Understanding, Managing, and Living with the

Health Effects of Asbestos

Asbestos Lawsuits Filed throughout the Country

June 21, 2011

Charleston, WV As it has become well-known that exposure to asbestos can cause a number of serious illnesses—including mesothelioma and asbestosis—many people have initiated lawsuits against former employers due to occupational exposure.

One such lawsuit was filed recently in Kanawha Circuit Court in West Virginia by a Kentucky couple who claims the husband was exposed to asbestos on the job and suffers from mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, as a result.

According to the West Virginia Record, Edward A. Reed and his wife, Helen, filed the lawsuit against a total of 135 companies, claiming they are at fault for the man's mesothelioma diagnosis.

The companies, which include large firms such as Allegheny Energy Service Corp., Dow Chemical Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. are accused of failing to properly warn Reed of the health risks posed by asbestos exposure.

Reed, who claims he was exposed to the carcinogenic substance between 1956 and 1992, is suing the various defendants for negligence, misrepresentation, strict liability and having contaminated buildings, according to the news source.

The couple is reportedly seeking a jury trial to decide the case.

Elsewhere, in Louisiana, an asbestos lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a man who reportedly died of mesothelioma, reports the Louisiana Record.

According to the news source, a representative of the estate of Milan Arthur Barackman has filed the lawsuit against companies such as Foster Wheeler, Rapid American Corp. and Riley Power Inc., among others.

The lawsuit claims that the man was exposed to asbestos while he worked on US Navy vessels from 1966 to the late 1970s. Like the Kentucky couple's asbestos lawsuit, the complaint on behalf of Barackman accuses the defendants of failing to warn him and producing products that were dangerous and contained asbestos, according to the news source.

Lawsuits in which asbestos exposure on the job has resulted in the development of malignant mesothelioma are becoming more common across the country, as approximately 2,500 Americans are diagnosed with the illness—which attacks the tissues surrounding many of the body's internal organs—each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

All told, asbestos-related illnesses kill approximately 107,000 people around the world each year, estimates the World Health Organization.