A lawsuit taking place along the west coast has an interesting but no less tragic twist concerning an asbestos-related case. An individual's job duty at a shipyard was to clean the respirators warn by other ship workers that were handling asbestos materials. Though the cleaning of the respirators was necessary to protect other workers from asbestos exposure, the worker cleaning the respirators was himself exposed to asbestos through the cleaning process.
Unfortunately, this worker has since died of lung cancer, and his death was the result of an asbestos injury. Prior to his death, the worker had filed a lawsuit against the respirator company claiming that the manufacturer never warned about the dangers involved in the cleaning of such devices.
Attorneys that represent clients injured by asbestos-related substances require the ability to litigate matters against a wide variety of defendants. This would include employers, manufacturers, building owners, etc.
Though the manufacturer of the respirators had moved the courts to have this lawsuit thrown out, the Supreme Court for that particular state has allowed for the lawsuit to stand. The manufacturer had claimed that the asbestos and not the respirator was the cause of the worker's death, but the court ruled that the device had been used as intended by the worker - though the worker nevertheless was stricken by cancer.
There is no getting away with the fact that asbestos does exist - especially in urban areas such as Chicago, that workers are expected to remove it, and that exposure to the asbestos is responsible for a number of fatal ailments. Yet since workers will be forced to remove such a deadly substance, every precaution must be taken to make certain that removal is conducted in a safe fashion. This means that equipment built to protect such workers cannot be designed in such a manner allowing for exposure to occur.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Court: Shipyard worker's cancer lawsuit proceeds," August 9, 2012