Asbestos derives its meaning from the Ancient Greeks, meaning "inextinguishable," because of its harmful biological effects. A person who is exposed to asbestos may contract a disease known as asbestosis. This respiratory disease scars the tissue in the lungs. The lungs are prevented from freely exchanging gases, as well as, expanding and contracting properly.
Additionally, Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma can develop. Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma are highly aggressive diseases that are usually the result of exposure to asbestos that has occurred over a long period of time. Treatment options are expanding but there is currently no cure.
Discovery of the Harmful Effects of Asbestos
Asbestos was first diagnosed in 1924 when a young woman died in her twenties after being exposed. Eventually, studies performed on English workers showed that asbestos presented a real risk and exposure could cause sickness and even death.
Unfortunately, the United States did not act on this information immediately. Workers continued to be exposed to this harmful substance and it would be years before the extent of the damage was know. This harmful substance particularly affected workers in specialized occupation including Naval Veterans, fire-fighters, shipyard workers, brake mechanics, steam fitters and construction workers.
People who have worked in these occupations may be particularly vulnerable to contract asbestosis or another asbestos-related disease because they were often in close contact with it.
Failed Prevention of Injury
When asbestos was started to be used in homes and workplaces throughout the United States, it was presumed safe by the general public. The manufacturers, however, knew that this was not true. Going back to the early 1900's, a series of corporate lies and half-truths kept the public from knowing that exposure to asbestos could many times lead to an early and painful death. During this time when asbestos use was prominent and the companies knew what a health risk it could pose, they started to do various studies of the health of their workers to see if asbestosis (the precursor to Mesothelioma, where inhaled asbestos fibers cause scarring and damage to the lungs) was present. These studies brought back shocking results: that up to 29% of workers had asbestosis, which would lead to Mesothelioma or other debilitating lung problems.
Injury Liability of Manufacturers
Asbestos became very popular due to its ability to insulate buildings and products. The courts have recognized that the asbestos manufacturers are responsible, requiring them to provide compensation to the victims and their families.
Rudolph Migliore, more commonly known as Rudy, is a well-known attorney with over 33 years of experience. Rudy has made Suffolk County, New York his home since 1963. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1968 to 1974. A quintessential family man, Rudy strongly conveys this trait in his legal practice.