The daughter of a Louisiana shipyard welder never expected that the simple act of washing her father’s work clothing would lead to her untimely death from mesothelioma caused by second-hand asbestos exposure. She filed an asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit against the Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Inc., now Huntington Ingalls Inc., before she died from mesothelioma in 2011. Since her death, her children have assumed responsibility for their mother’s lawsuit.
Lejeune damages (Lejeune v. Rayne Branch Hospital), which provide for compensation for mental anguish suffered by a loved one’s deterioration brought on by a fatal illness, were included in the asbestos claim. The judge in Vedros v. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Inc. et al., ruled that for the children to receive Lejeune damages they would have had to physically witness the actual occurrence of second-hand exposure, which in this case would have been their mother washing her father’s asbestos-ridden clothing, and not the painful and steady deterioration of her health; therefore they do not qualify under Lejeune. However, the case is ongoing and the children are pursuing several other claims including wrongful death and loss of consortium.
The majority of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma lawsuits are brought forth by industrial employees or asbestos workers who have been unknowingly exposed to asbestos at their worksites. However, family members may file wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuits on the grounds that they were indirectly exposed to asbestos. An example of indirect or second-hand exposure would be doing a loved one’s work laundry unaware that the coating of asbestos fibers on the clothing risks second-hand asbestos exposure.
Years of repeated second-hand exposure, such as the handling and washing of an asbestos workers’ clothing, can also serve as primary exposure. In this case, in addition to her second-hand asbestos exposure from washing her father’s work clothes, the daughter was directly exposed to asbestos while she worked in the shipyard purchasing department for three years.
If you have lost a loved one due to second-hand asbestos exposure, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit. Our New Jersey asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler know that no amount of money can bring your loved one back to you; however, we will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve to provide for your future. Our mesothelioma lawyers in New Jersey have offices conveniently located in Philadelphia allowing us to serve clients in and around the Delaware Valley. Call us today at 800-369-0899 or contact us online to discuss the details of your case.