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Eagan Minnesota Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

Are you grieving a loved one who suffered fatal asbestos injury?

It is never easy to lose a loved one, especially if he or she died in a sudden accident or from a terminal illness. When Minnesota family members learn that the latter may have been prevented, it can greatly intensify their grief. This is often the case in situations that involve fatal asbestos injury. If your family member died because of employer negligence, you may feel a strong desire to seek justice on his or her behalf.

Mesothelioma and asbestosis are two of many incurable illnesses related to asbestos exposure. In fact, it was long ago established that there is no safe amount of exposure to asbestos, which is a collection of microscopic fibers contained in many products used in construction, textile production, the automotive industry and elsewhere. Employers are legally obligated to inform their workers of any and all known asbestos dangers on the job.

Asbestos exposure, the military and companies with trust funds

Minnesota is home to many U.S. military veterans, some who recall serving as far back as World War II, Korea or in Vietnam. War efforts are always expensive, and especially during W.W.II, thousands of vehicles and other war supplies were built that sparked an industrial boom in the United States. It also caused a lot of people to suffer asbestos exposure, even though most manufacturers were already aware of asbestos-related dangers at that time.

Many say the military is not to blame regarding service members or civilians who worked to help the war effort and subsequently suffered ill-health due to asbestos. Most believe liability lies with the manufacturers who knew workers were at risk but did nothing to keep them safe. Sadly, the majority of medical patients who suffer from mesothelioma (a terminal disease related to asbestos poisoning) are U.S. military veterans.

Most common symptoms and causes of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the tissue surrounding a person’s internal organs. Most often, the tissue that is affected surrounds the lungs, but the cancer can also occur in the tissue surrounding the stomach, heart and other internal organs.

Over 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Many of these people developed the cancer from asbestos exposure that occurred decades before they started experiencing symptoms.

Are women at high risk for asbestos exposure?

Minnesota residents often do not recognize situations that are potentially hazardous to their health. For instance, in many cases where asbestos exposure has occurred, those affected were unaware that the microscopic fibers were present in the air or in materials they were exposed to in the workplace or elsewhere. Sadly, many incidents are later determined to have been preventable were it not for employer negligence.  

Many women, in particular, have said they feel their health concerns are not always taken seriously by medical professionals, employers or others. Regarding asbestos, there are currently at least 9,000 lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson company due to injuries suffered that are believed to have been caused by using the company's talcum products. The company has come out fighting, enlisting support from witnesses willing to testify that many women's mesothelioma cases are not caused by the company's products.  

Mesothelioma: Was a Minnesota employer negligent in your case?

Many Minnesota residents have been placed in harm's way in the workplace. Such situations often involve asbestos. Employers are obligated to inform their workers when they are aware of asbestos issues on the job. Further, they must provide proper training and equipment to keep their workers as safe as possible. Mesothelioma is one of several incurable illnesses that can afflict workers when employers fail in their duties.

Since the early 1980s, there have been many jury verdicts in favor of workers who have suffered asbestos injuries while carrying out their normal courses of duty in the workplace. As in all personal injury claims, any worker filing an asbestos-related lawsuit must provide evidence to convince the court that his or her employer's negligence is directly responsible for the injury that occurred. An attorney experienced in asbestos litigation is a great asset to have on hand when compiling information and evidence to pursue a claim.

Judge rules that builder created an asbestos exposure risk

In Minnesota and beyond, there are many old buildings, homes and factories that contain asbestos. This material is very dangerous to human health. In fact, current data shows there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure. Workers who are hired to remove asbestos-laden materials must have proper certification to do so.

builder in another state is facing steep penalties because he deceived those hired by him to remove asbestos from a house that was undergoing demolition. The property owners were given the impression (by the builder) that he was properly licensed to do the work. It was later learned that not only did the builder not have proper certification, but he failed to follow existing safety regulations when he removed asbestos from the property. 

U.S. Sees Dramatic Rise In Asbestos Imports

While other countries are working to ban and further limit the use of asbestos, the United States is showing no interest. The Asbestos Disease and Awareness Organization issued a shocking report in collaboration with the Environmental Working Group based on U.S. International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce records. 

Officials in another state arguing over asbestos exposure issues

Many buildings in Minnesota and other states are plagued with health hazards. The problem is that workers or visitors to such places are not always aware of the danger. To make matters worse, in some situations, employers or building owners are indeed aware of the potential risks but fail to provide information, training or equipment to help keep workers and others safe. In another state, there is currently contention brewing between city council members and the mayor regarding asbestos exposure issues.

The council members say they are seeking temporary relocation because their current office building is making members quite ill. A spokesman said the problem has gotten so bad that some members are being asked to donate their sick leave to others who are unable to report to work because of their adverse health conditions. The council members have asked to move to alternate office space in the community.

Minnesota employers’ obligations regarding asbestos exposure

A landmark case in Virginia could pave the way for other states to examine asbestos liability. The Supreme Court was asked to examine whether an employer owed a duty to warn a family member of asbestos exposure when the employer failed to prevent asbestos fibers from being brought home.

The case in Virginia involved a woman who regularly washed her father’s asbestos covered work clothes from a shipyard for years. 44 years later, she developed pleural mesothelioma.

US Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh hearing asbestos exposure case

The newest of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Brett Kavanaugh, was set to hear his first cases on the high court this week. One of the cases involves an asbestos exposure situation. It is a complicated products liability case that was filed by two Navy widows. Asbestos-related illnesses and injuries are problematic in Minnesota and throughout the nation; many of those adversely affected are people who used to work in shipyards.  

In the case that was presented to the court earlier this week, two Navy widows filed a lawsuit against a company that manufactured equipment in the naval yard where their now deceased husbands once worked. The women say their spouses contracted cancer due to asbestos exposure while working with that equipment. The defendant in the case has acknowledged that it is indeed the manufacturer of the equipment in question.  

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