Nowadays, it is a well-known fact that asbestos exposure can cause devastating illnesses, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Although it was in 1971 that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified asbestos as a human carcinogen and began regulating it accordingly, the health risks associated with exposure had been known long before. The manufacturers of asbestos products were aware that asbestos exposure is responsible for pulmonary disease since the early 1930s, as more and more reputable medical studies on this topic were emerging throughout the country at the time, as well as in Europe. However, the executives of most asbestos companies chose to hide this information from employees for their own financial profit, insisting that exposure was safe, which resulted in a 40-year national conspiracy.
Diseases Caused By Asbestos Exposure
Shortly after the dangers of asbestos were publicly acknowledged, the number of people suing for personal injuries increased exponentially. As a consequence, a lot of asbestos companies soon became unable to compensate former employees and decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In order to be granted bankruptcy protection, each liable company was required to create a trust fund so that future victims of occupational asbestos exposure could receive the compensation they deserved. The first asbestos trust fund was set up by Johns Manville in 1988, with $2.5 billion available as compensation.
Companies Responsible for Asbestos Exposure