Mesothelioma Due to Asbestos Exposure at the Gates Rubber Company
If you worked at the Gates Rubber Company in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, you were very likely to be exposed to asbestos. Even a single asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, and the risks are much higher for employees who faced continuous and repeated exposure. You may be entitled to compensation if a company’s negligence caused you or a loved one to develop mesothelioma.
Satterley & Kelley, PLLC can help you fight for justice. We have experience representing clients who have developed mesothelioma due to exposure at many different sites in Kentucky and the nearby area. We leverage our experience to help our clients so that they can focus on medical treatment and quality of life. To get help now, contact us today.
The Gates Rubber Company was started in 1911 when Charles Gates purchased the Colorado Tire and Leather Company in Denver, Colorado. Eight years later, the company had phased out leather to focus on V-belts and other rubber materials, and it changed its name to the Gates Rubber Company.
Over the next few decades, the company hired thousands of people and opened factories all over the United States including in Elizabethtown, KY, and in 1954, it launched operations overseas. In 1996, Tomkins plc took over the company, and in 2003, Gates Rubber changed its name to the Gates Corporation. The Gates Corporation is currently a publicly traded corporation owned by the Blackstone Group. The company makes industrial belts, hoses, and hydraulic products for many different industries.
The Gates Rubber Company used asbestos in the facility’s building materials. The materials didn’t immediately pose a risk, but when disturbed for repairs or maintenance, the materials released asbestos fibers into the air, exposing everyone in the area.
Additionally, rubber manufacturers often used raw asbestos in their rubber mixtures. Then, they required their employees to use asbestos-containing talc during the molding process. For example, employees often dusted rubber products with talc to remove them from the molds.
If you worked with raw asbestos or products that contained asbestos at the Gates Rubber Company, you were exposed to asbestos. When asbestos fibers were released into the air, all other employees including administrators and managers were also exposed. Tragically, the family members of employees were also exposed when their relatives unknowingly brought home asbestos fibers on their clothes and shoes.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have a right to bring a lawsuit against the company that was liable for your exposure. This may include the Gates Rubber Company or the companies that supplied Gates Rubber with asbestos-filled materials.
Unfortunately, former employees of the Gates Rubber Company cannot bring a personal injury lawsuit against this company. Kentucky’s workers’ compensation laws prohibit you from suing your employer. In these situations, you may need to bring a claim against a manufacturer, a supplier, or another liable party.
Family members who contracted mesothelioma due to secondary exposure can bring lawsuits against the Gates Rubber Company. Employers have a duty to protect their employees’ families from known harm, and although the risks of asbestos were well documented during this time, the company continued to allow its employees to carry the fibers home.
In fact, a Kentucky appellate court decision in July of 2023 solidified this right for employees’ family members. The court’s decision emphasized that victims have the right to bring lawsuits against their family member’s employers in cases involving secondary asbestos exposure.
In Kentucky, you have one year from the date of discovery to file a legal claim. In most cases, the date of discovery is the date of diagnosis, but there can be exceptions if you don’t realize the exposure site until later. To be on the safe side, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after diagnosis.
Proactively contacting an attorney helps to ensure that you don’t miss the statute of limitations deadline on mesothelioma cases in Kentucky. It also increases the chance that you will get to testify and play a meaningful role in your case.
The Gates Rubber Company put its employees and their families at risk for years. The company’s actions caused countless illnesses and unnecessary deaths. If you or a loved one has suffered due to asbestos exposure, you deserve justice.
To get help now, contact us at Satterley & Kelley, PLLC today. We will provide you with a free consultation. Then, we will help you get the justice you deserve. Don’t wait — these corporations know that they were putting people at risk, and they covered up the dangers for decades.
Treating a mesothelioma diagnosis can be financially devasting, but a legal case can help you cover medical costs as well as pain and suffering and other losses.
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