Secondary asbestos exposure, also known as second-hand asbestos exposure, is when someone who works directly with asbestos or asbestos-contaminated material carries asbestos fibers home and exposes their household members to those fibers. When a worker brings home asbestos fibers, they put their loved ones at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Secondary asbestos exposure is especially frequent among women and children, although men too can fall victim to this kind of asbestos exposure.
Before the dangerous effects of asbestos became known, and before strict regulations were passed, people working with asbestos often brought home asbestos fibers in their person. However, over the decades, cases of second-hand asbestos exposure have reduced. Because of this reduction, one might wonder why courts are seeing many secondary asbestos exposure lawsuits. One main reason is that doctors are getting better at diagnosing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma. Years ago, if an individual without obvious asbestos exposure exhibited mesothelioma-like symptoms, they would have most likely been overlooked. However, today, because of the advancement in science and medicine, medical professionals are able to figure out if indeed a person without any obvious asbestos exposure is suffering from mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Has a Long Latency Period
It takes years for mesothelioma to develop. So, even though asbestos exposure, including second-hand asbestos exposure, is not common today, it is crucial to note that the time between when a person gets exposed to asbestos and when they are diagnosed with mesothelioma is long. In most cases, the latency period of mesothelioma can be between 20 and 50 years. In some rare circumstances, it can even be more than that. The long latency period of mesothelioma could be another reason to explain why courts are seeing many secondary asbestos exposure lawsuits.
Determining Liability in a Second-hand Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit
After filing a second-hand asbestos exposure lawsuit, it is up to the plaintiff and their attorney to prove their claim. When it comes to second-hand asbestos exposure lawsuits, determining liability can be challenging. Usually, in most primary asbestos exposure lawsuits, it is easy to identify the product that led to a plaintiff developing mesothelioma. On the other hand, a victim of secondary asbestos exposure might find it hard to determine which products led to them becoming ill. This is more likely to be the case if the loved one who suffered primary asbestos exposure and brought asbestos fibers home has passed on.
However, it is not impossible to prove liability in a second-hand asbestos exposure lawsuit. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you prove liability. After all, lawyers have been helping victims of secondary asbestos exposure recover compensation for a long time. Quite a number of states including, but not limited to New Jersey, Illinois, Missouri, California, and Washington State, have awarded compensation to victims of secondary asbestos exposure.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.