Many people are familiar with the dangers of asbestos in the workplace. They understand that some occupations, such as construction, carpentry, automotive, oil refinery and others formerly exposed workers to asbestos fibers.
Not as many people understand; however, that those workers weren’t the only ones susceptible to asbestos exposure – their families were, too.
Second-hand Exposure to Asbestos
The proportion of women diagnosed with mesothelioma is growing every day. That’s because women are more susceptible to take-home exposure, a type of asbestos exposure that occurs when a family member (usually a husband, brother or son) brings home asbestos on his clothes, shoes or work equipment.
That’s what happened to mesothelioma patient and Simmons Hanly Conroy client Julie Gundlach. Although she never worked in an occupation with asbestos, her father did. He was an electrician who worked at job sites across the country. He would come home from work and leave his dirty clothes in the laundry room – the same room that doubled as Julie’s playroom.
When she was older, Julie began experiencing digestive problems and constipation. Diagnostic tests revealed a mass in her pelvis, and without conducting a biopsy, doctors assumed it was ovarian cancer. In August 2006, during surgery to remove the mass, doctors were surprised to learn that the mass was actually mesothelioma in the abdomen.
Seeking Justice Through a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Throughout her journey with mesothelioma, Julie worked with the lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy to hold the companies responsible for her father’s asbestos exposure and her own take-home exposure accountable for their actions.
“If it were not for the legalities, I would never have been able to receive the medical treatment I received,” Julie said in a news article. “I’m still not able to work. Mesothelioma kills innocent people, asbestos kills innocent people, it’s not banned, and that is the story. That is the issue.”
Ten Years After Diagnosis
Julie is still fighting mesothelioma. She’s been through numerous surgeries, chemotherapy treatments and other procedures, but has hope for the future.
Julie regularly volunteers, organizes fundraisers and advocates to politicians about the need for a full ban of asbestos in the U.S. She has also repeatedly told her survival story to news organizations in an effort to help people realize that if the deadly consequences of asbestos exposure can happen to her – a mother and photographer in her 30s– it can happen to anyone.
Simmons Hanly Conroy is dedicated to working with clients, like Julie, who are dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis and potentially devastating financial circumstances. Learn more about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit with Simmons Hanly Conroy today.