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Boilermakers and Job-Related Asbestos ExposureFeb. 1, 2010
Weitz & Luxenberg would like to send a message of caution to those who have worked at a job involving old boilers. Perhaps you worked in a boiler room in the Navy, or were a boiler tender decades ago on commercial premises. If so, you should know that many old boilers are insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Boilermakers and people who have worked with boilers are therefore at risk of developing asbestos cancers such as lung cancer and mesothelioma cancer.
Many of our clients who worked with boilers never knew their exposure to asbestos would cause life-threatening diseases,” said Dan Kraft, an attorney in the Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. Asbestos Litigation Unit. “Tragically, they worked unprotected, without appropriate masks and clothing, only to develop serious health problems years later.” Kraft added.
Boiler workers perform various functions such as building, installing and repairing boilers. During the course of performing such functions on older boilers, some boiler workers cut, hammered or otherwise disturbed asbestos-containing insulation, which prompted the release of asbestos fibers. Once inhaled, those fibers got trapped in the lungs of some workers who breathed them in, and many of those people ultimately developed cancer.
Navy exposure was also prevalent. Many boiler workers toiled aboard ships that contained asbestos insulation in engine rooms and boiler rooms. These confined areas caused asbestos fibers to remain suspended within the ship for extended periods of time, raising the risk that the fibers and dust would be inhaled.
Exposure Was Avoidable
In many cases, there is a grave injustice inherent to being diagnosed with an asbestos cancer. Many companies that used asbestos-containing products hid the lethal dangers from their employees because asbestos was cheap and had a wide range of uses. All that was necessary to avoid the incidence of asbestos cancer was to warn employees of the fatal dangers of asbestos and to provide them with protective equipment such as masks. Indeed, the relatives of many people diagnosed with mesothelioma lament that had their loved ones been warned of the dangers of asbestos, they would have taken precautions to avoid exposure
Mesothelioma and lung cancer from asbestos typically develop decades after exposure to the carcinogen. Often, these diseases are diagnosed when it is too late for treatment options to be effective. Thus, it is important for boiler workers who have worked with old boilers to be regularly tested for asbestos diseases.
How We Can Help
Many Weitz & Luxenberg clients who are former boiler workers were diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer after they had retired. Consequently, they were unable to afford the high medical expenses associated with cancer treatment. Weitz & Luxenberg has successfully fought for these people in the courtroom and won millions of dollars for them. As a result, many former boiler workers and their families were able to improve their quality of life.
Weitz & Luxenberg mesothelioma attorneys have a history of outstanding success in asbestos cancer cases. Some recoveries for those with mesothelioma and their families include: $47 million for a boilermaker; $53 million for a brake mechanic, and $11.6 million for the widow of a sheet metal worker who died from mesothelioma.
Weitz & Luxenberg has been representing people with asbestos-related health problems for over 20 years. Men and women diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer may be entitled to significant financial compensation from the companies responsible for their disease.
The firm offers free asbestos case reviews. People who have been harmed by asbestos may contact Weitz & Luxenberg by completing the form.