Asbestos Exposure Sites in Michigan
Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. In fact, there are several naturally occurring deposits of asbestos in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Due to the strength and flexibility of its fibers, asbestos has been used in many different types of industrial products, including cement, flooring, insulation, roof shingles and other building materials.
Exposure to asbestos has been linked to several serious diseases, including Mesothelioma and lung cancer. Those who worked or lived near industries that manufactured asbestos-containing products have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related illness, So do their family members, who may have been exposed to asbestos from their loved ones’ clothes.
Michigan is home to many of the industries that used or manufactured asbestos- containing products, including;
- Asbestos mines
- Power plants
- Chemical plants
- Marine repair facilities
- Automotive plants, including Ford Motor Plant
- Steel and oil refineries
Asbestos also was used in insulation in older residential and commercial buildings. Some of the buildings in Michigan that have been identified as asbestos exposure pikes include the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, the Kellogg’s plant and the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical building.
Mesothelioma is one of the most commonly recognized asbestos-related diseases. Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, the protective lining around the internal organs like the heart, lung and intestines. There are different types of Mesothelioma depending on which mesothefiurn is affected by the cancer. For example, Pleural Mesothelioma refers to Mesothelioma of the lungs while Peritoneal Mesothelioma refers to Mesothelioma in the abdomen.
While people who have had no exposure to asbestos still may develop the cancer, the overwhelming majority of people with Mesothelioma have a history of asbestos exposure. According to the National Cancer Institute, 70 to 80% of all people with Mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos at some point during their lifetimes,
The types of symptoms a person with Mesothelioma will develop depend in part on which mesothelium has been affected by the cancer. In general, some of the symptoms a person may develop include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Vkieight loss
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Bowel obstruction
- Blood clotting abnormalities
- Trouble swallowing
- Neck and face swelling
IL can take 30 to 50 years after asbestos exposure before a person will develop symptoms of Mesothelioma. Michigan ranks 12th in the US in the number of Mesothelioma cases.
In addition to Mesothelioma, asbestos exposure also has been linked to other cancers, including lung, kidney and larynx cancer and a non-cancerous chronic lung condition called Asbestosis. Asbestosis is caused when asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs, causing damage to the organs which eventually develops into scar tissue,
Available Legal Options
If you or a loved one has developed an asbestos-related illness or disease, you have legal options available to you under Michigan law. In general, the most common type of claim in asbestos cases is a products liability claim.
In a products liability claim, the manufacturer, distributor, seller or anyone else in the chain of distribution may be held legally responsible for any injuries caused by a dangerous product. In most cases, the manufacturer is held to a strict liability standard. This means that the manufacturer may be liable regardless or any wrongdoing on its part, so long as the product harmed another person.
Because asbestos is a known dangerous product, so long as a plaintiff can prove a casual connection between his or her injury and an asbestos-containing product, then the manufacturer or other party may be held legally liable for the resulting injuries.
Michigan has a three-year statute of limitations for tort claims, including product liability claims. Generally speaking, the three year limit begins running from the date the person knew or should have known he or she had been injured. In asbestos cases, this means that the statute of limitations begins running on the day the person first learned or should have known he or she had an illness or injury related to asbestos exposure, Evaluating statute of limitations issues is, however, complicated and requires the assistance of an experienced attorney.
It is important for those who have worked or lived in places where they may have come into contact with asbestos to have their health regularly monitored by physicians. Not only will this help the person safeguard their legal rights, but more importantly, it also will help the person safeguard his or her health. For most types of cancer, including Mesothelioma, early detection is the best way to secure the most favorable outcome against the disease.
For more information on pursuing an asbestos claim, contact an experienced attorney today. Some of the types of compensation that may be recoverable in an asbestos injury case include past and future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. An attorney with experience handling asbestos claims can review your case and help you decide on the best course of action.