When Can an Employer Be Liable for Asbestos Exposure?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Mesothelioma & Asbestos Published on October 21, 2019 and updated on March 7, 2022.

working on a roofEmployers have a legal duty to protect their workers from harm. This includes protecting them from serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure such as mesothelioma, a fatal type of cancer. When an employer fails to monitor air quality under any circumstances in which asbestos may reasonably be expected to be present, he or she could be held liable for asbestos-related injuries or health issues that result from negligence.

The Maryland mesothelioma and asbestos disease lawyers at our firm discuss the factors involved in assigning liability to an employer for asbestos exposure. To find out if you may pursue legal action, contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You may be eligible to recover compensation for damages suffered.

High-Risk Jobs for Asbestos Exposure

Unfortunately, exposure to significant levels of asbestos is quite common in certain industries and occupations. Some of these high-risk jobs include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Construction
  • Shipbuilding
  • Steel mills
  • Sheet metal fabrication
  • Flooring
  • Roofing
  • Tile installation
  • Power plants
  • Heating and cooling
  • Chemical plants

There are also additional risks for family members who live with someone who has worked with or near asbestos, as such workers can carry these deadly fibers home with them on their clothing.

How Asbestos Affects Workers

When workers, especially in construction, are heavily exposed to asbestos during renovations, repairs and demolitions, breathing in these fibers can lead to serious health problems from long-term exposure. This could include:

  • Mesothelioma –  A fatal and incurable type of cancer that can form in the lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and even testicles
  • Lung cancer – One of the most deadliest cancers causing growth of tumors in the lungs
  • Asbestosis – A pulmonary disease that causes lung inflammation and buildup of scar tissue in the lungs, resulting in breathing problems and permanent lung damage
  • Colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers – These cancers affect the gastrointestinal tract and other organs associated with the digestive system such as the colon, rectum and small intestine
  • Pleural fibrosis – Calcification and thickening in the lining of the lungs and chest wall

Employee Rights in the Workplace

If you have been exposed to asbestos at your job, you have certain rights as an employee. This includes the right to a safe workplace and other safety protections. These rights are covered by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

The OSHA is responsible for monitoring asbestos exposure in the workplace and legally requiring employers to take certain steps to protect their workers from any asbestos-related health risks. Depending on the industry or occupation, these employee protections could include:

  • Properly training employees working with or near asbestos
  • Adequately ventilating work areas
  • Displaying warning signs and instructions in workspaces where asbestos could be present
  • Carefully monitoring employees for high levels of asbestos exposure
  • Providing protective clothing and equipment such as gloves, coveralls and respirators

How Employers Can Be Held Legally Responsible

If an employee suffers from health issues caused by asbestos exposure in the workplace, he or she may be able to take legal action against the employer. However, in order to have a valid claim, you must prove that your employer had a duty to protect you from harm, breached his or her duty by failing to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances, and that breach directly caused you harm.

There is a limited amount of time to file an asbestos-related claim in Maryland. In most instances, you generally have three years from the date of diagnosis or three years from the date of a loved one’s death to take legal action. Failure to file before the deadline passes may result in being barred from court and being unable to recover compensation.

Discuss Your Claim With Our Firm Today

Have you been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another serious health issue, or lost a family member caused by asbestos exposure?

If so, our legal team at Peter T. Nicholl Law Office is ready to help. We can review your situation and discuss the legal options available to you to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.

Schedule a 100 percent free consultation today. There is no risk or obligation involved and no upfront fees for our l services. We only get paid if we successfully help recover compensation on your behalf.

Gives us a call at 410-244-7005 to learn more.