Craig Grigonis, a third generation insulation installer in Michigan, watched his father die in 1987 of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer with one known cause: exposure to asbestos.
Before he died, his father James, who worked with insulation made of asbestos, sued the company that made the toxic substance and recovered some of his medical bills.
“They want plaintiffs to die”
Asbestos is still legal in the U.S. Every year, 9,000 Americans are stricken with asbestos-related illnesses, like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Workers who have been most exposed include pipefitters, shipworkers, including U.S. Navy personnel, and construction workers.
Because asbestos was in widespread use in an array of products in the 1960s and 70s, and it takes a latency period of 20 to 40 years for asbestos-related diseases to emerge, many consumers are just now getting sick and filing suite based on their exposure to the toxic substance.
Lawyers who represent asbestos victims say asbestos makers have known about its dangers since as early as 1949, and now that the litigation is picking up, the model bills are a new delay tactic.