Several plaintiffs have come forward with a class action lawsuit for mesothelioma in a case against Stratford, Connecticut-based helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft. Since the exposure happened recently, the victims are pursuing compensation for future medical monitoring and treatment of any asbestos-related conditions.
The case is a rare example of a class action lawsuit for mesothelioma that is seeking compensation for future medical costs and damages in addition to any punitive or exemplary damages deemed appropriate.
Workers at the facility claim they were exposed to large amounts of asbestos fibers in 2010. Their alleged exposure occurred both through their direct handling of asbestos-containing materials intended for disposal as well as through airborne inhalation via the ventilation system.
Any awards or settlements in this class action lawsuit are intended to be assigned proportionally according to emerging factors, such as the severity of exposure or any subsequent mesothelioma conditions.
Three Months of Exposure Lead to the Pre-Emptive Class Action Lawsuit for Mesothelioma
Many current examples of a class action lawsuit for mesothelioma deal with exposures encountered in decades past that later developed into mesothelioma or similar asbestos-related conditions. However, this case is different in that the exposure occurred recently: 2010.
During that time, Sikorsky began a project to demolish and rebuild a cogeneration plant on the site of their manufacturing facilities. Part of the demolition required involved the existing plant, built in 1930 and heated by a boiler house as well as heating units throughout the facility.
Christian Nolan of the Connecticut Law Tribune writes that workers suspected that the pipe insulation and other materials located on the site could potentially contain asbestos materials. They even made inquiries into the possibility of asbestos exposure, to which Sikorsky assured them that testing was performed when it had, in fact, not been.
After many workers began to complain about air quality and persistent sore throats, they decided they had had enough and walked off the job, demanding adequate testing to be performed. When Sikorsky finally complied, they confirmed the crew’s worst fears, that asbestos was present in large quantities.
For three months, they had been working in these conditions with the nearly century-old boiler equipment running and potentially circulating asbestos fibers throughout the facility and into workers’ lungs.
“A lot of people who worked there don't realize they were exposed to asbestos during the three-month period,” said the plaintiffs’ legal representative. “That's why my clients are doing the lawsuit. They want documentation of what happened to them and want other people to know what happened to them. They suspect a percentage of them will come down with asbestos-related disease.”
If successful, the plaintiff group will be eligible to receive compensation and damages for future medical costs that includes screening and treatment for mesothelioma and similar asbestos-caused diseases.
A Precedent for Connecticut Class Action Lawsuits for Mesothelioma
While class action lawsuit for mesothelioma cases in other states have handled the question of exposure and pre-emptive damages for anticipated medical costs, this particular case will be the first one in Connecticut.
The results of the trial could have bearing on future trials in Connecticut or serve as a model for other parts of the country as victims band together and create class action lawsuits for mesothelioma even before their symptoms begin showing.
If you suspect you have been exposed to asbestos recently, you can potentially pursue legal action similar to that described in this case in order to attempt to cover any future screening or treatment costs as a result of exposure.