Woman Sues More Than 50 Companies For Secondary Asbestos Exposure

A Toledo, Illinois woman recently filed an asbestos lawsuit against more than 50 asbestos companies after she developed 2nd-hand mesothelioma, also known as “familial exposure.”

The Madison Record reports that Charity Johnson was given a mesothelioma diagnosis in 2013. Johnson never worked around asbestos, yet her father did. While working as a car mechanic, welder, and on construction sites, Johnson’s father was constantly surrounded by asbestos and asbestos-related products. When he came back to the family home after working each day, he reportedly would bring in asbestos fibers that were embedded in his hair, clothes, and skin.

As a result, Johnson accuses over 50 companies in contributing to her mesothelioma, including the Ford Motor Co., Honeywell International, and more. She filed her lawsuit on December 9, at the St. Clair County Circuit Court. According to the lawsuit, Johnson not only suspects that she will die early due to her disease, but she’s also already spent an enormous amount of money on treatment for her illness.

Additionally, Johnson’s employment has been hindered due to ongoing treatment sessions and side effects of mesothelioma that makes it difficult to work. The lawsuit indicates she’s been through extreme mental anguish and turmoil since her diagnosis.

Johnson is seeking $50,000 at minimum from each of the defendants.

lawsuit form

The Dangers of 2nd Hand Asbestos Exposure

Almost most people associate asbestos illnesses with those who worked around the toxic mineral, the sad fact remains that people who’ve never been exposed to asbestos while working can still develop a fatal disease when the fibers transfer from person to another.

For example, when a father comes home from, he may greet his children with hugs. Later on, his spouse may start doing laundry that contains his work clothes, which are filled with tiny, odorless, asbestos fibers. All members of the family household have now been exposed to the dangers of asbestos.

Although most workers now protect themselves with safety gear and clothing while working around asbestos, this was not the case in the past. In fact, prior to the early 1980s, most workers weren’t even informed they were working around asbestos, much less informed about the dangers involved.

People would go to work without coveralls over their clothing and without breathing respirators. They would work numerous hours each day while breathing in asbestos fibers that landed in their path.

It may seem hard to believe that a few asbestos fibers transferred into the family home could cause life-threatening diseases. Yet, a 1988 study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), entitled, “Domestic asbestos exposure, lung fiber burden, and pleural mesothelioma in a housewife,” shows that 2nd hand exposure to asbestos can be just as deadly as exposure at a job site.

With the overwhelming amount of people who’ve developed asbestos diseases via secondary exposure, U.S. laws now recognize that 2nd hand asbestos exposure cases are valid cases. In turn, numerous women and other victims of secondary asbestos exposure are successfully filing asbestos lawsuits against the companies that supplied asbestos to their loved ones’ job sites.

Help and Resources for Secondary Asbestos Exposure Victims

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other illness related to asbestos, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. There is currently over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who are victims to asbestos-related diseases. Use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool today to find a leading mesothelioma attorney in your area. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-694-4856.

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Sources:

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-693

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1009782/pdf/brjindmed00133-0066.pdf