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Has your doctor diagnosed you with an asbestos-related illness?

It could take years for you to suffer the adverse effects from exposure to a toxic substance. This is often the case with asbestos-related illnesses. In some cases, it takes decades for the exposure you suffered here in Georgia or elsewhere to result in a debilitating and/or deadly health condition such as asbestosis or mesothelioma.

You may think that because the exposure took place so long ago that you do not have any legal options when it comes to seeking restitution for your condition. That may not be the case. You may still have the opportunity to file a lawsuit based on one of several legal premises.

Apartment fire may lead to premises liability claims

Just how many apartment buildings are there in Atlanta? Hundreds of complexes fill the city. Each of them must meet certain safety requirements in order to keep residents and others legally on the property from harm. This includes ensuring that any fire suppression or containment equipment remains in good working order. Failing to do so not only risks lives, but also risks premises liability claims.

This may be an issue in a devastating apartment fire that recently took place in another state. Early reports regarding the origin of the fire trace it to a child playing with a stove's burners. The family lived on the first floor, and at approximately 7 p.m. on a recent Thursday night, the fire broke out in that apartment.

Is Fido trying to tell you something?

If you're one of many dog lovers in Georgia, you may own one or more of these furry companions yourself or enjoy interacting with other people's pets. If you live in a dog-friendly neighborhood, you may regularly encounter the canine species as you go about your daily activities. It's all well and good unless another person's dog causes you or loved one injury. Beyond the initial physical pain of a dog bite, the aftermath of such incidents can be quite challenging in many ways.

Studies show dogs tend to exhibit certain behavior signs ahead of time that may signal when attacks are about to occur. However, you are certainly not responsible for keeping track of your neighbors' or strangers' dogs, and that's why the law allows you to seek compensation for damages if you suffer injury because another person's dog bites you. Knowing your rights and where to turn for help when needed can expedite the process of seeking justice following a dog bite incident.

Georgia victims of mesothelioma may require chemotherapy

After being exposed to asbestos decades ago, you may have found yourself suffering from symptoms that made you go to see a doctor. After an initial examination, you may have been sent to a Georgia hospital in order to confirm the diagnosis that you may have dreaded for years -- mesothelioma. As you work with your doctors to determine the best course of treatment for you, you may be facing chemotherapy as part of it.

Your doctors probably told you that chemotherapy and other treatments will not cure your condition. However, it may help reduce some of your symptoms (such as pain), slow or stop the progression of cancer cell multiplication or shrink tumors prior to surgery. It may also be useful in destroying any cancerous cells not removed during your surgery.

Improper asbestos abatement puts lives at risk

Whether a building is being torn down or renovated, owners and general contractors need to remain cautious. Many older buildings still consist of materials containing asbestos, and if not properly removed, this toxic substance can wreak havoc on the health of workers at the sight, and possibly even people in the surrounding area. This is why Georgia and the federal government require certain measures to be taken during asbestos abatement projects.

One general construction contractor and an asbestos abatement company recently discovered what could happen when these rules are not followed. Government officials in another state say that during the renovation of a five-story building, asbestos was released into the air when certain asbestos containing materials were crushed out in the open and left dry. This put everyone in the vicinity, workers and non-workers alike, at risk of exposure.

Premises liability claims: What hazards could you face?

Like other Georgia residents, you go to work, stores and to other public places on a regular basis. Perhaps you have been to one particular place hundreds of times without incident, and then one day, something happens that causes you serious injuries. When it comes to premises liability claims, numerous hazards could fall under this umbrella.

In most cases, the location itself provides certain hazards. For instance, if you work at a construction site, you would expect that the equipment used could cause you harm. However, when you frequent other locations, such as your local grocery store, you don't expect to end up injured.

Common Work Groups at Risk for Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos on the job site can lead to numerous health concerns and debilitating illness.  Unfortunately, due to lack of knowledge of the effects of asbestos exposure many workers have been exposed to this dangerous material which can lead to illnesses such as mesothelioma.  While there are many places that asbestos exposure can occur, some of the most common jobs associated with exposure to asbestos include:

  • Sailors and Shipyard Workers - Asbestos was a common material found in the production of ships and seas vessels, so those who spent time on, building or repairing these ships are at a higher risk for exposure.
  • Construction Industry Workers - Construction workers, insulators, roofers, plumbers, and electricians are often involved in the demolition and remodeling of older buildings which may still have asbestos in the structure.
  • Firefighters - Asbestos can become quickly damaged by fire and break down into fibers that circulate in the air.  With fireman responding to fires with little knowledge of the material in the building, they have a higher risk of exposure to these airborne fibers.
  • Railroad Workers - Asbestos was widely used in the insulation on train boilers which often exposed workers both on and off the railroad.
  • Miners - During the extraction, refinement, and processing of coal, workers are at heightened risk of exposure to asbestos.
  • Industrial Workers - Machinists, factory workers, chemical workers, and foreman may have been exposed to asbestos during production fo some textiles, insulation, paper, and fireproofing material.

Another drug manufacturer could face products liability claims

Georgia residents who suffer from osteoarthritis know the condition cannot be cured. However, medications are available that can at least help manage the pain associated with this condition. One of those medications is Limbrel, which recently made headlines due to complaints received by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Due to the potentially severe health consequences caused by the medication, products liability claims could be filed across the country.

According to reports, the FDA wants the drug's manufacturer, Primus Pharmaceuticals, to recall Limbrel voluntarily due to health concerns for those who take the drug for a prolonged period of time. In fact, in Nov. 2016, the FDA issued a warning for consumers to cease using the medication immediately while the agency conducted its investigation into claims of lung and liver damage associated with taking it. At that time, at least 194 complaints had already reached the agency indicating instances of hypersensitivity pneumonitis and injuries to the liver.

Will surgery be part of your treatment for mesothelioma?

Being diagnosed with a serious and often fatal asbestos-related condition can be frightening. At the same time that you know you may not survive beyond a certain amount of time, you want to do everything you can to fight mesothelioma. Depending on your particular case, Georgia doctors may be telling you that you may need surgery as part of your treatment. 

Whether surgery is an option for you depends on several factors, including your overall health and how far along your illness is. You may undergo one or more diagnostic procedures to verify your diagnosis of mesothelioma. These include a thoracotomy, a peritoneoscopy and a thorcoscopy. Each procedure involves making a small incision in a different part of the body in order to find the cancer.

Potential revision to Toxic Substances Control Act re asbestos

Some substances are so carcinogenic that they should not be used under any circumstances. Anyone here in Georgia (or anywhere else for that matter) who has ever contracted a disease related to asbestos exposure would more than likely agree that this toxic substance should be completely banned. Some members of the U.S. Senate agree as well.

A new bill -- called the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2017 -- seeks to make changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act to not just limit potential exposure to asbestos, but to eliminate it. The bill is named after a 66-year-old man who died of mesothelioma in 2006. If this amendment to the TSCA happens, it would force the EPA to do what it was not required to do by a 2016 amendment to the law that called for assessments of certain chemicals, including asbestos, before any further action. The problem is that the assessments were never done.

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