Working is a necessary part of life and something we engage in almost every day. We trust our employers to adhere to health and safety standards and minimize the risks to our health.
On the contrary, sometimes our workplaces pose the greatest threat to our health. Such was the terrifying reality for thousands of workers at one of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) bus depots.
What’s worse – MTA bus depots don’t only expose employees to asbestos, but anyone else who might use the bus depot on a regular basis.
Asbestos Exposure at the East New York Bus Depot
According to reports, the ventilation system that filters air through the first three floors is lined with asbestos-laced cloth. Even more alarming, MTA officials learned of the asbestos exposure early in 2019 and simply chose not to tell their employees.
The Bus Depot Was Erected Prior to Asbestos Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) put construction and asbestos regulations into place in 1970. Unfortunately, most buildings erected before then may contain significant amounts of asbestos. The East New York Bus Depot has been around since 1947.
Estimates Suggestion Thousands Exposed
Since the building has been around for over 70 years, the number of people exposed to this harmful carcinogen is unknown but likely huge. Estimates suggest total people exposed to asbestos there could reach into the tens of thousands.
Why New Yorkers Should Care About Asbestos at the Bus Depot
Simply put, asbestos exposure has deadly effects. When you breathe in asbestos, harmful fibers become lodged in your lungs and abdomen. These particles mutate cells and ultimately cause cancer. This asbestos-rooted cancer is called mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer with a very poor prognosis. Depending on how far a patient’s case has progressed when diagnosed, life expectancy ranges from 11 to 20 months.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma are difficult to detect because they take a long time to present after exposure to asbestos. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Fluid build-up
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Irregular heartbeat
Mesothelioma can take 15 to 70 years after exposure to develop. Even when symptoms do surface, they are often confused with other illnesses since they are so general.
What to Do If You Were Exposed to Asbestos in New York
Individuals who believe that they were exposed to asbestos should review their history and try to figure out where the exposure took place.
Not only will it help lead you to a diagnosis, you may need to sue for damages should you develop this or other cancers.
If you are afflicted with mesothelioma or believe that you may have it, it is recommended that you get in touch with a Mesothelioma lawyer to review your case.
Damages New Yorkers May Be Owed After Mesothelioma Diagnosis
When you meet with an experienced mesothelioma attorney, they will advise you on the various documentation you’ll need to gather in order to file your claim and present your lawsuit in court.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary evidence, your lawyer will help you determine which of the following types of damages you may be able to pursue:
- Medical Costs
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Loss of Wages
- Diminished Earning Capacity
- Lost Enjoyment and Emotional Distress
- Pain and suffering
Employers and public entities both have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their staff and visitors, and the way MTA has handled this issue is certainly contrary to their obligations, to say the least.
Individuals who may have been harmed through the negligence of the organizations involved should keep a watchful eye on their health and seek legal action if and when necessary. To learn more reach out to an experienced New York mesothelioma attorney.