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Hastings Minnesota Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

Statute of limitations major factor in asbestos exposure cases

Many Minnesota residents have experienced or have helped care for someone who has experienced negative health effects from repeated inhalation of, and contact with, toxic substances. Asbestos exposure is the main topic in a string of lawsuits currently being processed in another state. An attorney whose firm has actually represented thousands of people claiming to have suffered asbestos-related illnesses says an existing statute of limitations is presenting a challenge in several cases he is currently preparing for court.

It has been more than 10 years since asbestos was discovered in the vermiculite mine that has apparently made many people who worked there or lived near there very ill. Several entities have been named in claims seeking compensation for damages, including a railroad company and the state where the mine is located. Because such claims carry time limits for filing, it can be difficult when injured parties were not aware of their illnesses until much later.

Watch out for Asbestiosis dangers in the workplace

It's not always easy to tell when asbestos is present on the job in Minnesota. When employers are aware of it, they're obligated to inform their workers about the potential dangers of exposure and also to provide proper training according to safety regulations if workers are going to be removing asbestos from a particular structure. Things don't always go the way they should, however; in fact, many workers wind up suffering from asbestosis and other adverse health conditions after being repeatedly exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

When the microscopic particles contained in asbestos are inhaled, the long-term effects can be devastating. Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease for which symptoms may not appear for many years beyond the time an initial series of asbestos exposures occurred. Insulation, cement and floor tiles are among items that often contain this potentially dangerous material.

Asbestos exposure back-to-school danger for many in Minnesota

It's the time of year in Minnesota and throughout the nation when many parents are helping their children gather supplies and prepare for a new school year. Many have already resumed classes and are fully engaged in new and exciting academic adventures. Many children attend schools in buildings that are aging and in need of repair, however. This may pose a high asbestos exposure risk of which many parents are unaware.

School teachers are twice as likely to suffer cancer and other diseases related to asbestos exposure than the average population. It's logical to assume that since students are present in classrooms almost as often or just as often as teachers, they are also in danger if asbestos is present. School administrators are obligated to inform parents and workers of any known asbestos risks.

Maximizing benefits for terminally ill SSDI and SSD clients

Terminal illnesses are often debilitating, forcing dying individuals to drop out of the workforce to fight their disease in hopes of maximizing whatever time is left. Often, these individuals will pursue a Social Security Disability claim in hopes of minimizing the impact of the lost wage.

Enrolling these individuals quickly must be a top priority, but Social Security benefits may not be the only compensation these individuals are entitled to receive. Clients diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos related disease may be able to pursue a toxic tort claim to obtain additional compensation.

Asbestos exposure central focus of hearings in another state

When it comes to asbestos removal, there are strict safety regulations set in place to minimize potential risks associated with possible exposure. It's illegal to remove asbestos from a building without adhering to existing protocol. However, just because there is a law prohibiting certain behaviors and requiring others, doesn't mean everyone in Minnesota will follow it. In fact, there's an ongoing situation in another state where building developers are accused of placing workers at risk for asbestos exposure after having them remove flooring containing the dangerous material. 

The lead developer in the project has been fined more than $1 million. Another man working as the lead project manager in this particular situation has also been fined. However, he has hired an attorney to protect his rights, claiming he was deceived and not properly informed. Officials say workers were instructed to remove the tiles from the building but were not provided any protective clothing or breathing apparatus.

One firm left to go in asbestos exposure litigation

Most Minnesota readers understand that construction work is dangerous. There are usually many safety regulations and strict procedures in place to help keep workers as safe as possible. For instance, if a building is scheduled to be torn down, there's a certain way to go about it to decrease the risk of injuries among workers or bystanders. Recent litigation involved more than one party being sued regarding asbestos exposure when a building in another state was razed.

Two separate firms agreed to settle out of court for a total of $180,000. The settlement comes after they were accused of illegal asbestos work. The situation involves a YMCA building that was scheduled to be torn down in 2014. It was alleged that the parties were responsible for a 45,000 square foot ceiling being demolished without properly sealing it first; the worst part is, the ceiling contained asbestos. 

Airport employees very worried about asbestos exposure

Evidence suggests that repeated ingestion or breathing of asbestos particles can cause permanent lung damage, as well as an increased risk for other respiratory illnesses. Perhaps some of the airport workers in another state who are concerned about their own health and safety are aware of such facts, perhaps not. Either way, they have told their employers and reporters that they believe they have reason to worry about asbestos exposure in relation to a construction project that occurred at their workplace. Minnesota workers whose jobs put them in close vicinity to construction work may want to pay close attention to the situation.

The airport workers in question say they took their concerns to the appropriate officials in their company but were ignored. They say a construction project that went on at their airport last year exposed them to asbestos. They also are frustrated by the fact that their employers did not give all workers fair warning about the danger until approximately eight months later.

Estate planning for terminally ill clients with pending lawsuits

Advising a client with a terminal illness requires careful attention to detail. Assets must be managed carefully to ensure the client has enough funds to provide for them while alive, while minimizing potential estate tax liability when they pass.

What if your client has a potential or pending personal injury lawsuit?

Advising clients who are terminally ill

Estate planning is often new territory for individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness. According to Caring.com, only 42 percent of Americans have a will. For clients diagnosed with mesothelioma or some other form of cancer, this may be the first time they have thought about meeting with an estate planner.

When meeting with these clients, it is important that they understand both what they should do while living as well as what they shouldn’t do. As estate planners, you serve a vital role in helping your clients prepare. 

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