Proving Liability in an Asbestos Exposure Case: Who’s Liable?July 6, 2017
Asbestos exposure can greatly increase the risk of developing serious, if not life-threatening diseases, like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. While asbestos exposure can occur in various settings, commonly, it occurs in certain work settings and/or via contact with certain products.
Determining how and when asbestos exposure occurred is central to:
- Identifying the party (or parties) that are liable for compensating those who develop serious asbestos diseases
- Figuring out the available legal remedies
- Determining any possible financial recoveries.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious asbestos-related disease, contact the Amaro Law Firm to find out more about your potential claim and the available legal remedies.
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Liability in Asbestos Cases: When Asbestos Exposure Occurs at Work
Being exposed to asbestos at work is commonly referred to as occupational exposure. Occupational exposure can occur due to the nature and duties of a given job. It may also result from the work environment itself.
Workers who tend have the highest risk of occupational asbestos exposure include (but are not limited to):
- Construction workers
- Ship builders, ship repair workers and ship demolition workers
- Refinery workers and industrial manufacturing workers
- Anyone who works in a setting with unabated asbestos.
Employers have a duty to provide safe work environments. They are also obligated to:
- Provide safety training and the proper personal protective gear when a job involves contact with asbestos (or other potentially hazardous materials)
- Warn workers about the risks, presence and/or dangers of asbestos when it’s part of the working environment.
When employers fail to abide by these duties and, consequently, expose workers to asbestos, these employers can be liable for compensating the workers who develop asbestos diseases.
Here, it’s also crucial to point out that third parties, such as subcontractors or owners of asbestos-contaminated properties, may also be liable for exposing workers to asbestos.
Liability for Asbestos Exposure: When Toxic Products Cause Harm
Product and/or equipment manufacturers can also be liable for harmful asbestos exposure. Some of the various equipment and products that can contain asbestos include:
- Siding, insulation and other wall materials
- Floor and ceiling tiles
- Other flooring materials
- Roofing materials
- Fireproofing materials
- Elevator & HVAC ducts
- Electrical panels
- Some household goods and appliances, such as toasters, crock pots and portable heaters.
Here, it’s important to note that, up until the 1970s, talcum powder may have also contained asbestos fibers.
Equipment and product manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers (and the general public) about the risk of asbestos exposure when using (or coming in contact with) asbestos-containing products. Failure to warn can subject these companies to liability when use of asbestos-containing products causes people to develop a serious asbestos disease.
How to Prove Liability in Asbestos Exposure Claims
Establishing liability in asbestos exposure cases will hinge on the nature of exposure. In general, however, asbestos exposure claims typically fall under product liability law. This means that these cases are usually based on one of the following claims:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
Given the complexity of asbestos exposure cases – and the fact that liability and negligence laws vary by state, having the representation and support of an experienced lawyer can be critical to the strength, outcome and success of an asbestos exposure claim.
A Mesothelioma Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm Is Ready to Help You: Contact Us Today
To contact a mesothelioma lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm, call (877) 892-2797 or email our firm. Initial consultations are free, and we can travel to you or provide a virtual consultation if you are unable to visit our office.
Experienced and resourceful, our lawyers have the skills and insight you can rely on for superior representation and the best possible outcome to your asbestos exposure claim.
From offices across Texas, we represent individuals and families from across the U.S. in asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cases.