Over 200 companies in the U.S. have knowingly exposed their workers to asbestos between the 1930s and the 1980s
By virtue of its convenient properties – fire resistance, durability, inability to conduct electricity – asbestos has been extensively used by numerous companies across the U.S. throughout the past century. Although the harmful effects of exposure had been known since the early 1930s, it was not until 1972 that asbestos was finally classified as a human carcinogen by health agencies. For over four decades, asbestos companies have gone to incredible lengths to conceal the dangers of exposure from both their employees and the general public. Therefore, there is no room for doubt that asbestos companies are fully responsible for the injuries their former workers are currently struggling with.
The following types of asbestos companies can be held accountable in a legal process:
- manufacturers of asbestos products
- distributors of asbestos products
- asbestos and vermiculite mines
- asbestos building materials suppliers
- companies which sold asbestos products
In the case of non-occupational exposure, property owners who failed to properly remove asbestos from the building can also be held accountable if one of the tenants develops a serious disease like mesothelioma or lung cancer.
If you take legal action, you will receive compensation from the asbestos company responsible for your injury. The majority of asbestos companies have filed for bankruptcy, as they could no longer pay liabilities to former workers. However, these companies were required by law to set up asbestos trust funds, which currently represent the most effective way of recovering financial compensation.
There are 60 active asbestos trust funds in the U.S. with a total of approximately $37 billion, while another $18 billion has already been paid to asbestos victims. As for the companies which have not set up asbestos trust funds, asbestos victims can still file lawsuits against them in order to receive financial compensation.
Will I receive additional compensation if I develop a second asbestos-related disease?
If asbestos exposure causes you multiple diseases, you have the right to claim financial compensation from asbestos trust funds for each. Similarly, if your original illness worsens or gives way to a more aggressive one, such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, you can recover additional compensation, as your physical and emotional suffering will inevitably increase. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for victims of asbestos exposure to develop more than one disease - for instance, asbestosis can co-occur with gastrointestinal or colorectal cancer, as toxic fibers can travel through the body after inhalation and thereby affect other organs as well.
Calculating the precise amount of money you can receive for a second asbestos-related disease is impossible, because each case is unique and each asbestos trust fund pays out a different percentage of the compensation you qualify for. Nonetheless, a lawyer specialized in asbestos litigation will be able to estimate the sum of money you are eligible for after your initial consultation. Generally, mesothelioma has the highest value, since this is the most serious disease caused by exposure to asbestos. Oftentimes, people who suffer from mesothelioma receive over $1 million from asbestos trust funds. A diagnosis of lung cancer also means significant compensation. For asbestosis, however, the compensation amount is usually lower.
Some of the factors which can increase or decrease the amount of money you will receive are:
- the duration and severity of exposure
- the size and number of asbestos trust funds you file with
Were you or a family member diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis as a consequence of asbestos exposure in the workplace? Please contact us at 205.328.9200 and we will promptly evaluate your case. The attorneys at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. have successfully recovered compensation for over 25,000 asbestos victims so far and are willing to help you as well.