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Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos Exposure Causes Lung Damage and Debilitating Disease


Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment. You can find it in air, water, and soil. To some degree, everyone is exposed. Untouched and undisturbed, asbestos poses little long-term risk.

Disturbed, however, asbestos can be lethal. In fact, asbestos is a known human carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent.

Wide Use of Asbestos

Those living in the late 1800s and early 1900s had no idea how dangerous this substance was. But, because asbestos is resistant to heat, fire and some chemicals, manufacturers used it in many products. This included everything from cement and plastics to insulation, roofing materials, steam and hot-water pipes, brake pads, ceiling and floor tiles, paints, crayons, garden products and hair dryers.

Although the government has instituted strict safety protocols for using asbestos, you can still find it in products today. Asbestos is still used in building and home construction, insulation, automotive brake pads, gaskets, and clutches.

Asbestos Exposure Damages Your Lungs

For decades, workers subjected to asbestos dust and fibers suffered irreversible lung damage as well as other diseases.

Finally, in the 1970s, because of mounting public health concerns, U.S. government agencies banned many uses of asbestos. They also instituted strict safety protocols for working with asbestos. Some manufacturers also voluntarily discontinued its use.

Who Is Most at Risk from Asbestos Exposure?

Those working in certain industries are most at risk for long-term damage. These include workers in the shipbuilding industry (especially in Navy vets), construction and building, demolition, mining and milling, textile manufacture and the automotive trades.

Individuals involved in the rescue and cleanup at the World Trade Center in New York City, following the attacks on September 11, 2001, are also at risk of developing asbestos-related complications. These individuals include firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and construction workers. Residents living close to the towers and those who attended schools nearby may also be at risk.

Long-Term Complications Linked to Asbestos

Whenever and wherever asbestos fibers are released into the air, you are at risk. When you breathe in asbestos, the fibers become trapped in your lungs and remain there. Over time, scarring may occur, which can lead to a variety of significant health problems.

Typically, serious complications take years to appear, often a decade or more. Some individuals, however, do experience immediate discomfort after short-term, severe exposure.

Diseases Commonly Caused by Asbestos

  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the membranes that line the chest, heart, abdomen and other organs
  • Asbestosis, an inflammation in the lungs causing coughing, difficulty breathing and lung damage

If you are suffering from the complications of asbestos exposure through your home or workplace, you may be entitled to compensation.

Deciding on the Best Attorney to Represent You

Selecting an asbestos lawyer can feel overwhelming. You can find hundreds of firms offering their services. So how do you determine who will best represent you?

Before making a decision, we suggest that you ask two critical questions. Which firm offers the solid experience that will best work for me? Which firm’s philosophy toward working with clients will serve my needs most effectively?

As one of the largest personal injury and mass tort plaintiffs’ firms in the country, Weitz & Luxenberg stands out as a firm that offers superior results over the long term. We have represented tens of thousands of individuals and believe that our attorneys can provide you with the expertise you deserve.

How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help

As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $17 billion for our clients.

We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call us at 800-476-6070. If you prefer, you can complete our form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.

Recent W&L Results

  • $20 Million

    The family of a former Navy shipfitter who died earlier this year of mesothelioma received a verdict of against a manufacturer of boilers that were insulated with asbestos.

  • $25 Million

    Two men sought help after getting cancer due to asbestos-tainted products. Crane Co., the product manufacturer, acted recklessly and with conscious disregard for safety. W&L is relentless in ensuring that innocent victims are not brushed aside.

Related Practice areas

W&L Facts

  • We worked with almost 3,000 clients with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped asbestos clients settle their cases for as much as $12 million. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $190 million verdict for 5 clients who were exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got almost $135 million from the military industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Our Asbestos Exposure Team has more than 50 lawyers. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won non-malignancy cases totaling almost $1.5 billion. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We earned $7.4 billion for our clients. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We played a pivotal role in establishing asbestos bankruptcy trusts that hold $30 billion to compensate victims. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $48 million from the railroad industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 2,200 pipefitters have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $2.16 million settlement for the family of a NYC construction worker who died of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We worked with more than 31,000 clients who had asbestosis or pleural disease.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped more than 3,500 clients from Florida. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Our $190 million verdict in a mesothelioma case is the largest of its type in NY. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $37 million verdict for 2 clients — a steam fitter and a boiler maker — with asbestos lung cancer. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped more than 19,000 clients from New York. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 4,000 carpenters have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 2,800 electricians have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $350 million from the petrochemical industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $2 billion from the power plant industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
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How Weitz & Luxenberg Helped Me

  • John Pilla’s Story

    Because someone was careless with asbestos and didn't do anything to keep people like my mom safe, I lost her and I lost my older brother both in the same day. My mom was still alive when she called Weitz & Luxenberg for help. She made the decision to call right after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. She knew what mesothelioma was, she knew how it happens, and she knew what was coming. For those reasons, she also knew that she needed to get legal representation quickly.

    - John Pilla NJ