The Matthews Firm has over forty years of experience in representing clients who contracted diseases and illnesses because of exposure to toxic substances in the industrial workplace.

In Tennessee, cases arising out of occupational exposure to toxic substances in the workplace can be very complex. Some of these cases are controlled by the Tennessee Workers Compensation Act. In some situations, in addition to a workers compensation claim, a products liability or negligence lawsuit can be filed against the manufacturer or seller of the toxic substance or chemical. It’s important to find a lawyer with competence and experience in this particular area of the law. A lawyer with experience litigating occupational illnesses will need to assess whether a case against a third party, like a manufacturer of the material, is a viable option. 

Workers who were exposed to asbestos and other toxic substances may suffer devastating effects later in life. According the Center for Disease Control in the United States, exposure to asbestos in the workplace can result in several types of life-threatening diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and other lung-related or pulmonary diseases.

Although the use of asbestos and similar toxic substances has dramatically decreased over recent years, they are still found in many residential and commercial setting and continue to pose a health risk to workers and others. The use of asbestos and other hazardous substances was more prevalent in the 1970s and 1980’s. Workers exposed to such substances during those time periods may just now be seeing the long-term effects. Although exposure to the toxic chemical or substance occurred decades ago, you may still have a strong claim.  Don’t assume that it’s too late. Some of the occupations and industries that are most at-risk for exposure to asbestos, benzene, and other related dangerous substances include:

  • Chemical Plant Workers
  • Construction Workers
  • Textile Industries
  • Graphite and Carbon Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing 
  • Paper Mills
  • Tire and Rubber Manufacturing
  • Petrochemical Production and Petroleum Manufacturing Industries
  • Steel Workers
  • Chemical Production and Transport Industries

Being situated in an area of Tennessee that has historically been home to several phosphorous and other chemical manufacturing facilities, many residents in our community have suffered over the years from the consequences of exposure to hazardous substances in the industrial workplace. According to a study released in 2002 by National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, Maury County, Tennessee ranked among some of the top counties in United States for deaths arising from asbestos exposure. That report can be viewed here. Our Firm has considerable experience in representing clients who had workplace exposure to hazardous substances used by many of the manufacturing and other plants in the Middle Tennessee area.

In addition to asbestos, workers may be exposed to other chemicals and substances with harmful effects. For example, the chemical benzene is commonly used in various industrial settings. Benzene is a chemical found in crude oil, gasoline and other forms of petrochemicals. Literature and medical evidence has clearly established a link between benzene exposure and a type of Leukemia and Lymphomas, such as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). According to the American Cancer Society, workers in the following industries are commonly exposed to benzene: tire and rubber manufacturing; chemical plants; steel plants; asphalt workers; and other gasoline-related industries.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and you or your physician believes that you suffer from a condition that may be related to exposure to asbestos, benzene or some other hazardous substance, you should speak with an attorney to discuss your rights. Even if a significant time has gone by since you last had exposure, you may still be able to recover compensation. If you believe you have a serious illness or disease because of exposure to asbestos or benzene, call our firm for a free consultation.

REMEMBER: There are time limits on making a claim for exposure to asbestos and other toxic chemicals. These time limitations may be shorter or longer than you think. If you believe you or a family member has suffered harm due to exposure to asbestos, benzene or other toxic chemicals, please act quickly in consulting an attorney with experience handling these cases.