The dangers of asbestos remain an extremely high risk for many people in Minnesota and other states. Depending on where a particular person lives or works, the risk may be higher or lower. Those who live near or work in factories or older building structures are often at most risk. For people in another state in a community that contained a vermiculite mine, not only was the asbestos exposure risk apparently high, many people became ill and entered litigation to seek compensation for the damages they suffered.
The victims accepted a $43 million settlement. In 2009, the company that was deemed liable had paid them $16 million of the total amount. However, that company then filed a lawsuit against the insurance company it claimed had breached a fiduciary duty by not defending the state when victims filed asbestos damage claims.
A state district judge agreed that duty had been breached. She ruled that the insurer is to be held liable for the $43 settlement, which will allow the company who paid $16 million of the amount to recoup its losses. The case remains ongoing at this time. So far, a state spokesman has said the state is pleased with the judge’s recent decision.
Asbestos exposure often leads to incurable respiratory diseases and cancer, such as mesothelioma. Any treatment provided for such illnesses is palliative in nature. Many victims are not aware of their conditions until years after their initial exposures occurred. Victims seeking information or assistance in Minnesota or elsewhere to file legal claims that are asbestos related can turn to experienced personal injury attorneys for support.
Source: spokesman.com, “Montana judge: Insurer liable in $43M asbestos settlement“, March 6, 2018