Mesothelioma Patient Stories:
Australian Law Firm Finds Source of Asbestos Exposure
The latent nature of most asbestos diseases makes it incredibly difficult for certain victims to pinpoint their source of exposure. Asbestos lawyers are adept at determining the link between a given patient's asbestos disease and the source of exposure. Such was the case of an 83-year old Australian man who recently passed away after a courageous yearlong battle against malignant mesothelioma.
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the serous membrane lining three of the body's largest cavities: the lung cavity (pleura), the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) and the heart sac (pericardium). A given case of mesothelioma is classed in accordance with the cavity it affects, yielding three distinct types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. The development of malignant mesothelioma has been exclusively linked with exposure to asbestos.
The man in question spent his younger years working a blue-collared job at an ice cream factory based in Carrington St, Adelaide. The factory was operated by Adelaide Milk Supply Co-operative Ltd, or Amscol, a now-defunct ice cream producer and milk distributor. The plant was once the major supplier for the southern part of Australia, though it folded in 1986 when it was deregistered because of waning financial success.
After being diagnosed with mesothelioma in July of 2005, the man immediately sought answers as to how and when he might have come into contact with asbestos. Believing he had never been exposed to asbestos, the man opted to contract an asbestos lawyer specializing in mesothelioma lawsuit litigation to shed light on his case. The asbestos lawyer and his team of experts conducted an extensive investigation of the man's personal and occupational history and concluded that he was exposed to asbestos while working at the Amscol factory.
As night shift manager at the factory, the man routinely came into contact with insulated pipes lining the various machines operating within the factory. Not surprisingly, these pipes were insulated with asbestos, a material that was commonly used for such industrial purposes. It was further discovered that asbestos was used in the roofing materials, adding to the overall workplace presence of the hazardous mineral. Asbestos dust riddled the factory air, where it was continuously inhaled by unsuspecting employees. The workers were not made aware of any possibility of asbestos exposure; nor were any safeguards set in place to ensure their safety. As such, Amscol and any related entities find themselves liable for all injuries and/or deaths resulting from occupational asbestos exposure within the factory.
The man's personal injury asbestos lawsuit was filed in January of 2006, at which point it was fast-tracked because of his rapidly deteriorating health. His son was now required to take care of him and his lungs had weakened to such an extent that he was forced to use an oxygen machine to help him breath during his final months. The overwhelming proof of occupational exposure was such that the man's lawsuit was quickly settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with malignant mesothelioma within two weeks of the decision. His lawsuit is viewed as a groundbreaking triumph, opening the door to future lawsuits filed by other former Amscol employees suffering from asbestos disease. His son believes that to be his father's true victory.
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[Page updated August 2006]