Another (!) Mesothelioma Victim Sues DuPont

Like other housewives who washed the work clothing of their husbands who worked in various industrial occupations, Frances Barras suffered from what is known as “secondary exposure” to asbestos fibers. These fibers were lodged in the fabric of these work clothes as well as her husband’s hair. Louis Barras was employed at a DuPont refinery for 28 years between 1957 and 1985. Because of the exposure to the fibers in Louis’ clothing and hair during that time, Frances now suffers from pleural mesothelioma. This begs the question as to why, if the fibers were so deadly, did Louis not contract an asbestos disease? The answer is that nobody knows. The fact is that although it receives a great deal of attention–mainly because it is a horribly painful way to die–mesothelioma is still quite rare, even among those who are exposed to asbestos. It is similar to smoking: not every smoker will develop lung cancer, even though such exposure to tobacco smoke will increase the chances that such a cancer will develop. What medical science does know, however, is that pleural mesothelioma has only one known cause–which is asbestos exposure.

The DuPont corporation had an obligation to warn its employees of possible asbestos exposure and the corresponding health dangers. DuPont could have provided protective gear–it did not. DuPont could also have provided on-site laundry services and/or showers–and again, it did not. This is the argument from Barras’ attorney, Ben DuBose, who says: “I f DuPont had required use of these simple services, it would have protected Mrs. Barras as well as the families of other DuPont workers.” In light of the fact that the health risks of asbestos have been known for at least 100 years and that Corporate America did its level best to hide this fact for several decades, DuBose’s argument is valid. Since 1888, corporations have been claiming “human rights” under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Why then are they not required to accept human responsibility–and pay the same penalties for criminal activities? Stay tuned…