Nothing has cost more damages from corporations and more time in civil courts than battles over exposure to asbestos. The crystalline fiber has been connected to various health ailment, including lung damage and lung cancers, and many workers and residents inhaled the fibers in the last half of the twentieth century.
Lawsuits seeking financial damages for asbestos exposure have petered out in recent years as fewer surviving people have suffered after the material was pulled from the market and remediated from most of the structures and ships in which it was installed. But some Louisiana institutions, including some schools, have lingering issues.
A building created as part of the Bayou State's public university system in the 1970s has some professors and students worried about exposure to asbestos. Other problems, including worn-down ceiling tiles and unreliable electric systems in the elevators, can occasionally exacerbate exposure to dust that may contain asbestos fibers and particles.
"[This building] is a poster child for asbestos," said a 20-year office holder in the structure. "The floor tiles? Asbestos. Many of the ceiling tiles? Asbestos. The insulation? Asbestos." Budgetary issues have impeded the cleanup or replacement of the building. However, companies that made or installed asbestos products, as well as the institutions that allowed them to remain, may face spiraling costs with a claim against them in civil court.
People who may have been exposed to asbestos can seek financial damages to cover required medical care and punitive damages to help prevent future exposure. An attorney can help victims and their families assess their options.