There have been hundreds of former construction worker and miners who have died from asbestos-related diseases in the past few decades. Those deaths have prompted calls for an asbestos ban and more effective regulation of how asbestos is handled in Canadian workplaces.
Those calls were answered on December 15, 2016, when the Canadian government announced it is enacting a full ban on asbestos in the country. It also is creating new rules and regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protections Act or CEPA. The regulations should be enacted in 2018.
The Canadian government wants to change the building codes in the country to prevent asbestos being used in any construction project. The government of Canada also wants to ban importing of products that contain asbestos, such as brake pads. When the law is fully enacted, no asbestos will be allowed to be sold to the public in Canada.
How Can an Asbestos Law Firm Help You?
Law firms that specialize in asbestos exposure can help you to receive compensation if you have suffered an asbestos-related illness. These highly skilled attorneys work to get you an asbestos settlement that will compensate you for your injuries and damages. These include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income from not being able to work
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Physical pain
- Loss of a family member who died from asbestos exposure
- Costs for funeral
As soon as you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition, you should talk to an asbestos and mesothelioma attorney as soon as you can. Mesothelioma lawsuits are complicated and they only should be handled by a best Mesothelioma attorney who is experienced in this area.
Note that asbestos lawsuits have to be filed within a certain period of time after diagnosis. This time frame will vary by state, but it can be only two or three years in many cases. If the statute of limitations runs out after diagnosis, you have no legal recourse.
When you talk to an asbestos attorney, you will need to answer a number of questions to find out if you could qualify for a claim. Some of the most common questions are:
- What is your date of mesothelioma diagnosis?
- Who is your physician? Is he or she skilled in lung cancer and mesothelioma cases?
- If you think you were exposed to asbestos, what was your job at the time and who did you work for?
- Did the company give you any type of safety gear so you were protected from the asbestos?
- What symptoms do you have?
- What is your state of health today?
- Were you in the military and do you think you were exposed to asbestos there?
Know that it is important to continue to seek treatment as your asbestos litigation goes forward. If you are in poor health, your lawyer will work as fast as he can to get the case to a conclusion. These are complex cases that often involve several defendants, so the case can take months or even years to be resolved.
According to Health Minister Jane Philpott, the government is taking action that it should have years ago. The government wants to protect Canadians from the dangers of asbestos, which can cause serious diseases in those who are exposed to it, including mesothelioma.
Also, there has been a strong effort in British Columbia to come up with a certification and licensing system for contractors that specialize in removing asbestos from homes and buildings.
It is estimated that asbestos exposure still kills approximately 2,000 Canadians per year.
A resolution that would create a new system of licensing for asbestos removal contractors was voted on in September 2016, but it is still in committee. However, the resolution is expected to pass and will be brought up for another vote in February.
Many people in Canada are disappointed that the resolution was not passed yet, but they say that they are glad that the Canadian government has passed the asbestos ban.
Scientists report that asbestos is a slow killer that was used in construction for decades in the 20th century. It is cheap, highly resistant to fire, and has excellent insulating properties. The fibers of asbestos cannot be seen with the naked eye.
If they are inhaled, the asbestos can get trapped in the lung lining for as many as 40 years. They then can cause mesothelioma to develop as well as lung cancer.
It is estimated that 26 workers in British Columbia died in the first half of 2016 due to asbestos. At least 40 died in 2015. To protect workers from asbestos exposure, it is necessary to take steps during construction and demolition that can prevent the job from being done quickly, which adds to cost.
However, the new Canadian government regulations should make a large difference.
There were two construction companies in early 2016 that were issued 237 regulation violations related to asbestos removal. The companies are