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Missouri Court Reinstates Potentially Huge Asbestos Lawsuit Against County

The Missouri Court of Appeals this week breathed new life into a mesothelioma lawsuit that could expose Jackson County, MO and a local contractor to millions of dollars of damages for claims that it improperly handled asbestos during a courthouse renovation in the 1980s.

The appellate court this week stated that the lawsuit filed five years ago should now proceed as a class action lawsuit.

The suit was filed on behalf of thousands of county employees who worked and spent time in the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City since 1983. That was the year that the county contracted with the contractor US Engineering to revamp the buildings air handling systems, which were all wrapped in asbestos.

Asbestos fibers, if breathed in by humans, can eventually cause mesothelioma, a horrible and incurable lung cancer that may take decades to form.

The suit states that US Engineering knew about the asbestos dangers but cut into it during renovation work without shutting off the building’s air systems. This caused asbestos-laced dust to circulate through the building.

If the plaintiffs win, the county and the contractor could be on the hook for millions of dollars in damages from mesothelioma patients.

Our personal injury law firm has represented many workers whose lives have been affected or ended by mesothelioma. Many  were former railroad and train workers with the disease which they contracted from their past employment. In one case, we represented two clients who were conductors and switchmen at a railroad for many years. Both got lung disease from breathing in asbestos fibers. Unfortunately, both men died from the horrible cancer. Our legal firm found key experts in industrial hygiene who proved that the railroad company had knowingly exposed the workers to asbestos in their jobs.

We reached confidential settlements in the case that satisfied the surviving family members. Our firm always is proud to do its small part in obtaining justice for the families of those who have been devastated by mesothelioma.

Asbestos was widely used in the railroad industry so it impacted railroad engineers and conductors for decades although they did not know they were exposed. All kinds of asbestos wrapped parts or asbestos insulated parts were on railroad locomotive engines, as well as in lodging and the hotels railroad workers were provided by railroads for many decades. 

The problem with this toxic substance is that even in invisible amounts that cannot be detected in the air, it can cause mesothelioma, or asbestos induced lung cancer as well. One reason OSHA banned asbestos as the first toxic substance it regulated, was that so little exposure could cause such horrible cancers 10, 20, 30 years later. Many industries, not only the railroads, believed that they could dodge lawsuits or disease claims by burying their head in the sand but what has happened is that these diseases and cancers are turning up every year in the retired railroad workers who had the exposures, including every railroad, not only Norfolk Southern, CSX, Conrail, but the other major railroads as well.

For further information about railroad asbestos cancers, lung cancers and mesothelioma click on one of these articles from our railroad injury law attorneys:

Case 1

Case 2

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