R.ARTICLE 0.1 — For many years the asbestos industry – manufacturers, suppliers, product developers, insurance companies, etc – claimed that they had no
knowledge that asbestos could endanger the health and well being of asbestos workers. Rather than protecting their employees and seeing a lower bottom line these firms instead chose to hide the facts and deny any allegations that asbestos was causing their employees to get sick and die.
However, the dangers related to the inhalation of asbestos fibers had been known for close to two thousand years. In ancient Rome, Pilny the Elder observed that slaves who were forced to work in the quarries exhibited a high degree of “lung sickness.”
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In 1918 a report published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that people who worked in the asbestos industry were dying at an unusually young age. By the mid 1920s the U.S. asbestos industry had already settled its first asbestos related claim.
Then, in 1934,
Aetna Insurance said that asbestos was “incurable.” This information was published in the Attorney’s Textbook of Medicine. The insurance company observed that typically exposure to asbestos leads to disability and death.
Nonetheless, until the early 1970s the industry chose to
hide the dangers related to asbestos. Initially, one of the methods they used was to settle worker’s compensation claims instead of fighting battles in the courts. However, within a short amount of time they instead chose to not admit to any wrong doing at all and neither would they admit to any liability.
In the early 1970s various agencies
in the government started to direct the public’s attention to the dangers associated with the use of asbestos. Although they set up guidelines for its use the United States government chose not to ban its use. The U.S. is actually one of the few industrialized countries in the world that has not outlawed the use of asbestos.
However, companies were warned that they better start protecting their employees by issuing protective gear.
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Even with these directives a number of manufacturers and companies involved in the industry decided to continue manufacturing asbestos without making any of the changes that were mandated. According to internal documents these companies were well aware of the toxicity of the substance and, instead of incurring additional costs, made a conscious decision to “stay the course” and continue their operations as-is.
At that time, despite the negative press, few people were paying much attention to the plight of asbestos victims. And even with all the evidence available, from the late 1970s through the 1990s insurance companies still had unanimously decided that they would not admit liability.
If you or a member of your family was either diagnosed
with an asbestos related disease or were exposed to asbestos because of a company’s disregard for your safety then you may want to hold them accountable for their actions. Mesothelioma law firms can potentially help you to receive a settlement while keeping the amount of participation on your part to a minimum.