Maintenance Workers and Asbestos Exposure
Maintenance workers with mesothelioma may have been exposed to asbestos while repairing and maintaining machinery, plumbing, insulation, and building components. The Lanier Law Firm helps individuals diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses identify how they were exposed and pursue damages from the responsible companies.
Occupational asbestos exposure has caused millions of workers to contract mesothelioma and other devastating asbestos-related illnesses. The companies that mined, processed, and used asbestos from the early 1900s until the late 1970s knew about the dangers at least as early as the 1930s but actively concealed this information to protect profits.
Maintenance workers may service one type of equipment routinely or provide general plumbing, electrical, and building maintenance services. In either scenario, the potential for asbestos exposure of maintenance workers is high. The mesothelioma lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm help maintenance workers get justice for their resulting illnesses.
Maintenance Occupations with Asbestos Exposure
Maintenance workers provide troubleshooting, repairs, and preventive maintenance of equipment, buildings, grounds, and industrial machinery. Rather than hire plumbers, electricians, or other specialized workers, apartment and office complexes often employ general maintenance staff to perform all of these duties.
Some maintenance workers service complex equipment on a contract basis such as boilers, industrial machinery, and specialized technical equipment.
When maintenance workers service building components, machinery, or other equipment that was built or manufactured before 1980, they may encounter asbestos on a daily basis.
Maintenance workers in the following occupations may have been exposed to asbestos:
- Building superintendent
- Maintenance technician
- Industrial machine mechanic
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician
- Maintenance electrician
- Lawn care professional
How are maintenance workers exposed to asbestos?
Maintenance workers are exposed to asbestos when they cut, drill, or remove asbestos-containing components.
Maintenance workers may be exposed to asbestos in buildings constructed prior to 1980 while working with the following materials:
- Roofing tiles
- Roofing felt
- Asphalt shingles
- Asphalt siding
- Cement floor tiles
- Drywall mixtures
- Joint compound
- Bonding agents
- Fireplaces and chimneys
- Electrical wiring
- Paint and other coatings
Sprayed insulation is friable, which means it can become airborne if it is merely touched. Vermiculite insulation may be contaminated with asbestos in buildings constructed as late as 1990.
Maintenance workers with mesothelioma may have been exposed to asbestos while performing basic plumbing repairs. Cement plumbing pipes manufactured and installed before the late 1970s were reinforced with asbestos. Cutting into these pipes can release asbestos. Other plumbing products that contain asbestos include:
- Pipe insulation
Maintenance workers may perform electrical work on machinery, boilers, heating and cooling systems, and buildings. Electrical wiring installed prior to 1980 was often insulated with asbestos. Maintenance workers who have installed or cut into this wiring may have been exposed to asbestos.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Maintenance workers with asbestos-related illnesses may have been exposed to asbestos while installing, repairing, maintaining, or removing boilers, heaters, and air conditioning systems manufactured before 1980. These products may contain electrical wiring, insulation, seals, and compounds that contain asbestos.
Maintenance workers that maintain grounds or provide general maintenance may have had the responsibility of maintaining company vehicles and lawn equipment. Prior to 1980, asbestos was used in wiring, undercoating, and friction parts. Brakes and brake linings containing asbestos were sold and used as recently as 2015 and still are not banned. Friction vehicle components may still contain asbestos today.
Maintenance workers in factories and other industrial sites may be exposed to asbestos while repairing older boilers, industrial machinery, engines, and hydraulic equipment.
Manufacturers and Companies Responsible for the Asbestos Exposure of Maintenance Workers
The following companies manufactured, distributed, or sold products that contained asbestos that could have impacted maintenance workers until the late 1970s:
- AGCO Corporation
- A.W. Chesterton Co.
- Abbott Laboratories
- Able Supply Company
- Ace Hardware Corporation
- Bayer Corporation
- Crane Company
- Dillon Boiler Services Company
- Eaton Electrical
- Garlock Sealing Technologies
- General Electric Company
- Greene Tweed & Company
- Honeywell, International
- Hubbell Lighting, Inc.
- Industrial Holdings Corp.
- International Paper Company
- J-M Manufacturing Company
- Joy Technologies, Inc.
- Kelly Moore Paint Company
- Kimberly-Clark Corporation
- Lewis Manufacturing
- McMaster-Carr Supply Company
- Murco Wall Products
- Rutland Fire Clay
- Sears, Roebuck & Company
- The Dow Chemical Company
- The Sherwin-Williams Company
- Thermwell Products Co.
- Weir Valves and Controls USA, Inc.
What are the health effects of asbestos exposure?
Asbestos exposure may lead to the following asbestos-related illnesses, which may appear 10 to 60 years after the initial exposure:
- Asbestos lung cancer
- Pleural mesothelioma
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
- Pericardial mesothelioma
- Testicular mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is cancer of the thin lining surrounding certain internal organs. It is an aggressive form of cancer that requires specialized treatment at an experienced mesothelioma treatment center. Asbestos exposure is the only known risk factor for mesothelioma. The prognosis is generally poor, with an average life expectancy of four to six months without treatment.
How can The Lanier Law Firm help with my mesothelioma claim?
Although asbestos companies engaged in an active coverup of the dangers of asbestos while knowingly exposing workers, filing an asbestos exposure claim is not straightforward. You will have to identify and prove the source of exposure.
