Asbestos Exposure at Square D/Schneider Electric
Founded in 1902, Square D is an electrical equipment manufacturer. In the 1940s, the company had 10 factories in North America, including one in Lexington, Kentucky, and thousands of employees. Square D products were present in all sectors, including a significant presence in the residential building sector. Schneider Electric acquired the company in 1991 and continues to sell products under the Square D brand name.
Employees of the Lexington, KY facility as well as other Square D employees and consumers of its products were highly likely to be exposed to asbestos. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. To get help now, contact us at Satterley & Kelly today or keep reading for more info.
Asbestos at Square D in Lexington, KY
Square D manufactured a variety of electric parts including breakers, starters, and motors for electrical panel boxes and transformers. To make these components, the company used phenolic molding compounds or resins containing asbestos. Due to those materials, the manufacturing process exposed countless employees to asbestos.
Additionally, the Square D manufacturing facility also used asbestos heavily in its construction. Asbestos was in the insulation around pipes and heating ducts. It was also used in floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and other building materials.
Risks of Asbestos Exposure
Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to deadly illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Asbestos exposure can also increase your risk of other cancers. There is no safe amount of asbestos, but the more asbestos you inhale, the more likely you are to develop a disease caused by asbestos.
Although the dangers of asbestos have been documented for about 100 years, this material was used heavily through the middle of the 1900s. In some cases, it was even used until the end of that decade. Asbestos put workers all over the country in danger, including at the Square D/Schneider Electric facility in Lexington, KY.
Asbestos Exposure at Square D/Schneider
Square D used phenolic molding compounds or phenolic resins containing asbestos to make its plastic electrical parts. Powder or pellet compounds came to the factor in large drums or bags. Then, employees poured the materials into hoppers, releasing asbestos-filled dust into the air.
Pressure and heat in the machines molded the materials into plastic parts. Often, the plastic parts were pre-molds that needed additional work, and even if they were the final product, they generally needed to be finished by another employee. The finishing process involved drilling, sanding, grinding, filing, or polishing the plastic which released even more asbestos dust into the air.
The dust in plastic factories didn’t stay in the production or manufacturing areas. It traveled all over the factory on people’s clothing and shoes and through ventilation ducts, putting everyone in danger.
Square D Employees at Risk of Asbestos Exposure
The primary exposures at Square D occurred through the mid-60s and early 70s. Asbestos dust affected people involved with production set-up, pouring compounds into machinery, monitoring the molding process, finishing and polishing, assembling, and other tasks directly related to the electrical products produced by the company. However, due to the migration of dust through the facility, anyone who worked at Square D was likely exposed to asbestos.
Family members of Square D employees have also been affected. Tragically, employees often unknowlingly carried asbestos dust home on their shoes or clothing. Then, their family members inhaled the dust while interacting with them or doing their laundry.
Your Right to Compensation
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure from Square D, you have a right to compensation. This company knew about the risks, but it continued to expose its employees and their families. By bringing forward a personal injury lawsuit, you can secure your right to compensation for medical bills as well as pain and suffering.
What to Do After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Mesothelioma is a scary diagnosis, and you have to focus on your health, your quality of life, and your family/friends. Again, however, you have a right to compensation. To protect your finances and your family, you should contact a personal injury attorney who has experience with asbestos exposure cases. They can handle the legal aspects of the situation, while you focus on your health.
However, you cannot wait. In Kentucky, you have one year from the date you know or should know you have an injury and know or should know the cause of that injury to file a lawsuit. In most cases, the day you are diagnosed is the day of discovery, but there are some exceptions. The courts cannot be lenient with this deadline. They are not given discretion to extend the limitations period of people regardless of the reason. Thus, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
Identifying the Liable Party in Asbestos Lawsuits
If you were exposed to asbestos while working at Square D, you will generally not bring a lawsuit against that company. Kentucky’s worker compensation laws prevent you from suing former employers.
Instead, most injured parties file the lawsuit against another liable party such as the supplier of the phenolic compound or the manufacturer of the asbestos insulation in the factory. Note that these are just examples. The approach varies depending on the cause of your exposure and the unique facts of your case.
However, family members who contracted asbestos due to secondary exposure can bring forward lawsuits against Square D. In fact, a recent appeals case in Kentucky emphasized this right for family members. The decision said that employers have a duty to protect the families of their employees, and because the risks of secondary asbestos exposure were well known throughout this time period, the company is liable.
Get Help Today
At Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, we have over 45 years of collective experience dealing with asbestos cases. We understand the legal landscape inside and out, and we have successfully won countless settlements for our clients.
We extend our deepest sympathy to you as you deal with your mesothelioma diagnosis, and we would also like to offer our legal assistance. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation. You deserve justice and we can help.