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Construction Worker Files Injury Claim Because of Asbestos Exposure

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Construction Worker Files Injury Claim Because of Asbestos ExposureFor decades, businesses and manufacturers thought of asbestos as a highly useful material because it was flexible and resistant to fire and electricity. It was only in the latter part of the 20th century that the public became aware of the health dangers associated with the substance. People who are exposed to asbestos can breathe in the fibers, which become lodged inside their bodies and never fully go away. Though it may take decades to develop, people who were exposed to asbestos often suffer from respiratory diseases, including lung cancer. Businesses have been accused of knowing about the dangers of asbestos exposure for decades before it became public knowledge. Some workers have filed third party claims for personal injury compensation against businesses that they believe lied about the health risks involved with using asbestos.

Recent Case

In the case of Jones v. Pneumo Abex LLC and Owens, Illinois, Inc., a retired construction worker is seeking personal injury damages for his lung cancer, claiming that the two businesses conspired to suppress information about the health hazards of working with asbestos products. The defendants did not employ the plaintiff but manufactured the insulation products that the plaintiff used. The plaintiff claims that the businesses committed the conspiracy by:

  • Selling asbestos products without warning recipients about the health dangers;
  • Editing and altering reports that discussed the health concerns of asbestos products; and
  • Entering an agreement with each other to suppress health studies about asbestos.

A trial court issued a summary judgment in favor of the defendants, but an appellate court overturned that decision, stating that there are enough questions of fact for the court to hear the case.

Third Party Claims

The plaintiff is making a third party claim against the businesses, instead of a workers’ compensation claim with his employer. With a third party claim, the plaintiff may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is unavailable in workers’ compensation claims. By claiming civil conspiracy, the plaintiff must prove that the businesses agreed to commit acts that they knew would harm him. He can establish proof by presenting circumstantial evidence and making common sense inferences from that evidence.

Occupational Illnesses

Construction and manufacturing workers can develop chronic health problems from being exposed to hazardous substances. In most cases, they can file a workers’ compensation claim to pay for their healthcare costs and lost wages. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you prove that your job directly caused your illness. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2018/5thDistrict/5160239.pdf

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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