Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 20, 2011 – Asbestos exposure is dangerous. Few realize that secondhand exposure may also be deadly.
“It’s a fairly well known fact that direct exposure to asbestos typically results in deadly diseases. What many don’t know or understand is that secondhand exposure may also result in death – a wrongful death,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.
For people who work directly with asbestos, they run the very high risk of contracting mesothelioma and lung cancer. Mesothelioma, in particular, is highly aggressive and rarely leaves its victims alive. What is coming to light more often these days is that even those who do not work directly with asbestos may also get ill and die; a result of asbestos fibres hitchhiking home on the clothing, shoes, equipment or other items of workers. “For instance, if the husband works with asbestos and comes home in his work clothing, his wife will end up washing his work gear and inhaling the asbestos dust,” Schuelke said.
What is now referred to as indirect asbestos exposure or second-hand asbestos exposure is creating a new class of plaintiffs in injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits. “This form of second-hand asbestos illness is also referred to as take-home asbestos. No matter what it is called, it kills. Once the asbestos fibres are inhaled, they lodge in the lungs, triggering a deadly cancer years later,” Schuelke said.
Those struggling with mesothelioma typically have about two years to live once they have been diagnosed, and although they may win a lawsuit, they may not live to see the victory. “This is a tough area of the law and cases typically take a long time to come to a resolution of some sort. Many families are left carrying on a lawsuit after the plaintiff has died, just as many families file wrongful death lawsuits after their loved one has died. Usually, they suggest the company the person worked for knew the dangers of asbestos and did not provide proper protection for the worker(s),” he said.
The frightening thing about asbestos exposure, whether first or second-hand, is that the fibres are not always seen, and no one really expects them to land on their lunchbox, hair or backpack, but that is precisely what happens. The air where they work, and the air at home in the laundry room when clothes are shaken out, is filled with deadly particles looking for a home in someone’s lungs. Years later, cancer rears its ugly head.
For those who have died as a result of second-hand mesothelioma, it is best for the families to make contact with a competent and proficient Austin injury lawyer. There is a lot to discuss in terms of what a wrongful death lawsuit may entail. There is a lot the Austin injury lawyer may do for the family to help them get the settlement or verdict they deserve.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
1717 W. 6th Street, Suite 375
Austin, Texas 78703-4868
Call (512) 476-4944