A Baltimore, Maryland, jury awarded $2.4 million to the family of a man who died of mesothelioma in 2008. A Maryland law that caps legal damages reduces the award to $2.2 million. His family claimed he contracted the deadly form of cancer while spending six years moving bags of asbestos with a forklift in North Carolina. Union Carbide Corporation mined and supplied the asbestos, but did not warn workers about the risks of asbestos exposure.
Union Carbide’s attorneys argued that the victim’s employer was responsible for warning its workers about the risks of asbestos exposure. The victim’s employer, however, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in 1990 to protect itself from asbestos suits and creditors.
When asbestos is disturbed, its deadly fibers become airborne and inhalation is a risk. The fibers are so small that inhalation masks are often ineffective. The victim’s cancer attacked the lining of his chest and lungs. The carcinogenic fibers spend decades in the lungs before leading to a mesothelioma diagnosis. It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for mesothelioma to develop, and life expectancy is usually no longer than 18 months. Aggressive treatment does little to extend life expectancy.
If asbestos exposure is a concern, or if you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma, a Virginia mesothelioma attorney can help you take legal action. Contact Peter DePaolis, a Virginia mesothelioma lawyer at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot.