Asbestos litigation is the longest mass tort in American history, with no end in sight. Every year thousands of Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a fatal form of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
Despite knowing as early as the 1930s that asbestos caused cancer, companies continue to use it. The asbestos industry has paid millions to shape pro-asbestos research, helping to thwart multiple attempts to ban the carcinogen in the U.S.
Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones have filed lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers and retailers. To find out if you are eligible for a lawsuit, contact our legal team for a free consultation.
You may also want to download our FREE PDF GUIDE to mesothelioma, its effects, and how a lawsuit can help.
COMPANIES ENDANGERED WORKERS FOR DECADES
Though it’s been known for years that asbestos causes cancer, the asbestos industry continued to promote its use. Asbestos was especially popular between the 1940s and 1970s as a cheap form of fire and chemical-resistant insulation. The mineral was also used in everything from naval ships and textiles to auto parts and talc-based products.
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they stick to the protective mesothelium layer of organs for years, eventually creating cancerous cells. Often, mesothelioma symptoms won’t present themselves for 15 to 20 years. When mesothelioma is diagnosed though, it is extremely aggressive; half of patients will succumb to the disease within 18 months.
Dr. Nicholas Ashford refers to asbestos as “the most criminal industry.”
Companies that knew asbestos was killing its workers continued using the mineral hoping to get as much work as possible from their innocent employees. An internal memo from Bendix Corporation dating back to 1966, asked, “If you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products, why not die from it?”
Because of this mass cover-up, Dr. Nicholas Ashford, former chair of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety & Health, refers to asbestos as “the most criminal industry.”
FORD SPENDS $40 MILLION ON PRO-ASBESTOS RESEARCH
Sadly, this deception isn’t restricted to the history books. Frustrated with losing lawsuits to mesothelioma patients, in 2001, Ford spent $40 million on pro-asbestos research. Ford-funded researchers and expert testimonies argued that auto mechanics (who were exposed to asbestos-contaminated brake dust) were not at increased risk of developing mesothelioma.
Ford still maintains that mechanics were safe from asbestos exposure. In their 2014 annual report, they state that “the scientific evidence confirms our long-standing position that there is no increased risk of asbestos-related disease as a result of exposure to the type of asbestos formerly used in the brakes on our vehicles.”
The industry also claims that some forms of asbestos, including chrysotile asbestos, are safe when used under controlled environments. The World Health Organization, however, says all forms of asbestos cause cancer.