Lawsuits regarding the harmful effects of asbestos have collectively become the longest-running and most expensive class of civil legal actions in United States history. Thousands of shipbuilders, refinery workers and contractors have fallen victim to asbestos-related illnesses in the last 50 years. But exposure did not stop in the workplace.
Who else was subjected to the dangers of asbestos?
A more recent section of torts, which as the class of lawsuits involved personal injury or damages, involves household exposure of asbestos to the families and close associates of contaminated workers. These lawsuits are often called "take-home" lawsuits, as the assumption is the harmful crystalline fibers were carried by workers out of the initial places of exposure.
What is the legal background for take-home asbestos lawsuits?
Courts in several states have rules or will rule on the duty of companies that used or released asbestos to household contacts or other nonworkplace acquaintances of workers who became contaminated.
What about the scientific background?
Some analyses have confirmed that asbestos can travel outside the workplace on people's clothing and personal effects, but causation is difficult to prove based simply on that exposure. Most take-home cases are related to workers who had very heavy exposure in their respective workplaces.
What if I believe I was exposed to "take-home" asbestos?
An attorney can help counsel potential victims of asbestos exposure on the need for full medical testing, a collection of legal evidence about exposure and the identification of responsible parties. No member of a family with asbestos exposure in its history should remain silent about their case.