A California jury found Hillshire Brands guilty of exposing a family to asbestos for years without giving them proper protection.
Mark Lopez lived in Betteravia, California from 1954 to the mid-1960’s. There, he was regularly exposed to asbestos from the housing that Betteravia Farms provided for factory workers and their families. Although it knew asbestos was in the housing units, it never warned or protected workers from exposure.
Mr. Lopez’s cause of death was mesothelioma, a disease he only could’ve developed from asbestos fibers from the factory. The Lopez family secured a $13 million verdict and is grateful to the jury for recognizing the harmful effects of asbestos exposure.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that invades the lining of the body’s chest and abdomen. This horrific cancer destroys almost everything in its path, causing 2,500 asbestos deaths in the U.S. each year.
Treatment of this cancer varies for each stage. More treatment options are available in the disease’s early stages.
About 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. each year, and it’s often misdiagnosed at first. Contact the Pintas and Mullins medical malpractice attorneys if you’ve had a delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
Can Mesothelioma Be Prevented?
There are many state and federal asbestos-safety regulations that employers must follow. The only way to prevent mesothelioma is to prevent exposure to asbestos, which is why the government holds employers to a high standard when it comes to worker protection.
A few ways employers can protect workers from asbestos are by:
- Ensuring workspaces are properly ventilated
- Providing protective gear like gloves and goggles
- Setting up warning signs and instructions for how to work in areas where asbestos is located
Workers with the highest risk of asbestos exposure include construction workers, firefighters, and industrial, power plant, or shipyard workers. These workers should be aware of the dangers of asbestos, and make sure their employers protect them and their fellow employees from it.
Can I Sue a Past Employer?
Asbestos injury lawyers like those at Pintas and Mullins represent clients in cases against asbestos manufacturers, not the employers of the injured clients.
The latency period, or time between exposure to asbestos and a diagnosis, ranges from 10-50 years. So when a person gets diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, they often don’t work at the job where they were exposed to asbestos.
This is common, and doesn’t cause problems when filing an asbestos claim.
Call Us for a Free Consultation Today
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you have important legal rights. You may be able to recover damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and the loss of the enjoyment of life.
Each state has its own time restraints for filing asbestos-related claims, so make sure to initiate a claim as soon as you’re able to. Contact our firm today-we will work for you so you can focus on your recovery.