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ND workers urged to get screened for asbestos exposure

Leaders with the North Dakota AFL-CIO say a law passed by the legislature this session will make it virtually impossible for anyone impacted with asbestos-related illness to claim damages from makers of those products.

House Bill 1207 will take effect August 1. Landis Larson is President of North Dakota AFL-CIO. He says asbestos has been used in workplaces from the 1940s all the way through the 1990s, such as power plants, oil refineries, sugar beet plants, office buildings, and even courthouses, private homes and auto repair businesses. Even US Navy ships contain structural materials with asbestos.

Larson says the new law creates barriers to patients entitled to damages for sickness due to exposure.

"I googled it on my phone, the average life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma is eighteen months. I don't believe that's even close to enough time to get it through the court system at all. So anyone that's really damaged by asbestos will never see relief in their lifetime."

Larson says AFL-CIO is urging any worker who may have been exposed to asbestos to visit their doctor for a 4-view chest x-ray to look for asbestos related damage, and to send that x-ray to an attorney that specializes in asbestos litigation in North Dakota by July 15.