Reading Room

History of Asbestos and the Law

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 9558

A historical review of knowledge leading up to the causal relationship between asbestos and disease.

Asbestos-related disease was reported in industry more than 70 years ago. Dr. H. Montague Murray in 1906 at the Charing Cross Hospital in London testified before a governmental commission inquiry about occupational disability that he had seen a man in 1898 who was very short of breath and who had worked in an asbestos factory. The man's lungs at autopsy were badly scarred. It was Dr. Murray's prediction that since the hazards of this exposure were now known, very few similar cases would occur in the future, and there was no need to provide compensation benefits.

California Supreme Court Allows Mesothelioma As Separate Case

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 5451

The California Supreme Court recently decided that a special statute of limitations for injury or illness caused by exposure to asbestos does not bar an action for a second disease, mesothelioma, which was diagnosed several years after the original diagnosis of a related pulmonary condition. The asbestos worker was exposed to asbestos fiber in various industrial workplaces from the early 1940's until 1963, when he became a television repairman.The California Supreme Court recently decided that a particular statute of limitations for injury or illness caused by exposure to asbestos does not bar an action for a second disease, mesothelioma, which was diagnosed several years after the original diagnosis of a related pulmonary condition.  

Caution: Workers’ Compensation Filing Affects 3rd Party Asbestos Statute

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 7005

The rules governing when a claim must be filed as a result of occupational asbestos exposure have been changed by the New Jersey Supreme Court. A signed and sworn workers’ compensation claim petition, even though unsupported by medical diagnosis, is sufficient to impute discovery of the existence of a claim and toll the statute of limitations.

Industrial Disease: The Quest for Recognition--The Need for Adequate Benefits

Workers' Compensation Occupational Disease Benefits

Jon 10510

The concept of a compensable industrial disease has developed only recently and its acceptance has lagged far behind that of industrial accidents. The original Workers' Compensation Acts, as promulgated from the year 1911 forward by many of the states, did not provide for the recognition of occupational illness and disease as compensable events. As demands have been placed upon the medical system to treat and to prevent occupational illness, the legal system, under social, economic, and political pressure, has sought to provide a remedy for the thousands of injured workers who have suffered and who are continuing to suffer from occupational illness and disease. 

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