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Family of former university professor sues re mesothelioma

In Minnesota and elsewhere, employers are typically protected against lawsuits for personal negligence filed by injured workers. Instead, injured workers may file claims for benefits under the workers’ compensation program. However, the family of a former university professor who died of mesothelioma is initiating litigation against school officials, alleging that the school’s negligence is a direct cause of their family member’s death.

The man worked for many years as a college professor. He retired from teaching in 2002 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma 12 years later. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. 

The decedent taught at Penn State University. His family’s claim states that the school opted to stop asbestos remediation work years ago, in favor of budget conservation. In fact, many say they believe the school was aware of asbestos problems in at least 500 buildings in 2006 but never did anything about it. PSU is certainly not the only Pennsylvania school with asbestos problems, as a school in another part of the state recently agreed to an $850,000 settlement of a case involving a teacher diagnosed with the same illness.

An emeritus professor from a school of law said the PSU case will likely be a game-changer that will no doubt raise concerns among employers regarding worker safety in their facilities that may contain asbestos. Unfortunately, there are also Minnesota schools with asbestos problems. Exposure can cause other illnesses besides mesothelioma, and anyone who believes his or her illness is a direct result of someone’s negligence is free to request a consultation with a personal injury law attorney to further discuss the issue.

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