A West Virginia man and his wife are suing 91 manufacturers, distributors, and asbestos-product suppliers in an asbestos lung cancer case that highlights the dangers of asbestos exposure. Our mesothelioma lawyers understand that mesothelioma litigation is one of the most effective ways of holding negligent companies responsible for knowingly exposing workers to asbestos.
The latest lawsuit brought by Charles and Alicia Poloka claims that the defendants negligently exposed Charles to cancer-causing asbestos fibers on his job site, and failed to provide him with proper protective gear. After breathing in thousands of toxic asbestos fibers, Charles was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2010. This is another unfortunate example of gross negligence by a group of companies that showed reckless disregard for their actions and harmed an innocent, hard-working employee.
The deadly risk of asbestos exposure has been known for decades. Tragically, companies continue to wrongfully expose workers to this toxic substance that accumulates in the lungs and often results in death. Studies show that asbestos is a major cause of lung cancer, particularly among workers who smoke. But mesothelioma lung cancer can also strike asbestos-exposed workers who never smoked a day in their life. When asbestos is inhaled over long periods of time, it accumulates in the lungs and eventually causes a malignant tumor that obstructs air passages. A large number of asbestos-related cancer victims also suffer from asbestosis, a scarring of the lung tissue.
Asbestos exposure claims so many lives because decades typically pass before symptoms show, and many injured workers do not realize that they have a deadly asbestos illness in time to effectively treat it. Asbestos lung cancer symptoms are also frequently overlooked as signs of the flu or other less serious ailments. Employees who work in manufacturing or other industries where asbestos exposure is common should be on the lookout for difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, frequent coughing, or constant chest pains.
Mesothelioma lawsuits have helped many injured asbestos-exposed employees recover medical costs and loss of income because employers have a legal duty to provide a safe working environment. If an employer breaches that duty and creates an unreasonable and foreseeable risk of harm, the company is liable. Failing to shield employees from dangerous asbestos particles or, at the very least, provide them with warnings and protective gear, is negligence.
A number of asbestos lung cancer victims have received significant compensation for their injuries. Last year, a jury in a Tennessee state court awarded $8.6 million to the widow of a railroad switchman who lost his life to lung cancer after 40-years of on-the-job asbestos exposure. The deceased had a 26-year history of cigarette smoking, but several expert witnesses testified that exposure to asbestos, radiation, and diesel fumes actually caused his lung cancer. In a more recent Pennsylvania case, the jury ruled in favor of a pipefitter who died from lung cancer resulting from constant exposure to his company’s asbestos-containing products.
As our asbestos exposure attorneys have seen, asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer in all cases, even when the victim does not smoke. Asbestos accounts for up to 8,500 new lung cancer cases every year, and the deadly disease does not produce symptoms until most of the damage has been done. Mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm help victims receive compensation from negligent employers and companies that knowingly expose them to deadly asbestos risks.