According to Al.com (10/6/15), the family of Barbara Bobo filed their lawsuit alleging Barbara was exposed to asbestos fibers while washing her husband’s work clothes over the span of about 20 years. James Bobo, Barbara's husband, worked around asbestos cleaning up at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority. James Bobo died of lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure in 1997. In 2011, Barbara Bobo had surgery to remove the lining in her lung and underwent chemotherapy.
Although Barbara died in 2013, her family will receive $3.5 million for her pain and suffering, as well as for medical expenses.
Secondary asbestos exposure occurs when the person is not exposed to asbestos through his or her own work but when he or she comes into contact with asbestos from another source, such as on the clothing of someone who works with asbestos. Lawsuits have been filed against companies alleging people developed serious, fatal illnesses as a result of secondary asbestos exposure. Asbestos is linked to asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer, all incurable diseases.
As with primary asbestos exposure, symptoms of secondary asbestos exposure can take decades to develop making it difficult to pinpoint where initial asbestos exposure occurred.
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The judge found that the plaintiffs had no way of knowing that a new judge would reinstate the lawsuits more than 10 years after they were dismissed and that therefore the failure to include the asbestos litigation in the bankruptcy litigation was not bad faith.