery workers
- Brake and clutch manufacturing workers
- Gasket manufacturing workers
In addition to workers in these jobs being potentially exposed to asbestos, families of workers could have been exposed second-hand. Asbestos fibers are microscopic and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Workers unknowingly brought home the cancer causing fibers and could have exposed family members to this terrible (and possibly fatal) substance. Some family members have developed mesothelioma as a result.
How Long Does It Usually Take from Exposure to Mesothelioma Diagnosis?
Mesothelioma is a slow moving, but terrible illness. It often worsens over a period of decades with few to no warning signs and doesn’t become noticeable until it is Stage III or Stage IV when it is usually terminal. Symptoms of the disease are often mild such as painful cough and chest pain under the rib cage which may appear to be everyday illnesses such as bronchial infections, bronchitis or other non-alarming illnesses.
But once the symptoms are clear and doctors pursue testing that leads to diagnosis, the prognosis is often poor. With some patients, treatments can extend life span for a few years, but for others, it’s a case of receiving palliative care to make you comfortable and improve your quality of life for the time you have left with your family.
Mesothelioma is an illness that strikes the hardest working just when they should be able to relax and enjoy their retirement years. Pursuing a financial settlement for those parties legally responsible for the exposure that caused your illness – or the illness of your loved one – is important because it holds corporations liable for not protecting workers.
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos and for most people, this means either exposure on the job or transfer exposure from a loved one who worked in a job where they were exposed. If you have mesothelioma, even if you can’t trace where you may have been exposed to asbestos, contact us so we can discuss your work and family history to look for an answer.
When you are diagnosed with a terrible illness like mesothelioma – or lose a loved one to it – you want to know why. Bergman Draper Oslund can help you find the answers you deserve. Because we specialize in mesothelioma litigation, we have conducted extensive research on job sites, industries and other areas of asbestos exposure in Windsor that have led to mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us right away to find out if you are eligible for compensation. We have a proven track record of winning significant settlements for our asbestos clients and we would like to help you too. To date, we have won more than $700 million in asbestos claims for clients just like you. We are here to help and are ready to put our expertise to work for you. Contact us today!