Most cases of mesothelioma, an incurable form of cancer, result from occupational exposure to asbestos dust. While the use of asbestos in new construction was banned decades ago, construction workers who must remove asbestos when renovating old buildings are still at risk of exposure. Just as second-hand exposure to tobacco smoke can harm the health of people exposed, such as nonsmoking members of the smoker’s household, people who are exposed to asbestos dust secondhand because of proximity to the clothing of someone who was exposed to it at work have an elevated risk of developing mesothelioma. Secondhand smoke risks have motivated many people to quit smoking, or at least to cut down on cigarettes and avoid smoking while their children are present. But work is not a vice, a bad habit, or an addiction. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and your only exposure to asbestos dust has been indirect, you might be entitled to collect damages. The first step is to contact a Houma mesothelioma lawyer.
How Does Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure Happen?
Most cases of secondhand exposure to asbestos dust occur when the victim accidentally inhales asbestos particles that are circulating in the air from the clothing of someone who was working with asbestos. For example, family members of construction workers have gotten mesothelioma because of secondhand asbestos exposure, as have employees of restaurants where construction workers frequently ate lunch after leaving work sites where asbestos was present.
Cases Where Courts Have Ruled in Favor of People Harmed by Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure
In personal injury lawsuits, including mesothelioma lawsuits, the plaintiff (the injured person) must prove that the defendant had a duty of care toward the plaintiff. A duty of care means that it was the defendant’s legal responsibility not to cause preventable hazards that could cause the plaintiff to get injured. The law has clearly established that employers whose employees work with asbestos have a duty of care toward their employees. Case law from various states, including Louisiana, indicates that employers in charge of projects involving asbestos have a duty of care to protect not only their employees but also members of those employees’ households.
Secondhand exposure to asbestos is preventable. In most cases, secondhand exposure to asbestos dust occurs when workers leave the work site, and asbestos dust on their clothing becomes airborne so that other people in their houses, cars, or wherever they go next can inhale it. Employers should provide workers with protective equipment in situations in which they will be exposed to asbestos, and they should require them to clean their shoes before leaving the work site and, if possible, to change their clothes before leaving work.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Secondhand Asbestos Exposure
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you get justice if you developed mesothelioma because a family member of yours worked with asbestos decades ago. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.