GENERAL MOTORS | ASBESTOS EXPOSURE


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Thousands of retired and current employees in Ohio’s General Motors (GM) factories are at risk of serious health issues as a result of asbestos exposure. Regardless of their position, most factory workers at General Motors plants with asbestos faced an occupational exposure. Production sites were packed with asbestos bricks, drywall, and insulation on heating and water pipes.

Workers who directly handled and installed brake linings were heavily exposed. That includes any person packing and unpacking, installing, sanding, buffing, polishing, grinding and drilling parts for installation.

When inhaled, asbestos fibers become lodged in tissues surrounding the lungs, causing permanent scarring. The embedded fibers can later develop into asbestosis and increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
A study published nearly 40 years ago by the Journal of Occupational Medicine concluded automobile makers have an increased risk of cancer.

Yet, with the knowledge that workers were facing health hazards, corporations continued manufacturing dangerous products, and failed to warn employees of the risks. Nearly any worker in an Ohio auto plant could be at risk of developing serious health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati asbestos lawyer and Ohio toxic tort attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.


Ohio General Motors Plants


Auto parts are manufactured with asbestos because of its heat-resistant qualities. However, when these parts begin to break down over time, asbestos dust can fill the workspaces of auto plants. Reports from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advise mechanics and plant workers to “assume that all brakes have asbestos-type shoes.”

Asbestos dust and fibers can travel up to 75 feet from the work being performed. When the fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled, ingested or stuck to workers’ hands and clothes. In this manner, asbestos can easily be carried home, exposing entire families to the hazards of the workplace.
The following plant positions are considered particularly high-risk:

  • Appliance repairers and installers
  • Auto mechanics
  • Brake and Clutch assemblers
  • Boiler workers
  • Insulators
  • Machinists
  • Warehouse part pickers
  • Lathe operators
  • Drill press operators
  • Grinding operators—workers polishing product surfaces
  • Assembly line workers
  • Maintenance Crews

Auto Parts Contain Asbestos


Some auto parts contain more asbestos material than others. At one point, the concentration of asbestos in auto components like brakes was estimated at around 30 to 80 percent. Other auto parts that can pose a threat include the following:

  • Adhesives
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Brake Linings
  • Clutch Linings
  • Disc Brakes
  • Drum Brakes
  • Engine housing
  • Manual Transmission
  • Hoodliners
  • Clutches
  • Gaskets
  • Heat Seals
  • Valve Rings

General Motors Plants in Ohio


GM factory workers may have been exposed to General Motors asbestos products at several Ohio manufacturers. Some of the notable GM plants include:


Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Illness


Asbestos-related cancers have a long latency period, and many workers may not be diagnosed for up to 50 years after exposure. Signs and symptoms of lung diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma may include:

•    Chest Pain
•    Cough
•    Fatigue
•    Trouble swallowing
•    Swelling of the abdomen


GM Asbestos Lawsuits


General Motors has been targeted in recent major injury lawsuits, many as a result of their asbestos-containing brake linings and clutch facings. The company also knowingly purchased parts containing asbestos from third-party companies, further exposing consumers and employees to the dangerous products.

Because the company put workers at risk, by 2009 General Motors was liable for an estimated $636 million in asbestos claims. A couple notable cases included:

•    An auto mechanic who worked at GM for 36 years alleged that asbestos from brake linings and clutch facings caused him to develop mesothelioma. A jury awarded the victim $2 million.
•    In another case, a warehouse worker died of mesothelioma after he was exposed to General Motors asbestos products when working at a GM distribution warehouse. A New Jersey jury awarded his family more than $30 million in damages.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.

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Questions about Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fireproof properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.

The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.

Why is Asbestos Toxic?

When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lug cancer and mesothelioma.

What Materials Contain Asbestos?

Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.

Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.

Why Did Companies Use Asbestos?

Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous tot he health.

Is it hard to win an asbestos case?

The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.

Where are known asbestos expsoure sites?
Why Hire the Lyon Firm

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world 

Your Right to Safety

Watch our Video About
the Statute of Limitations for Asbestos

Asbestos can be found in homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military circumstances. According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOHS), there are 75 different jobs that can expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Approximately 107,000 workers are affected by asbestos each year. 

Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be 250,000 new cases before 2020 due to the latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos.

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The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.

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