MUNCIE, Indiana – When it comes to workplace laws, perhaps the most important one is that of injuries related to work. During the last few years or so, there has been a rising lobby against asbestos exposure and its ability to induce conditions such as mesothelioma and cancer. With the recent Healthcare.gov fiasco, cities such as Muncie came under the limelight for health concerns.
Indiana has a special association with asbestos related diseases and brought public attention to the issue. Steve McQueen, the famed actor and an Indiana native, died from the disease, leading to linkages between his ailment and asbestos exposure.
Exposure and Lawsuits
A core issue present is the discourse with respect to state laws and federal laws. Many employees who have suffered at the hand of asbestos exposure or other hazardous materials haven’t received appropriate compensation. The reason is the lack of usage of proper legal resources and a lack of awareness.
Lawyers at Baron & Budd have complied a detailed analysis on the issue and the most important thing that they highlight is the fact that there is a limited amount of time available when it comes to filing a lawsuit. So, between diagnosis and the progression of the diseases, timing is vital. Pursuing legal help is also important to balance the costs of treating mesothelioma.
From a Muncie, Indiana point of view, industrial exposure and old building are hot spots for contracting such a disease. Two cities within Indiana are important in this regard; Gary and Muncie have been home to a booming steel industry. This has led to disease progression of as high as 77%. The area also has been a source of a lawsuit, where the U.S. Steel and Countrymark Cooperative LLP have been implicated for negligence.
Compensation and Punitive Damages
What happens is that asbestos exposure doesn’t immediately lead to an advanced disease state. Therefore, employees may be unaware of the issue and not be able to pursue a legal case.
Indiana also shares an important place when it comes to compensation paid for asbestos paid exposure. In 2003, a grand jury awarded a worker, Roby Whittington, $250 million because he had developed mesothelioma cancer while working for USX Corporation in Gary, Indiana. This verdict is till now, the largest compensation awarded for a single plaintiff case against asbestos related exposure.
The significant advice in this regard is for workers in an asbestos prone areas to get themselves checked routinely for any malignancy. If there is a positive case, there is a need to pursue legal help.
The city of Muncie is now developing a more proactive approach to cater to this issue. Recently, the city announced that Indiana has made available $75 million, which would be used to demolish old and abandoned homes. Muncie is vying for a $19.8 million part of the funding.
Those workers who are pursuing compensation should also look at vulnerable job sites with regards to exposure. Different health organizations as well as urban development planning committees have contributed to citing these locations.
Without doubt, workplace injuries are a concern and they can only be sorted out if all the stakeholders are developing a proactive approach towards the issue. Companies should develop stringent regulatory systems to keep asbestos levels within check, while employees should be aware of their rights within Muncie with regards to compensation.