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Mesothelioma News

Furnace Worker Blames Protective Clothing For Mesothelioma Diagnosis

When people are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, their first step is always to identify the best possible course of treatment to delay their inevitable death from the rare and fatal form of cancer. But following that, many begin considering how they fell victim to the disease, and whether they should take legal action against those responsible. In the case of Donald MacLachlan, an investigation quickly determined that one source of his asbestos exposure came from the protective clothing that he wore during his years of work in a steel plant, where he worked as a cast house helper.  As he pursued claims against several companies he listed the clothing’s manufacturer, American Optical, as a defendant. Though the company attempted to have the case dismissed, Ohio’s District Judge Christopher A. Boyko decided that the reasons they provided were insufficient to negate Mr. MacLachlan’s case. The lawsuit will continue forward and a jury will be able to decide what happens.

Mr. MacLachlan’s mesothelioma diagnosis came in 2014. After he decided to move forward with a lawsuit he recalled his experience with American Optical’s clothing, and specifically the “gray, fuzzy” lining of the coats wearing down into fine fibers that often flew into the air as he worked. In a deposition he also described other articles of clothing that he work to protect him from molten steel splashing onto him, as well as the overall intense heat. He said that he wore the company’s coats and gloves, protective leggings and hoods. Though he always thought of the material as protective, it was when he watched a video on asbestos that he made the connection between the clothing he’d worn and his own illness.

Facing the prospect of a mesothelioma lawsuit, American Optical chose to object to inconsistencies in Mr. MacLachlan’s testimony rather than denial of the presence of asbestos in their products. Judge Boyko denied their motion for summary judgment, saying that it was not enough to deny Mr. MacLachlan his right to have a jury decide the merit of his case.

Mesothelioma victims who choose to pursue justice against the asbestos companies responsible for their illness face many highs and lows along the way. We can help you understand your rights and much more. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.