Another mesothelioma lawsuit has recently been settled in the plaintiff’s favor. According to a blog post published today (May 24) on Asbestos.com, a 59-year-old man in the Miami area has been awarded over $14 million because of asbestos exposure he was subjected to while working. This asbestos exposure later caused the man to develop peritoneal mesothelioma. (The “peritoneal” element of this particular mesothelioma indicates that this cancer had attacked the lining of his abdomen, not necessarily the pleural lining of his lungs.)
The judgment decided against the defendant, Union Carbide, who was found to be negligent for selling asbestos fibers to companies, such as construction equipment companies, who then used the fibers in the manufacturing of their products. The man came into contact with these asbestos fiber-laden products in the 1970s, when he worked for his family’s construction company.
Though mesothelioma is an incredibly rare disease, it much more strongly affects those in an certain industries, especially the fields of shipbuilding and construction. That’s because asbestos used to be a prized ingredient in many of the products used in those areas. Asbestos uses in these disciplines was varied. The mineral has excellent insulation and flame-retardant properties, and its light density set it apart from other similar additives. Unfortunately, when inhaled, it also causes mesothelioma, a grievously lethal disease for which there is no cure. In addition to workers in the aforementioned industries, the families of those laborers also were at higher risk of coming into contact with asbestos fibers, since they often got trapped in hair and clothing and taken home.
Once inhaled, asbestos fibers can remain relatively harmless in the lungs for anywhere from 10 to 50 years before triggering mesothelioma. Despite such a long latency period, however, once the disease is diagnosed, life it advances rapidly. The life expectancy of a mesothelioma victim is often measured in months, and as previously mentioned, there is no cure for this devastating disease.