Switchgear is a critical piece of electrical equipment that, for decades, contained asbestos insulation. Electricians installing, repairing, modifying, or removing this equipment and those working near them may have been exposed to asbestos fibers that can cause cancers and other diseases.
Satterley & Kelley PLLC attorneys represent electricians, retired electricians, and others diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers. If you have a medical condition caused by asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you suffer. Contact our attorneys. Let us be your boots on the ground, seeking maximum compensation for you and your family.
What is Switchgear?
It protects, isolates, and regulates a power system with controls housed in a metal enclosure. It’s a critical system in electrical utilities and industrial environments because they must regularly de-energize equipment for maintenance. It controls the power flow and can improve a facility’s safety and energy efficiency.
Switchgear has switches, fuses, circuit breakers, and other power conductors. If there’s an electrical fault, a circuit breaker will sense it and interrupt the power flow, limiting electrical system damage and the chances of a fire.
What is Asbestos?
It’s a naturally occurring mineral fiber that resists heat, fire, electricity, and chemicals. Fibers are hazardous if they’re airborne and are inhaled or swallowed. Fibers are so strong and resilient that they resist the body’s attempts to destroy them so they can stay in a person’s body their entire life.
Why is Asbestos Dangerous?
Over time, if there are enough fibers in the lungs, scar tissue, and inflammation may cause asbestosis, severely restricting a person’s ability to breathe. Over decades, genetic changes in surrounding tissue can cause it to become malignant, causing different cancer types, including mesothelioma. This is an incurable, aggressive cancer in the lining of a person’s lungs, heart, abdominal organs, chest, and abdominal cavities.
Why was Asbestos in Switchgear?
Asbestos-containing products were widely used to insulate electrical wires and prevent sparks or electrical charges, which could start fires or electrocute someone working on the equipment. Electrical insulation protects the surfaces of conductors from moisture and chemicals. It can fill spaces where corona discharge (electric current leakage into the air next to high-voltage conductors) is likely to occur.
The products include asbestos yarn, tape, lap, paper, and loose fibers. There can also be asbestos-containing partitions in the equipment, or it could be attached to asbestos wallboard. Asbestos-containing products were used in higher voltage AC and DC electrical wiring.
Asbestos was used mainly for its fire and heat resistance, electrical insulation properties, acid resistance, and durability. Asbestos electrical insulation was commonly used in switchgear between 1920 and the 1980s.
When Would Asbestos in Switchgear Become Hazardous?
Asbestos is toxic when it’s airborne. This can happen when asbestos-containing products are installed and later disturbed or removed. Someone may cut, drill into, or pull apart asbestos products in and around switchgear. Vibrations from power tools could loosen fibers and put them in the air.
What are My Legal Rights if I Suffer an Asbestos-Related Disease?
If you’re diagnosed with a condition caused by asbestos, call Satterley & Kelley PLLC so we can discuss your situation and options. You may have legal rights to compensation for the pain, suffering, lost income, and past and future medical and rehabilitation costs resulting from your asbestos-related condition.
We will discuss who you worked for, when, and where you worked on electrical equipment that may have contained asbestos. Brand or manufacturer names would be helpful. Responsible parties may have gone bankrupt but created a trust fund to pay injury claims. If they’re still in business, they or their insurer may pay a claim or be held accountable in a lawsuit.
Our attorneys will also need access to your medical records, which will allow us to get a complete picture of your medical condition, the treatment you’ve received, your prognosis, and how the disease has impacted you physically and psychologically.
Having an asbestos-related condition can cause you many emotions, including anger, fear, regret, and confusion. Satterley & Kelley PLLC has helped thousands of clients in your situation. We will support you and your family while we address the legal issues so you can focus on living your life and your family.
Call Us Today For A Free Consultation
Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, attorneys can help meet your legal needs if you or a family member you love suffers from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness in Kentucky. To reach our Louisville office, call us at 855-385-9532. You can also complete our contact form for a free initial consultation so we can talk about potential compensation for the harm you suffer.
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