In 1969, congress passed the Black-Lung Bill and subsequently began talks about the dangers of asbestos and legal issues. Though the bill focused on coal miners, it was also instrumental in raising awareness about asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral known to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other life threatening illnesses. It was at this point that asbestos was recognized as a health hazard and legal reform began.
The recent increase in the number of asbestos lawsuits is directly linked to mesothelioma’s long latency period, which can present symptoms decades after initial exposure to asbestos. Classified as a work-related condition, many who were exposed to asbestos are now facing a future of a terminal disease. Most of these people are over 65 and totally oblivious that they were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis in the workplace. When confidence between company and worker is severed, lawsuits are sure to follow.
When the Fairness in Asbestos Compensation Act was passed in 1999, asbestos legal intervention proved to be a pivotal point reforming legislation. The act created an inter-government agency that would compensate victims and their families for injuries from a special fund managed by legislative officials.
Legislators, who designed the bill, hoped it would create a more efficient system by cutting down on the number of asbestos-related lawsuits filed in the courts. Even though victims had to prove their injuries by establishing certain medical criteria, some believed the bill was still too lenient.
Some companies say they are unfairly targeted by individuals who have filed lawsuits against them. These lawsuits have triggered many companies to go bankrupt because they could not feasibly pay off the settlements. The number of funds grew so big that in 2004, congress proposed the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act. This Act was designed to stop unmerited claims and has led to intense debates, which many feel has comprised the victims rights who suffer from asbestos-related illnesses. The Act also makes it difficult to link a company to the illness in question. Plaintiffs must produce evidence showing that their illness has left them physically impaired. While most asbestos-related diseases are terminal, the symptoms don’t necessarily limit one from continuing on with their daily activities, provided they are receiving the necessary treatment.
A good asbestos attorney is probably knowledgeable of all current legislation that has been passed in recent years concerning asbestos. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos in the workplace such as on construction sites, shipyards, garages or other places, it is imperative that you consult the advice of an attorney experienced in handling asbestos cases. Despite the gridlock in asbestos legal regulations, monetary damages are within your grasp. A good attorney gives you the expert services that are required to get you the best possible monetary settlement. You should never have to go through an illness like mesothelioma alone, especially since your family’s financial situation hangs in the balance. Let an experienced mesothelioma law firm fight to get you the best possible asbestos legal settlement and at the same time set a precedent for future companies to follow.