Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that usually affects the protective lining of the lungs or abdomen. Inhaling or swallowing airborne asbestos is the number one cause of mesothelioma. People who have been diagnosed with this form of cancer should contact an experienced asbestos and mesothelioma attorney to explore what legal options they may have.
One of the most common ways of being exposed is through your job. It’s not only the person who was exposed to the asbestos at work who is at risk of developing the cancer. Family members are also at risk of developing mesothelioma because of the asbestos dust workers brought home every day.
Although the dangers of asbestos exposure were known for years, many industries instead chose to put profits over the safety of their employees and continued to expose workers to the dangerous substance. It wasn’t until the past couple of decades that government and unions stepped in to put a stop to these practices.
But for many people, it was too late. It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years between the time of exposure and for symptoms to finally develop. The average latency period for men is 47.9 years and for women is 53.3 years.
One field particularly affected by mesothelioma is the railroad industry. Carmen, conductors, engineers, shop workers, and track maintenance workers may have been exposed to deadly asbestos at some point in their career before railroads were forced to remove it from equipment. Railroad workers are protected under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which is a federal law that was enacted in 1908.
Under FELA, an injured worker – or the worker’s family – can collect a claim against a railroad if the injury was caused, either in whole or in part, by the negligence or fault of the railroad, including failure of the railroad in providing a safe environment for workers. Our asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys have successfully represented the families of many railroad workers who have lost their loved ones to the fatal disease. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or have lost a loved one to the disease, contact a dedicated Virginia asbestos and mesothelioma attorney today.