Even years after a family’s initial exposure to asbestos fibers, there are still repercussions being felt, and lawsuits being filed, as a new wave of family members are coming down with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma.
After years of lawsuits from factory workers and miners who were exposed to asbestos fibers on a regular basis, there is now an increasing amount of mesothelioma lawsuits being filed by their family members who were exposed only to secondhand fibers brought into their home, with their results being somewhat mixed.
According to the Illinois-based Belleville News-Democrat, the estate of Granite City resident Annette Simpkins lost a mesothelioma lawsuit brought against CSX Transportation in 2007. She had argued in the lawsuit that her asbestos exposure had come primarily by the fibers on her husband’s clothes that he brought home every day from his job at a railroad connected to CSX. The case was shot down on CSX’s claims that it was the workers’ duty to protect their family from asbestos exposure, not their own.
The Simpkins estate was represented by The Simmons Law Firm.
According to the News-Democrat, Ted Gianaris, a partner at the firm, said that asbestos exposure that occurs at home instead of at a workplace can sometime be more difficult to turn into a successful lawsuit for the injured parties.
“It seems as though the data shows that people who had lower exposures take longer to develop mesothelioma, so we’ve seen a lot of family and children of workers exposed in the home, people exposed as bystanders, and we didn’t see that as much 10 years ago,” Gianaris said. “That’s a lot of the cases we’re filing now.”
He added that there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of lawsuits filed by family members of workers who were exposed to asbestos. This rise in lawsuits with an indirect connection to companies were characterized as the third wave of asbestos-related lawsuits, following those who were exposed while mining the fibers and those who worked in companies that used them to create products.
For those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer that can be linked to asbestos exposure caused by a product or former employer, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to learn more about your rights, and to see if pursuing a mesothelioma settlement is in your best interest.