Firestone Workers at Risk of Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Cancers
Thousands of former and current employees of the Bridgestone-Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, and other Ohio rubber plants are at risk of developing dangerous health issues as a result of continual asbestos exposure.
Asbestos was a popular building insulator for many years because of its flexible strength, and resistance to heat and corrosion. It is now known to cause malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other serious pulmonary disorders. Asbestos filled Akron’s Firestone factory facilities.
As a result, former workers employed in the rubber manufacturing industry at any point may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
Unfortunately, even knowing workers faced a dire health hazard, corporations including Firestone failed to warn employees of the risks, and failed to offer any possible protection.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati asbestos lawyer and Ohio personal injury attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.
Hazards to Ohio Rubber Plant Workers
The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company is best known for producing automobile tires but it also manufactured a number of other products, including rubberized gaskets, containing asbestos. Asbestos gaskets were used to seal pipes, pumps, and equipment. Some rubber manufacturing plants used raw asbestos in mixtures to produce rubber sheets that were used for gaskets, seals and electrical insulations.
Regardless of their position in the last 40 years, most rubber factory workers faced an occupational exposure. Production sites were built with asbestos bricks, drywall, and heating and water pipes. Firestone workers are therefore at serious risk of the numerous illnesses linked to asbestos exposure.
The following factory positions are considered high-risk:
Firestone Asbestos & Rubber Manufacturing Risk
As early as the 1940s, medical professionals expressed concerns over the hazards of asbestos dust and asbestosis. For decades, these warnings were ignored by the industry, and today it is estimated that more than 20 million Americans are at risk of developing mesothelioma in their lifetime, primarily due to asbestos exposure at the workplace.
Even after the first case of mesothelioma was linked to asbestos exposure in 1964, Firestone still operated without warning its employees of the serious health risks. Asbestos fibers easily circulate through the air and thereby possibly inhaled and lodged in the tissue surrounding the lungs. This can lead to the development of deadly cancers, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Illness
Asbestos-related diseases are known to have a long latency period, meaning that former Firestone workers may not be diagnosed with a condition until many years after initial exposure. When they do present, symptoms of lung diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma may include:
• Chest pain
• Persistent cough
• Trouble swallowing
• Swelling of the abdomen
• Trouble Breathing
Firestone Workers Lawsuits
In 2013, a California jury awarded almost $39 million to five victims of mesothelioma. Several defendants were named, including Bridgestone-Firestone Tire & Rubber. The victims developed asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma, after working with asbestos-containing auto parts at the workplace.
The jury found the defendants grossly negligent in the case, and compensated the victims and families for punitive damages and economic losses. The court found the companies had “failed to carry an adequate warning detailing the asbestos content or health risk.”
An Asbestos Trust totaling $80 million was established in 2004 after insurance giant Travelers reached a settlement with attorneys representing thousands of United States rubber workers with asbestos claims.
The fund is meant to cover about 14,000 claims from Ohio, many of them Akron rubber workers who died or developed serious illnesses from asbestos exposure. Some attorneys say many more claims and lawsuits are to follow.
Firestone Tire & Rubber Company Settlements
Employees of Firestone in Akron and other Ohio rubber plants may have been put at risk by their employers and various manufacturers of toxic products. If former Firestone Tire workers have fallen ill and diagnosed with serious lung conditions, it may be a result of past asbestos exposure. Affected employees may have a claim against Bridgestone-Firestone Inc., and should consider seeking experience legal assistance.
The Lyon Firm is dedicated to representing injured plaintiffs in asbestos exposure and toxic tort lawsuits nationwide. We work with industry experts to determine the root cause of cancer and reach settlements with large corporations.
Mesothelioma Cancer Representation
If you or a loved one suffered an asbestos-related illness after working at Firestone Tire & Rubber in Akron or another Ohio rubber plant, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.