- Asbestos Litigation is Expected to Last Until 2050: What You Need to Know
- April 27, 2017
- Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
Some believe that asbestos exposure is becoming less and less of a problem but this is simply not the case. The reality of the situation is that asbestos injury and litigation is expected to continue until at least 2050. Because exposure to asbestos manifests itself as asbestosis or mesothelioma decades later, any litigation stemming from current exposures will not begin until many years from now.
Although incidence of mesothelioma peaked 20 years ago, today’s rate of mesothelioma diagnoses still remains at 50% of that peak level. Thus, if you are working in an area where there is the possibility of exposure to asbestos, do not take that lightly. Some perceive that asbestos has been completely eliminated from all workplaces, but considering the fact that asbestos injury and litigation will continue until 2050 at least, this is clearly not the case.
Factory-workers who currently work or have worked in coal plants need to be especially careful. Coal plant operators expect to face asbestos lawsuits in the future and for good reason. Asbestos was widely used in the industry. In fact, they are already preparing to implement document retention policies to protect themselves against future lawsuits. Part of their procedure includes keeping track of where asbestos was found and where it was not. If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important for you to do the same.
Keeping Work History Logs Helps Prove Your Asbestos Exposure
If you have to file an asbestos lawsuit later in life, it will be important for your asbestos attorney to know where exactly you breathed in asbestos and where you did not. Also, it is important that you keep any employment documentation that you might have. If you do have to file an asbestos suit, your asbestos attorney may need to verify what days you worked as well as which facility you worked in. If you keep those documents now, you will be able to provide that information later. These types of documents are the best way for an asbestos lawyer to prove where and when you worked for the company. It’s also the best way for an asbestos lawyer to prove where you were exposed to asbestos.
Coal factory operators are also taking steps to mitigate the dangers of asbestos by encapsulating potentially dangerous areas and hiring certified contractors to remove the asbestos-containing materials and dispose to them in a landfill. But even so, no removal process is perfect and often there are materials that are overlooked or forgotten. Left behind asbestos deteriorates over time becoming dusty and easily airborne. Some encapsulated asbestos will need to be disturbed for future repairs and demolitions, releasing the asbestos, and once again creating an exposure hazard. This is why asbestos continues to be a problem and will be for the foreseeable future.
Thus, when you are working in areas where there is the possibility of asbestos exposure, make sure you take all of the proper safety measures to be sure that you are not exposed to this toxic substance. Asbestos is dangerous when disturbed so take extra precaution if the area in which you are working is filled with dust.