Asbestos Update for Federal Employees
Federal employees exposed to asbestos in the course
of their employment are entitled to federal workers' compensation
benefits for their injury. You can seek compensation from the companies
that were involved in the asbestos industry. There are time limitations
that apply to these types of cases and if you suspect that you may have
a claim, you should immediately investigate your rights. If you fail to
act within the relevant time limitation, you will lose your right to be
compensated for your injury.
Asbestos is a
mineral fiber which was widely used for many years for insulating,
fireproofing, and other manufacturing and industrial purposes.
Unfortunately, asbestos causes a number of debilitating and potentially
fatal diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma
(mesothelioma cancer of the chest lining), peritoneal mesothelioma
(mesothelioma cancer of the abdominal lining), and some types of
laryngeal or throat cancer.
It is estimated
that more than 21 million Americans have had significant exposure to
asbestos. Most of that exposure occurred prior to the mid-1970s in a
variety of heavy industries, such as in steel mills, foundries or other
metal processing plants, oil and chemical refineries, paper mills,
power plants, or practically any facility which included steam-operated
machinery. Some of the occupations frequently exposed to asbestos
include boilermakers, brickmasons, carpenters, construction workers,
electricians, insulators, machinists, maintenance workers, millwrights,
painters, pipefitters, plumbers, shipyard workers and seamen, both
Naval and merchant marine.
The effects of
asbestos diseases on the individual and the family can be tragic.
However, perhaps the greatest tragedy is that asbestos diseases never
had to happen. The evidence shows that many of the asbestos
manufacturers knew that their products would injure or kill people, but
they hid this vital information in order to continue selling their
asbestos products. As a result, the asbestos manufacturers are being
held legally liable for the damages.
employees may be eligible for a schedule award for the permanent damage
caused to their lung(s) by exposure to asbestos. A schedule award can
be collected while a federal employee is drawing regular salary or
receiving a retirement pension. A schedule award can frequently be
collected as a lump-sum.
If you or someone
you know suffers from an asbestos disease, it is important that you
know your legal rights. In many cases, the injured person or his/her
family is entitled to workers' compensation from their employer and
compensation from the asbestos companies. However, you must act quickly
after discovering an asbestos disease since federal workers'
compensation rules and state laws limit the amount of time in which you
may file a case.