A majority of the workers who suffer from asbestos-related illnesses are generally exposed to it over the course of several years. Minnesota workers who are exposed to asbestos many not exhibit signs of any type of illness until many years later. According to a recent court case appeal, the duration of time that a person is exposed is not the only contributing factor as to whether a person can take legal action to hold a company liable.
A couple originally filed a claim after the male plaintiff contracted asbestosis. They claim the reason for his illness was because he was exposed to asbestos in some of the positions he had been in over the course of 53 years. According to their complaint, the man worked a job that lasted five days, in which he was responsible for removing and installing gaskets that contained asbestos. He also had to clean up insulation at the end of his shift that was comprised of asbestos.
A hygienist who testified in the case said that his exposure while working with the gaskets would have exposed him to higher concentrations of the asbestos above safety limits. It is for this reason that the plaintiff believed that the asbestosis was highly attributed to his work. The defendants sought summary judgment in the case and won the motion after determining that the five-day exposure was not enough of a contributing factor to the man’s illness.
The plaintiffs appealed, and the court determined that it had provided enough evidence to determine that the man’s short-term exposure was enough to make it a contributing factor. The judge on the case wrote that cases are normally based on the duration of the exposure and not the quality, and now it is believed that there is enough evidence for the plaintiffs to move forward in their claim. Workers in Minnesota who believe that they have contracted an illness from asbestos exposure because of another party’s negligence may choose to pursue legal action. If a civil court determines that liability has been documented, the plaintiffs may be awarded financial relief to assist with medical bills as well as other related financial losses.
Source: louisianarecord.com, “Five-day asbestos exposure could have been substantial cause of asbestosis, La. appeals court rules”, Heather Gvillo, Dec. 30, 2014