Even if you can name the company that exposed you to asbestos, these companies typically fight hard to avoid paying compensation to those they have harmed. You will also need to know what type of claim to file and where to file the claim.
Navigating the mesothelioma claims process can be overwhelming when you are also facing a devastating illness. The mesothelioma attorneys at The Lanier Law Firm can provide significant relief from the stress of the legal process as they:
- Identify your sources of asbestos exposure
- Provide compassionate, fearless advocacy against those who exposed you to asbestos
- File your mesothelioma claims on your behalf in the most advantageous venue possible
- Skillfully represent you in settlement negotiations and, if necessary, in court
- Pursue the maximum compensation available under the law
When you hire the mesothelioma lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm, you can count on us to go to whatever lengths are necessary to ensure you are fairly compensated for the harm you have suffered.
How much is my asbestos exposure case worth?
Compensation for an asbestos-related illness is variable depending on the following factors:
- Your diagnosis
- Your age at the time of your diagnosis
- Your life expectancy
- The financial impact of your diagnosis
- The pain and suffering brought on by your illness
- The number of sources of exposure
- The types of claims for which you qualify
- The laws of the jurisdiction where you file
- The skills and experience of your attorney
At The Lanier Law Firm, we have the resources to help you identify most or all of the companies that exposed you to asbestos. This allows you to file multiple claims and recover as much compensation as possible.
Types of Mesothelioma Claims
The types of mesothelioma claims you can file depend on your job status at the time of your exposure and the financial status of the companies that exposed you to asbestos.
Asbestos Trust Fund Claims
After the general public became aware that asbestos was a hazardous product and that the asbestos industry had actively concealed this information, large numbers of injured individuals filed lawsuits against the companies. Many of these companies filed for bankruptcy in response.
Section 524(g) of the bankruptcy code requires bankrupt companies with asbestos liabilities to establish trust funds for the benefit of present and future claimants. Currently, there is approximately $30 billion in these trust funds.
An asbestos trust fund claim allows asbestos exposure victims to recover compensation more quickly than filing a lawsuit. If you have multiple sources of exposure, you can file multiple trust fund claims.
Trust fund claims cover the following damages:
- Economic damages – Compensation for medical expenses and lost wages
- Non-economic damages –
Compensation for pain and suffering
You may also qualify to file a trust fund claim if your immediate family member has passed away.
Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits
If you have been exposed to asbestos by companies that have not filed for bankruptcy, you may qualify to file an asbestos exposure lawsuit and pursue economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a punishment against a defendant for the following:
- Deliberate misconduct
- Fraudulent concealment
- Gross negligence
The asbestos industry certainly engaged in all of these forms of misconduct, and punitive damages may apply to your case as a result.
If your family member has passed away as a result of an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This will allow your family to pursue economic, non-economic, and punitive damages against companies that are responsible for your loss.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Asbestos Exposure
If you worked as an employee at a company that exposed you to asbestos, you may be required to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation generally protects employers from liability for occupational injuries and illnesses in exchange for purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation provides free medical care for the occupational illness and partial wage replacement if you are still working at the company when you are diagnosed. It does not provide non-economic damages or punitive damages. You may be able to claim these damages by filing a lawsuit against the companies that supplied asbestos to your employer.
VA Claims for Asbestos Exposure in the Military
If you were a maintenance worker while serving in the military, you may have been exposed to asbestos while working on aircraft, vessels, military vehicles, or buildings.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has acknowledged the harm caused by asbestos exposure and provides monthly disability benefits and medical care to veterans who have developed asbestos-related illnesses as a result of work performed while serving. VA claims must be filed directly through the VA.
How long do I have to file an asbestos exposure claim?
The time limit to file a claim is different in every state. Trust fund claims and lawsuits are generally governed by the statute of limitations for your state. This is typically one to three years after your diagnosis, but it may vary. Workers’ compensation claims have separate deadlines. There is no time limit for filing a VA claim.
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you have received your diagnosis. This will ensure your attorney has sufficient time to investigate your sources of exposure and prepare your case ahead of any deadlines. It will also allow your attorney to file your case in the most favorable jurisdiction without being limited by the statute of limitations.
Why is The Lanier Law Firm the best choice?
When selecting a mesothelioma law firm, it is important to select a law firm that has specific knowledge about asbestos exposure claims and a proven track record. The Lanier Law Firm is one of the most experienced mesothelioma law firms in the world, with more than 25 years of proven experience.
Our mesothelioma lawyers have a national reputation for achieving remarkable results for our clients. We have a Tier I Best Law Firms rating from U.S. News and World Report, and our attorneys have been recognized by our peers for such honors as Trial Lawyer of the Year, Super Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and the Legal 500 Hall of Fame.
However, we are most proud of the case results we consistently achieve for clients, such as the following:
- $4.5 million for a man exposed to asbestos through joint compound
- $2.577 million for a man exposed to asbestos while working on oil rigs and automotive brakes
- $2.257 million verdict for an Illinois laborer
- $1.452 million settlement on behalf of the family of a deceased maintenance worker exposed to asbestos while servicing pumps, boilers, and valves
If you have contracted an asbestos-related illness, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Contact The Lanier Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.