A New Jersey judge awarded $90.5 million to the families of eleven deceased victims in an asbestos lawsuit. The defendants, Anova Holding AG and Becon AG of Switzerland, are successors of a Swiss mining company that had supplied asbestos to the Johns Manville plant in New Jersey between the 1950s and 1980s.
For many years asbestos was prized for its heat resistance and insulating qualities. It eventually became apparent that inhaling dust from asbestos was a severe health hazard. Asbestos has been directly linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and the inflammation of the lungs called asbestosis. The most vulnerable were the people who were exposed to it in manufacturing, construction or demolition.
Buildings that contain asbestos are still occupied around the world, including here in the United States. As long as it is sealed within a structure it does not pose a hazard. The danger comes mainly in the removal process or any other time the dust is released. There are Federal standards that have to be observed during demolition and disposal making the process more difficult and expensive.
The greatest part of the tragedy is the human suffering, deaths and bereavement that resulted from unnecessary exposure to this toxic material. It had been known that it was a hazardous material for many years while still being used, but in spite of the risks it took years to change practices that caused the danger. Now it takes years to get justice on behalf of the victims of asbestos, as the long delayed outcome of this court case shows.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Asbestos disease, click here!
Americans are still endangered by asbestos. <-- Read another article.