Lexington, KY Dust Mask Lawyer
For hundreds of years, the coal mining industry has helped provide heat and electricity for homes and businesses throughout Kentucky as well as across the United States. The state of Kentucky has played an important role in the industry. According to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8.2% of our nation’s coal was provided by Kentucky coal mining in the year 2013. The industry has helped shape our state’s economy and continues to provide a stable source of employment.
Despite the benefits that the industry has brought our state, there’s no denying the fact that coal mining carries a few inherent risks. One of the risks has to do with the fact that unless coal miners wear dust masks that provide adequate ventilation, workers can inhale coal dust. Coal dust can be extremely harmful after long periods of exposure, especially to the lungs, potentially causing lifelong complications such as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis.
Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, frequently referred to as CWP, black lung disease, or black lung, is one of the most common conditions caused by prolonged exposure to coal dust. Similar to the long term negative effects of tobacco smoking and prolonged exposure to inhaling silica dust, black lung can lead to lung inflammation, fibrosis, and even necrosis. Lung necrosis permanently blackens and destroys lung tissue. There is no way to recover from lung necrosis.
Protecting Kentucky Coal Miners from the Dangers of Black Lung
To protect their lungs, all coal miners and workers must wear protective gear, including dust masks that are supposed to prevent any dust inhalation. According to Kentucky state regulations (K.R.S.A 352.020) that were passed in 2015, all coal miners must be provided with dust masks that meet or surpass certain standards of adequate ventilation. Despite these regulations, certain types of dust masks have been known to become defective, however.
Manufacturers often try and create these masks as cheaply as possible due to the fact that they’re mass-produced. This can lead to masks that don’t hold up as well as they should or become defective while worn. Furthermore, some coal mining companies provide their workers with masks that are old, were not made with regulations in mind, or that are already knowingly defective. When it comes to cutting corners, some mining corporations simply do not prioritize the safety of their workers.
This needs to change. Under the United States legal system, we can fight back against coal dust mask manufacturers that aren’t creating safe masks as well as coal mining companies that don’t prioritize the health and safety of their employees. An experienced Lexington, KY dust mask lawyer can help.
Getting Help from a Lexington, KY Dust Mask Lawyer
In a 2005 Kentucky coal dust mask lawsuit against the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., et al, the U.S. District Court denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that the case was, in fact, legally considered a matter of product liability. The judge cited the Kentucky Middleman Statute (K.R.S.A. 411.340). This statute states that any “…wholesaler, distributor or retailer who breaches an express warranty or knew or should have known at the time of distribution or sale of such product that the product was in a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer”.
Under Kentucky law, coal dust masks that are defective or unsafe and still provided to workers fit under this statute. If you or someone you love suffers from black lung/coal workers’ pneumoconiosis caused by defective or inadequate dust masks worn while working in a coal mine, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the mask manufacturers, distributors, or retailers. The company or companies that are liable for the defective masks may be able to be held financially accountable for the injuries caused.
Todd W. Burris, personal injury attorney and Lexington, KY dust mask lawyer, is happy to speak with you regarding your case during a 100% free, zero-obligation consultation. If you’re eligible to file a lawsuit, your family can potentially recover medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering costs, and more. Filing a lawsuit also sends a message to mining corporations and equipment manufacturers. Worker safety must be prioritized. There’s no other acceptable option. Contact our Lexington, Kentucky office to learn more.