Asbestos Lawsuit Overview


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Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been used as insulation and as a fire retardant in a wide variety of applications. Because of its fibrous nature, asbestos can produce dust that, when inhaled, becomes deposited in the lungs. It can cause or contribute to the development of illnesses including asbestosis (a fibrous scarring of the lungs) and mesothelioma (a malignant tumor in the lining of the lungs or the abdominal cavity).

A variety of asbestos lawsuits have been filed since the 1960s. Two proposed class action settlements were invalidated by the US Supreme Court (see Amchem Products Inc. v. Windsor 521 U.S. 591 (1997) and Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp. 527 U.S. 815 (1999)).

The widespread use of asbestos in manufacturing in the United States ended in the 1970s, and since then, workplace exposures have been strictly regulated by the government. Several federal and state agencies have authority to regulate asbestos, including the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

According to an August, 2001 report by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, to date there have been more than 500,000 asbestos-related claimants and at least 41 defendant corporations have entered bankruptcy (with eight major asbestos defendants filing for bankruptcy since January 1, 2000). According to a September, 2001 article in Best’s Review, the eventual total cost of asbestos claims & lawsuits is estimated to be $275 billion (including legal expenses). Of this figure, $70 billion is estimated to be paid by U.S. insurers under general liability coverage, $30 billion by non-U.S. insurers, and $175 billion uninsured asbestos lawsuit.

 

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If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos and are currently suffering from mesothelioma, pleural disease, lung cancer or asbestosis, Product Liability Lawyer.com can help you receive the compensation you deserve for illness.

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