Asbestos Secondary Exposure Legal Recourse

Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 6:04 am    

Asbestos Secondary Exposure Legal Recourse

If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence you may be eligible for compensation. However, what if you never worked with asbestos but now have an asbestos related disease? Do you have legal recourse? It is important to note that because asbestos fibers are airborne they can be breathed in by anyone. Including people who did not necessarily handle asbestos products. Any asbestos related disease can form the basis of an injury claim regardless of how it happened.

Secondary Exposure

When an individual is exposed to asbestos but does not handle an asbestos product this is referred to as secondary exposure. Secondary exposure is also referred to as ‘bystander’ or ‘indirect exposure’. Secondary exposure occurs when a person is exposed to asbestos fibers generated by the activity of someone else. It must be noted that even limited exposure to asbestos can cause the development of mesothelioma. As such secondary exposure is just as dangerous as working directly with asbestos. Simple activities like shaking clothes out before laundry can expose family members to asbestos fibers. Even hugging a family member just home from a day at work, doing asbestos related work exposes you to asbestos.

There are a number of legal options available for secondary exposure by filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. In addition, a claimant can file against the trust funds of bankrupt manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos.

In order to successfully win a secondary exposure asbestos-related personal injury lawsuit, it is necessary to the plaintiff to prove the following:

  • Proving exposure – this requires the plaintiff to identify the asbestos containing product manufacturers or suppliers. This can be a challenge especially if you did not work with such products.
  • Limitations of property owners – the general rule is the property owners have a duty to protect people from injury on their property. Therefore, this duty would fall on the property owner where the worker is exposed to asbestos. However, this is complicated in take home exposure situations, as the property owner is not negligent with regards to the worker’s family members.
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