Take-Home Asbestos Exposure: An Employer’s Responsibility

For decades, asbestos exposure was synonymous with industrial employment. Men and women employed in an occupation which exposed them to asbestos and asbestos-containing products were diagnosed with mesothelioma between ten and fifty years after the exposure.

take-home asbestos exposureIn recent years, there has been a trend among individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma where the asbestos exposure that caused their cancer was of a non-occupational nature. They had never worked a day in their lives with or around asbestos or asbestos-containing products. These individuals came into contact with asbestos that was brought into their homes on the clothing of their spouses, parents, and other household members. Such exposure is commonly referred to as "take-home" asbestos exposure.

Take-home asbestos exposure can occur when a member of a household is exposed to asbestos while at a work site or premises and returns to the household wearing the clothing worn while working with or around asbestos. Asbestos fibers are more often invisible in the air and can be easily breathed in by a person working with or around it. It can also attach to the clothing, skin, and hair of that individual. When the person returns home after work, the asbestos from the work site or premises enters the household, contaminating it.

Often, wives who are the victims of take-home exposure from their worker-husbands were responsible for doing the laundry and thus came into direct contact with respirable asbestos fibers. Even familial affection and embraces after a worker returned home exposed the household members to the asbestos fibers that covered the contaminated clothing.

In response to this ever-present problem, the New Jersey Supreme Court in Olivo v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 186 N.J. 394 (2006) held that premises owners owe a duty of care to spouses (and other household members) handling or coming into contact with workers’ clothing. The Court explained that this duty was based on a “foreseeable risk of exposure from asbestos borne home on contaminated clothing.” In fact, principles of industrial hygiene dictate that industrial dust of any kind, including asbestos, if impossible to eliminate, should be isolated. As a result, victims of take-home exposure to asbestos are able to seek retribution from companies that failed to protect their workers and failed to isolate the hazard that caused their life-threatening cancer.

Levy Konigsberg LLP helps victims of take-home asbestos exposure diagnosed with mesothelioma. LK mesothelioma lawyers are dedicated to making sure that victims of asbestos exposure, regardless of their occupation and status, receive justice for their suffering and loss.

ATTENTION: Mesothelioma has no known cure and often causes severe pain, suffering, and other types of damage, such as loss of consortium, and loss of income. Additionally, due to the exceedingly high cost of mesothelioma treatments, many families exhaust savings and accumulate financial debt in order to pay for the medical expenses of their family member.

Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma lawyers. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.

Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.

IMPORTANT: If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer as early as possible to determine if you have a mesothelioma case and to:

  • Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
  • Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
    • Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
    • File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
  • Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.

Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys via our 24/7 toll-free hotline at 1-800-MESOLAW (1-800-637-6529) or by submitting an email inquiry (see form above). Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

NOTE: While our offices are located in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, many of our mesothelioma lawyers are licensed to practice law in a number of U.S. states and have the capability and extensive experience of representing mesothelioma clients throughout the United States.

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