While the majority of asbestos litigation is brought by those who have had firsthand exposure to asbestos and asbestos-related products, typically on the job, those who have suffered injury and loss due to secondhand asbestos exposure may also have the ability to obtain compensation. The number of these cases is small, but they do exist.
Secondhand, or take-home, asbestos exposure can have serious effects. Oftentimes, it is family members of those exposed to asbestos who are later impacted by that secondhand exposure, suffering various health problems. A Louisiana woman recently filed a claim in district court against Ingersoll-Rand Co. and other defendants in connection with her own secondhand asbestos exposure.
The woman, who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, claims in her complaint that she was exposed to high levels of asbestos fibers as a child from her father’s clothing, and then again as an adult from her husband’s clothing. Take home asbestos exposure cases are dealt with differently from state to state, with some taking a more plaintiff-friendly approach than others. Such cases are not unheard of in Louisiana, and verdicts have been reached for plaintiffs before, sometimes significant verdicts.
Although it is possible for family members to obtain compensation for the effects of secondhand asbestos exposure, it is critical to always work with an experienced attorney not only to build the strongest legal argument for the case, but also to navigate the procedural issues that can arise in asbestos litigation. Working with a skilled attorney ensures that a plaintiff’s legal rights will be zealously advocated and that the plaintiff has solid guidance in pursuing their case.
Source: Asbestos Case Tracker, “Take Home Mesothelioma Case Remanded After Plaintiff Adds Dismissed Defendant to Amended Complaint,” Scott J. McDowell, Dec. 5, 2016.