Mesothelioma History

Asbestos Lawsuit History

Lawsuits filed for workers with mesothelioma (asbestos cancer) over the past twenty five years have uncovered internal company documents that show a disturbing pattern of negligent conduct that disregarded the health and safety of American workers. The companies implicated in these documents include many of the largest in America, including: Exxon, Dow, Union Carbide, DuPont, Bendix (now Honeywell), Johns Mansville, WR Grace, Halliburton, National Gypsum, Owens-Corning, General Motors, General Electric and Ford.

After a lawsuit is filed, companies are often forced to reveal sensitive (and sometimes highly damaging) paperwork that helps the victims prove their claims. The documents uncovered from asbestos manufacturers files implicate them in the deaths of thousands of asbestos workers. Attorneys for victims usually win- and win big when these papers are shown to a jury.

According to the documents the dangers of asbestos were widely known as early as the 1930s, but it is virtually certain that the asbestos industry was fully aware of the health risks in the 1950s and 1960s and yet left workers on the job with no health or protective equipment. In one court case after another, the companies have been found guilty of:

1) Exposing workers to deadly effects of asbestos.
2) Employing workers with full knowledge that asbestos would kill or injure them.
3) Actively concealing the knowledge and health risks from the workers.

Since asbestos diseases are latent and often take decades to appear, the companies were able to avoid responsibility until the 1980s, when the science became very well known and workers started dying in numbers to great for society to ignore.

A 1964 medical report at a prominent manufacturing company (Phillip Carey): "There is an irrefutable association between asbestos and cancer. This association has been established for cancer of the lung and for mesothelioma."

In 1973 the Asbestos Textile Institute predicted that 25,000 workers would die of asbestos related diseases, but noted:
"...the good news is that despite all the negative articles on asbestos health that have appeared in the press.. very few people have been paying attention."

Johns-Manville- the largest asbestos maker revealed this memo from its medical director who wrote:
"...this disease is irreversible and permanent so that eventually compensation will be paid to each of these men. But, as long as the man is not disabled it is felt he should not be told of his condition so he can live and work in peace an the company can benefit by his many years of experience." (Quoted in the book Outrageous Misconduct by Paul Brodeur)

A memo uncovered by attorneys from a Honeywell predecessor company called Bendix remarked:
"..if you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products, why not die from it." (1966)

An Exxon Memo advised:
"Not only are we violating the existing regulations concerning clothing by not providing such clothing and laundering it, but we are also failing to protect our employees and the families of our employees from asbestos exposure." The significance of this memo lies in the recognition of the risks being posed to the workers families from the deadly fibers brought home on clothing.

Thousands of documents of the character quoted above have been uncovered and show the blatant disregard many of the largest corporations had for worker and public safety. Once the companies were aware of the risks of asbestos cancer they made no effort to protect workers through adoption of safety standards, or the use of safer products. Tens of thousands of people have died and thousands more will be diagnosed with fatal cancer from these unnecessary exposures.

Get Justice if you have been diagnosed.

Attorneys can help you identify the source of the asbestos exposure (even if you are unsure of where it occurred), determine the companies responsible (each claim usually involves many defendants in the region or industry associated with the victim) and help you collect a large settlement, potentially millions of dollars.

To see if you qualify for benefits, please contact us below for a free, confidential discussion about your legal rights.

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