Can Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure Cause Mesothelioma?

This video features Greg Webb, a Personal Injury attorney based in Virginia.

Charlottesville, Virginia Mesothelioma Lawyer Greg Webb

Video Transcript:

Greg Webb: 

Is it does not take much exposure. A day is enough. A day of exposure to asbestos can cause someone to develop mesothelioma.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So you've probably heard of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos, but have you heard of second-hand exposure, and what do you do if you think you or a loved one have been a victim of that? Well, we're gonna find out right now because we're going to ask the lawyer. Hi again, everybody. I'm Rob Rosenthal with askthelawyers.com, and my guest is Virginia Attorney, Greg Webb. I wanna remind you right at the beginning, if you'd like to ask Greg questions about your specific situation, it's easy to do, go to askthelawyers.com, click the button up in the upper right hand corner of the screen that says Ask A Lawyer, and you can get walked right through the process right there. It doesn't cost anything to ask your questions. Greg, thank you for making some time to answer questions today. I appreciate it.

Greg Webb: 

Yes sir, glad to be here.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So, tell us what is second-hand exposure when it comes to asbestos? I think some of the times it's called take-home exposure. Tell us what that is.

Greg Webb: 

Second-hand, take-home exposure, is what we are seeing a lot nowadays with regard to asbestos cases. It is probably one of the most common forms of asbestos exposure that most attorneys are seeing that handle asbestos cases. It is when someone who lived with a family member, our typical case would be a father who worked in a factory mill plant, like a paper mill or a shipyard, who worked with or around asbestos, was exposed to asbestos dust, brought that asbestos dust home on their clothing, or their lunch box, their boots, their hair, their skin, and then exposed the family. Sometimes a wife who would shake out the clothes and do laundry, sometimes a child who would get in the father's lap or hug dad when he came home at the end of the day and breathe that dust in. And also that dust would become entrained in the carpet and the family automobile and other places in the home.

Rob Rosenthal: 

And you mentioned a few of them, but what are some of the jobs that may have been bringing home the take-home dust?

Greg Webb: 

Typically a buildings trade job, Rob, would be what we would see the most, and that would be like a millwright, a welder, a carpenter, a HVAC worker, an insulator. Those types of trades that worked putting things together, building ships, making paper, making fabrics, and nylon plants, for example. So, all of those types of trades, factory workers, plant workers, mill workers, shipyard workers were exposed to some extent to asbestos, particularly in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So, we've heard of mesothelioma in relation to asbestos exposure, is that the same issue with the second-hand exposure? Are those people getting that too?

Greg Webb: 

Absolutely, same thing. One of the unfortunate things about mesothelioma is it does not take much exposure. A day is enough. A day of exposure to asbestos can cause someone to develop mesothelioma, and typically there's a latency period of anywhere from 10 to 30 or 40 years, sometimes even longer before an illness would result.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So we're talking 10, 20, 30, 40 years. That's gotta create some difficulty for an attorney like yourself. How do you track down an employer from that long ago or connect those dots?

Greg Webb: 

And that's a good way of putting it, connecting the dots, and that's exactly what we have to do, or we have to put a puzzle together. And that is typically the most challenging part of these cases. After a diagnosis of mesothelioma is rendered by a healthcare professional, a doctor, then we have to go back and figure out where this person was exposed. We go back and look at the parents, where they lived, what type of environment they lived in, where the parents worked, was there perhaps a sibling who worked in a factory or a shipyard or a paper mill that lived in the home that could have exposed one of the family members. So you have to go back that far, and then we typically will know that there is asbestos at that location because we have other clients that worked at that facility. And a lot of times, we will have testimony from those other co-workers. And a lot of times, the children or the spouse will know of co-workers who work there, who can give us assistance. So there are a lot of ways we can do it, a lot of ways we can go back and kinda recreate what happened, and build that history to connect those dots.

Rob Rosenthal: 

That seems to me that's even more of a reason why it's important to have somebody like yourself who has experience in these cases, 'cause you're able to draw on past cases to help the future cases.

Greg Webb: 

Absolutely. You know, one of the things that I've learned in this career is that it's hard to dabble in asbestos litigation. You really need to know what you're doing as an attorney, you need to have the experience, you need to know where to look, you need to know what rocks to look under, so to speak. And we get a lot of referrals from other law firms and other attorneys on these cases, because there are a lot of different booby traps, pitfalls. So, yes, you gotta know what you're doing, you gotta know how to connect those dots and how to develop the case and build a case.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Fascinating information, Greg, and lots of it. I appreciate it. Thanks for helping us out today.

Greg Webb:

Absolutely. Thank you, Rob.

Rob Rosenthal: 

That's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guest has been Virginia Attorney, Greg Webb. Remember, if you'd like to ask Greg some questions about your specific situation, just go to askthelawyers.com, click the button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says Ask A Lawyer, and it'll walk you right through the very simple process right there. Thanks for watching, I'm Rob Rosenthal with Ask the Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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