Many people continue to file lawsuits alleging personal injury or death due to asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral, that when inhaled or ingested, can cause significant health complications. It is a common material in products like home insulation and cement, meaning many people still work around asbestos despite the dangers.

There was a time when class-action lawsuits against asbestos companies were very common. However, after a Supreme Court ruling in 1997, asbestos class-action lawsuits can no longer be heard at the federal level. As a result, personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are more common. These lawsuits seek financial compensation for the pain and suffering experienced by the victim, along with medical treatment costs. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, and developed health complications as a result, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive restitution.

Asbestos Lawsuit Updates

Is there an asbestos lawsuit?

Yes, many people have filed lawsuits related to asbestos exposure over the years. These lawsuits typically take the form of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, as class action lawsuits are much less common these days. Victims sue negligent manufacturers in an attempt to receive some financial compensation and justice for their suffering and medical expenses.

The term asbestos refers to six different fibrous minerals. These minerals are made up of flexible fibers that resist heat, corrosion and electricity. These qualities make asbestos valuable in many applications, such as construction materials used for insulation. Asbestos is also found in products like paper, cloth, plastic and cement, as the asbestos makes these products stronger.

However, asbestos is also a carcinogenic material. When a person inadvertently inhales or ingests asbestos, its tiny fibers become trapped within the body. Over time, these trapped fibers cause damage to the body, including inflammation, scarring, and even cancer.

There are technically six types of asbestos:

  • Tremolite
  • Amosite
  • Crocidolite
  • Anthophyllite
  • Chrysotile
  • Actinolite

According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, each of these types of asbestos can cause cancer.

Asbestos was a popular mineral for manufacturing in the United States up until the 1980s. It was around this time that the health effects of asbestos exposure became more well-known. However, many products produced before this time are still around, which is one way that people can still become exposed to asbestos, despite a significant decrease in its usage.

Asbestos linked to serious health conditions, including cancer

Exposure to asbestos has led to numerous negative health effects. In many cases, these effects develop slowly overtime, with victims not noticing any negative side effects until long after the exposure. Some of the primary conditions caused by exposure to asbestos include:


Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease. When a person has a prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers, they can cause lung tissue scarring along with a shortness of breath. With asbestosis, many symptoms don’t appear until many years after the initial exposure to asbestos. Some signs of asbestosis include a persistent and dry cough, tightness in the chest, chest pain, a crackling sound in your lungs upon inhalation, shortness of breath, and clubbing of the fingers and toes.


Mesothelioma is a type of rare and aggressive cancer. This type of cancer develops in the mesothelium tissue, which is located around the lungs, abdomen and heart. With mesothelioma, there is no cure. However, early detection and treatment can help patients live longer with the disease. There are four types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural mesothelioma: Forms around the lining of the lungs
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma: Forms around the lining of the abdomen
  • Pericardial mesothelioma: Forms around the tissue surrounding the heart
  • Testicular mesothelioma: Forms around the membrane that protects the testes

The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. It’s diagnosed in around 3,000 people each year, with the average patient having a life expectancy of 12 to 21 months. When caught early, some treatment options to extend the life expectancy include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Lung cancer

Asbestos exposure can also cause lung cancer, although it is much rarer. There are two types of lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lung cancer primarily occurs from tobacco smoking, but asbestos increases the risk of developing lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers.

Lung cancer may not develop until 15 or more years after the exposure to lung cancer. When lung cancer develops, some symptoms may include shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and chest pain. The lung cancer’s responsiveness to treatment and available treatment methods all depend on an individual’s prognosis. In some cases, radiation or chemotherapy may help, while in others, the cancer has progressed too far for treatment.

Other forms of cancer

Asbestos exposure has also been linked to other forms of cancer. For example, some studies suggest a link between asbestos exposure and colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, pharynx cancer, stomach cancer and rectum cancer. In addition, studies have found clear links between exposure to asbestos and cancer of both the ovaries and the larynx. The symptoms, prognosis and available treatments for these cancers all vary between each type of cancer and the individual patient.

There are numerous studies that explore the relationship between asbestos exposure and long-term health impacts. Below are three such studies:

Impact of asbestos on public health

The primary goal of this study was to learn more about the role that asbestos plays in various human diseases, including mesothelioma. The researchers wanted to learn whether even a small amount of asbestos exposure could lead to asbestos-related diseases (ARD) or whether a large amount of asbestos exposure was necessary. To conduct this study, researchers looked at 188 subjects who died from ARDs between 2000 and 2017 in Broni, Italy. They chose this location because there was an asbestos cement factory in operation here from 1932 until 1993.

