The world has known of asbestos and its uses for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the last century and a half that man harnessed its power on a massive scale, and ultimately paid the price. After first being mined and commercially produced in the late 19 th century, asbestos became increasingly popular during World War II. Since the 1940s, millions of Americans have been exposed to and have died from asbestos.
Here is a brief overview of asbestos litigation:
Records show that the first legal case filed against an asbestos manufacturer was in 1929. That case was ultimately settled.
A pivotal article published in 1960 by Wagner et al. helped open the door to plaintiff lawsuits by establishing mesothelioma as a disease caused by asbestos exposure.
Asbestos litigation took off in the 1970s, around the same time asbestos became one of the first hazardous air pollutants to be regulated under the Clean Air Act of 1970.
Following numerous claims filed by victims and families, more than half of the 25 largest asbestos manufacturers in the U.S. had declared bankruptcy by the early 1990s.
Asbestos litigation is considered the longest and most expensive mass tort in American history. Given the latency period of mesothelioma – 20-50 years after asbestos exposure – experts project increases in diagnoses through the next decade. This could extend the total costs of asbestos litigation to as much as $275 billion in the United States alone.
The legal history of asbestos and mesothelioma has always been centered on the millions of victims and families affected by this dangerous substance. Today, victims and their loved ones still have every right to pursue compensation through legal means.
If you have questions about mesothelioma, asbestos litigation, and whether you have a case, contact Nemeroff Law Firm for a FREE case review.