Not Even Bankruptcy will save Companies from Compensating Mesothelioma Victims
From the first half of the 1900s until the 1970s thousands of American firms employed millions of workers whose job required exposure to asbestos. Shipyard workers alone, who were tasked to build World War II ships, were estimated at 4.3 million; they were also exposed to thousands of tons of asbestos, which was used to make steam engines, steam turbines, boilers, insulate piping and other ship-required equipment. (The US Navy, likewise, made a great number of its men and workers handle this element during the building of ships and ship equipment).
Asbestos was (and is still) considered a perfectly useful mineral. Its cheapness because of its abundance, its elasticity, which gave it strength, and its resistance to heat, fire, electrical and chemical damage, led to its use as component of so many different products, which included: fire, heat and acid resistant gaskets; fireplace cement; fire retardant coatings; fireproof drywall; drywall joint compound; lawn furniture; roofing and flooring materials; pipe cement, concrete and bricks.
Asbestos, however, contained and released sharp, tiny fibers which, when inhaled and never expelled (one way is through coughing), can be implanted in the lungs where these can cause damage which can lead to deadly results.
One of the deadly effects resulting from the inhalation of asbestos fibers is mesothelioma, a lethal type of cancer that damages the cells that protect the lungs, the heart and abdominal organs. One characteristic of mesothelioma that puts those diagnosed with it totally at the losing end is its extremely long latency period, which is 40 years or more (there are instances wherein the symptoms appear much faster, especially if the amount of asbestos exposed to and the amount of fibers inhaled are too great). Thus, by the time this deadly, chronic cancer becomes diagnosable, it would already have developed to a stage wherein no type of treatment is longer possible.
According to the website of the mesothelioma attorneys at the Williams Kherkher law firm, Many companies responsible in exposing their workers to asbestos have already ceased operations after filing for bankruptcy due to the large number of civil lawsuits these were faced with; some others, though, were bought by giant firms. The closure of such companies, however (or the merger of others with a wealthier firm), neither lessens the right of mesothelioma victims from pursuing these, nor lessens the victims’ chances of receiving the full amount of compensation they are legally entitled to receive.
Civil lawsuits can be complex processes for the victims and their families. Besides all the documents that need to be prepared, computation of damages resulting from the work-related illness will also have to be done accurately. There are many other legal details that need to be addressed and, in all these, only a specially trained lawyer will be able to provide the kind of assistance required.