Industrial Diseases & Occupational Injury – Mesothelioma

Industrial Diseases & Occupational injuries can take many forms, however, the most prominently acknowledged disease is mesothelioma, developed as a response to asbestos exposure. This exposure is often attributable to inadequate and unsafe working conditions. Workers who are negligently exposed to asbestos in the workplace may be owed compensation by their employer.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly cancer that develops in the lining covering the surface of the body’s organs. It often affects the tissue surrounding the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) or, in rare instances, the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). Typically, mesothelioma sufferers will take roughly two decades to experience symptoms after the initial asbestos exposure. Treatment is available to improve quality of life and extend life expectancy, however, it is incurable.

How does Mesothelioma develop?

The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibres. Many mesothelioma sufferers have experienced their asbestos exposure in unsafe working conditions. Mesothelioma develops when a person inhales or swallows airborne asbestos fibres, which become lodged in the mesothelium. The asbestos fibres cause inflammation in the mesothelium, developing over time into malignant tumours.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • High temperature and sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Clubbed fingertips
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain

Professions at high risk of developing Mesothelioma

  • Firefighters
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Construction Workers
  • Electricians
  • Miners

Family members and spouses that are in close contact with those working with asbestos are also at risk of developing mesothelioma due to second-hand exposure

Can I claim for asbestos exposure?

For a claim to be successful, it must be proven that the illness sustained was a result of asbestos exposure, and that the exposure was caused by the negligence of a third party. An employer will be deemed to have failed in their duty of care if their employees are required to work in the vicinity of asbestos fibres without being provided appropriate protection to prevent fibres from entering their lungs. If asbestos exposure was avoidable yet occurred due to an employers’ breach of their duty of care, a claim can be made.

How long do I have to claim?

Typically, claims in Ireland have a two year Statute of Limitations, meaning a claim must be taken within two years of when the accident occurred. However, in cases of mesothelioma, this is not possible as the disease does not often manifest for 20 to 50 years. In these instances, the two year window does not begin until the date that you become aware that you are suffering from the disease.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure in an unsafe workplace, contact our experienced personal injury solicitors today for professional advice on 0749175921 or using our online request form.

*In contentious business a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

**This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by McElhinney & Associates for any action taken in reliance on the information contained herein. Any and all information is subject to change.