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Man wins work negligence lawsuit after asbestos gives him cancer

Can you imagine working in the same field for more than 30 years -- and then, after you retired, you found out that you had been working with hazardous materials that caused you to suffer a serious illness?

That wouldn't just be a work accident; it would be a tragic and outrageous catastrophe. Unfortunately for one 86-year-old man, this hypothetical situation is his reality. accident

The elder gentlemen worked in construction out in California. He worked for numerous companies and on countless projects from 1947 to 1980. The man primarily worked with cement, but he also handled other materials which, at the time, he was unaware contained asbestos. The material is being blamed by the man for causing his cancer.

The 86-year-old sued many of these companies for allowing him to work with such materials without telling him the risks. One company went so far as to cover up the cancer-causing effects of their asbestos-filled materials. Union Carbide said during the civil trial that their materials did not cause cancer - yet, the 86-year-old and his legal team provided a memo that showed Union Carbide physicians were telling company salesmen to refrain from such a claim, presumably because it is not true.

A jury awarded the man a staggering $48 million for his pain and suffering, the largest civil award of its kind in the U.S. this year.

There is no excuse for a company to allow its employees to work in a hazardous or dangerous environment. There are federal safety standards that protect workers from their employers willingly or knowingly allowing an unsafe workplace to exist. Such an act, combined with evidence that shows the company tried to cover-up their own negligence, makes a company liable for any injuries or detrimental health conditions that an employee suffers as a result.

Source: City News Service, "Former Baldwin Park Councilman Awarded $48 million in Asbestos Suit," June 21, 2012

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