The researchers came to few conclusions from their study. First, those who lived near the cement factory had shorter survival times compared to those who only worked in the factor. This suggests that the long-term exposure that comes from living near to the plant is a significant factor. Second, the study provided meaningful data to support that even a very small amount of asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma in hypersusceptible subjects.

Parenchymal asbestosis due to primary asbestos exposure among ship-breaking workers

This next study looked at the prevalence of asbestosis in ship-breaking workers located in Bangladesh. These ship-breaking workers were exposed to asbestos during ship-based and beach-based operations for at least ten years. The researchers found that asbestosis was present in 35% of workers and that the years of work were significantly associated with the disease.

To conduct this study, researchers looked at more than 90 individuals who had at least ten years of exposure to the asbestos location. Of these cases, 42 of them were exposed to asbestos for more than 20 years. Within the entire group, 33 were diagnosed with asbestosis.

Cumulative asbestos exposure and mortality from asbestos related diseases in a pooled analysis of 21 asbestos cement cohorts in Italy

This final study also looked at the relationship between cumulative asbestos exposure and mortality from ARDs. The subjects for this study were also from Italy, however, this time researchers looked at more than 13,000 workers who worked in 21 Italian asbestos-cement factories. To determine the exposure level, researchers looked at the type of asbestos used, along with how long they worked at a particular plant.

The researchers concluded that mortality was significantly higher for these subjects. The study also shows that mortality is associated with a cumulative exposure to asbestos. The researchers, therefore, provided further evidence that the longer someone is exposed to asbestos, the more likely they are to develop significant health complications.

Projected asbestos settlement amounts

Many asbestos and mesothelioma cases reach a settlement before going to trial. When this happens, the two parties agree to a financial payout in exchange for ending the lawsuit. The size of the financial payout varies depending on several factors, such as the evidence in the case, the length of the exposure and the negative consequences being faced by the victim. However, the average mesothelioma settlement amount is typically around $1 million to $1.4 million. In addition, simply being diagnosed with mesothelioma isn’t enough to guarantee a settlement.

Do you qualify for an asbestos lawsuit?

If you or a loved one developed an asbestos disease, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, you may be eligible for an asbestos lawsuit. To file a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to show proof of a diagnosis from a doctor. To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to be appointed as the representative or administrator of your loved one’s estate before filing the lawsuit. You will also need documentation that shows your loved one died from an asbestos disease, such as medical records.

To file an asbestos lawsuit, talk with a lawyer that specializes in these types of cases. They can discuss the specifics of your situation with you and determine if you are eligible for a lawsuit. Before you meet with a prospective lawyer, it is a good idea to prepare some questions you want to ask beforehand. If you are eligible for a lawsuit, the lawyer can then help guide you through the legal process, including gathering evidence, filing the correct paperwork, and then either negotiating a settlement or taking your case to trial.

Asbestos Litigation Timeline: 

1898: Health risks from asbestos are acknowledged in Britain. 

1899: First recorded asbestos-related worker death. 

1908: U.S. enacts Federal Employers’ Liability Act. 

1924: Nellie Kershaw dies from asbestosis, the first known case. 

1927: First U.S. workers’ compensation claim for asbestos disease. 

1930s: First autopsies on asbestosis sufferers; Johns-Manville internal report on asbestos worker fatalities. 

1943: U.S. Navy extensively uses asbestos during WWII. 

1970: Clean Air Act passed. 

1973: First major asbestos lawsuit won. 

1977: Sumner Simpson Papers reveal asbestos health hazard cover-ups. 

1982: Johns-Manville files for bankruptcy due to lawsuits. 

1989: Partial asbestos ban issued by the EPA. 

1991: Ban partly overturned, allowing some asbestos products. 

1994: Mesothelioma recognized by WHO as asbestos-related. 

2000s: Establishment of asbestos personal injury trusts and legislative attempts to ban asbestos. 

In the last five years, there have been several notable verdicts and developments in asbestos litigation: 

May 25, 2022: A $7.2 million verdict against U.S. Steel for mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. 

July 21, 2022: A New York jury awarded $15 million to the family of a drywall installer exposed to asbestos. 

November 14, 2022: Honeywell agreed to pay $1.3 billion to the Asbestos Claims Trust Fund to resolve its funding obligations. 

November 22, 2022: A $5.75 million verdict against Volkswagen for the wrongful death of an automotive mechanic due to asbestos exposure. 

January 10, 2023: A ruling in Pennsylvania obligated employers to protect employees from both known and foreseeable asbestos risks. 

February 22, 2023: A study linked the BRCA1 mutation to an increased risk of mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. 

March 12, 2023: A Connecticut jury awarded $20 million to the widow of a man who developed mesothelioma from a short-term asbestos exposure .