The two sides in a class action asbestos exposure lawsuit recently agreed to an $80 million settlement just days before the trial was scheduled to commence. The settlement sets a record for the largest medical monitoring fund ever created in the state of Missouri and could provide services to up to 7,500 individuals who may have been exposed to asbestos.
The case stems from renovations on the Jackson County Courthouse between 1983 and 1985 when potentially thousands of individuals were exposed to asbestos during the project. One of the lead plaintiffs, a Jackson County Courthouse worker, claims the floor she worked on was almost completely covered in asbestos by workers who tracked the deadly mineral around when the failed to follow any sort of safety protocols.
While the defendant U.S. Engineering claims no one was harmed by the renovations almost 30 years ago, at least one death has been linked to asbestos exposure at the site. In 2011, the family of an administrative worker at the courthouse recovered $10.4 million in a settlement with the county and U.S. Engineering after the victim passed away from mesothelioma.
Although regulators claim testing shows the air inside the courthouse to be safe, the settlement none the less will provide thousands of people medical testing to monitor their health. Any individual who can prove he or she was in the building for 80 hours during the renovations will receive annual medical checkups, while those who were in the building for 80 hours from 1986 to 2007 will receive free screenings once every five years.
What is Asbestos?
Commercial asbestos is a white, flaky mineral once commonly used in the construction and manufacturing industry for its malleability and heat resistance. It was often used as an industrial insulation in the homes and workplaces of potentially millions of people.
However, the problem with asbestos is that the material is linked to several serious health conditions, including mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer affecting thin tissue linings, most commonly around the lungs and abdomen.
Often times, decades pass between exposure to asbestos and an individual developing mesothelioma. While there are many different medical treatments for mesothelioma, there is no cure for the disease and patients can expect to battle the cancer for the remainder of their lives.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer
Asbestos companies knew for decades about the link between the mineral and developing serious health conditions, particularly mesothelioma, yet did nothing to warn potential victims about the risks. Although nothing can take back the harm caused by asbestos exposure, the law does give victims legal remedies to hold negligent parties accountable for their careless actions.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. The Throneberry Law Group can investigate your case and get you and your family the compensation you need for medical treatment and hold wrongdoers accountable for their reckless behavior.