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Plaintiffs allege premises liability in recent filing

Asbestos is a type of fiber that comes from certain rocks and soil, and it has properties that make it ideal for use in construction material, as insulation, and for many other commercial purposes. However, as many people in the Charleston area probably know, exposure to asbestos can result in people developing certain deadly diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Given the health problems that asbestos can cause, it is not as widely used today as it once was. However, people are still developing terrible illnesses, which they can sometimes trace back to asbestos exposure throughout a period of time earlier in their lives.

In one case that a West Virginia couple recently filed in Kanawha Circuit Court, a man and his wife allege that asbestos caused him to get lung cancer. Although he admits that he smoked cigarettes from the early 1960s until 1974, the complaint asserts that he was exposed to asbestos intermittently throughout a 57-year period. The legal filing states that the exposure occurred while the man worked for his father for at least 15 years, then while working as a steelworker for about 16 years, and finally while working at a school for roughly 26 years.

The man and his wife have named 199 defendants in their lawsuit. One of their causes of action is for premises liability. This is likely based on the argument that at least one of the properties where the man worked contained the dangerous asbestos, and that the property owner knew of the danger and did nothing to remedy it.

Whether or not the couple in this case wins compensation for the man's cancer, the lawsuit shows one of the many ways that a dangerous property condition could potentially cause injuries. Furthermore, if a person suffers a fatal accident due to the condition, the victim's family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Couple names 199 defendants in asbestos suit," Kyla Asbury, Jan. 3, 2017

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