Workers in various industries such as manufacturing, mining, cement work, construction and demolition, rock drilling, automotive bodywork, and shipbuilding are continuously exposed to and forced to breathe in dust particles. Per government regulations and the standards set by individual companies, many workers are required to wear breathing/respiratory protection devices like dust masks or respirators. These devices are intended to protect workers from inhaling dangerous particles in the air that are unseen by human eyes, but can create severe breathing problems and debilitating respiratory conditions, including black lung and silicosis. When workers contract these or other conditions due to a faulty breathing device, they have the right to pursue financial compensation with the help of a St. Louis defective breathing mask attorney.
If you have developed a breathing problem or lung disease due to a defective breathing mask or respirator device, we can help. The experienced St. Louis defective product lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm know what it takes to pursue the financial recovery you need because of the harm you suffered. To schedule a free case review, call us today at (314) 276-1681 or use our contact form.
Defective Employer-Provided Breathing Masks and Respirators
Employers in particular industries often provide workers with air purifying devices such as respirators or simple dust masks. Workers in coal mines are one example. They wear masks at certain times and locations to protect their lungs from breathing in coal dust particulates that are known to cause serious respiratory problems over time.
However, some of these masks and breathing devices have been shown to be defective in the past. The particular mask you may have worn, issued by your employer or recommended for use, may have not been adequate, or it may have been faulty. Your employer or former employer probably adhered to federal regulations based on the manufacturer’s guarantee that the device was safe and effective, when they issued or recommended the mask. Regardless of these efforts, the defective respirator or mask you wore may still have contained a defect. This is something that an experienced St. Louis detective breathing mask attorney can help determine.
As mentioned, using a defective respirator or dust mask can allow the entrance of harmful or deadly particulates into the lungs that can produce serious lung damage and illnesses including:
- Black lung
A lung disease resulting from exposure to coal dust
A disabling lung disease that is sometimes incurable and fatal, resulting from the inhalation of silica dusk
The exposure to certain dust particles can also facilitate the onset of certain types of cancer.
Defective Breathing Masks and Respirators from the Manufacturer
Dust mask and respirator manufacturers have a legal obligation to produce products that ensure the safety of the user for industrial applications. Dust masks and respirators are manufactured with specially designed air filters to prevent the entrance of microscopic particles. However, many masks and respirators made before 1980 and used by workers were defective.
Unfortunately, the manufacturers of a significant number of paper dust masks and respirators failed to follow the requirements of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) pertaining to proper protection from coal dust and silica. Your St. Louis defective breathing mask attorney can help you understand what entity may be liable for the injuries you suffered due to a defective breathing device. These devices prevented larger dust particles from passing through into the airways of individuals, but allowed the smaller particulates to pass through the devices and enter the lungs. The device you wore may have been defective despite the fact that it may have had OSHA approval.
Although you may have followed proper instructions concerning the wearing of the dust mask or respirator, the device may have failed you by allowing dangerous particles to enter your lungs. If you have experienced symptoms such as a persistent cough, frequent fatigue, or shortness of breath, it is important to get medical attention and treatment. Also, you have the right to seek legal compensation as a result of the breathing condition or illness you developed due to one of these defective masks.
The compensation available to you under the law can give you and your family the financial security you need to pay for the substantial medical bills associated with your care and treatment. However, obtaining this compensation requires the knowledge and experience of a seasoned St. Louis detective breathing mask attorney. At The Cagle Law Firm, we handle defective mask and respiratory cases in a number of states and have successfully held responsible parties accountable for the harm they caused.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Defective Breathing Mask Attorney
The defective respirator and dust mask attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm are passionate about helping workers who have suffered breathing and lung conditions due to faulty respirators in Missouri, Kentucky, and Illinois. We are fierce advocates for these workers and are here to help you.