There is no question that asbestos was dangerous to the seemingly countless factory workers and construction workers who worked in asbestos-laden environments for decades of the last century. When these workers would breathe in the deadly asbestos fibers, these fibers would become embedded in the layer of tissue know as the mesothelium, where they could develop in into an aggressive form of cancer known as malignant pleural mesothelioma.
While most people associate mesothelioma with lung cancer, it is actually a different form of cancer, though it often does form in the lungs. However, it can also form in the stomach, chest, and other internal organs. Wherever it initially forms, it can quickly spread to other organs in the short period time a patient has left to live following a mesothelioma diagnosis. It should also be noted that asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, and other forms of serious respiratory illness.
However, it was not only the workers themselves who were at risk for developing malignant pleural mesothelioma. Because these workers were not wearing any kind of protective clothing, they normally came home at the end of the day covered with deadly asbestos fibers, where they would make other family members sick.
According to a recent article from the Times Free Press, one woman became sick from inhaling the deadly fibers while doing her husband’s laundry. This ultimately led to her developing malignant pleural mesothelioma and she died. Her family brought an asbestos lawsuit, and a jury awarded the family $3.5 million in damages.
This particular case involved a woman whose husband worked at a nuclear power plant doing clean up work where asbestos fibers were present. He died as result of mesothelioma in 1997. His wife, who had cleaned her husband’s asbestos-laden work clothes for more than 20 years, was diagnosed in 2012, which was the same year she died.
Boston mesothelioma lawyers typically work with families of deceased victims due to the fact that most people do not get diagnosed with the disease until it has reached a very advanced stage. It is fairly common for people to be told they have less than a year left to live once they are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The reason for this is because it takes between 20 and 50 years for a person to develop mesothelioma to a point where they have detectable symptoms. By this point, it is likely they will die very soon from the deadly cancer. Industry insiders were very much aware of the long period of time and knew that, even if their workers became sick, it would not be discovered for decades, and they were making a great deal of money from the sale of asbestos, so they did not seen any need to stop what they were doing. They risked other people’s safety for their immediate profits. While this may seem horrible, and it is, it is not an isolated occurrence. These companies knowingly chose profits over worker safety and did not stop what they doing until the public finally learned what they were up to in the 1970s.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Massachusetts, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Family gets $3.5 million after woman dies from asbestos doing husband’s laundry, October 7, 2015, Times Free Press, AP
More Blog Entries:
Asbestos In City Buildings Poses Risk, August 12, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Layers Blog