Beryllium is a metal that has become common in the manufacturing of certain goods. In particular it is often used in electronics such as cell phones, computers, and automotive sensors. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has warned that beryllium is a toxic substance which can lead to acute beryllium disease and chronic beryllium disease. This metal poses the greatest risk when it is releases as a dust or a fume. In these circumstances, the tiny metal fibers are breathed in by the person working with the metal. The fiber then remains in the lungs and causes inflammation (i).
Recent articles have detailed the case of several Raytheon workers and family members who have alleged that beryllium dust left them at risk of chronic illness. The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has heard medical monitoring claims from these plaintiffs. Medical monitoring claims arise when a person has been exposed to toxic substances and is seeking to recover the cost of ongoing medical monitoring for potential diseases. In many cases, the plaintiff must show subcellular changes in order to move forward with a lawsuit. Massachusetts is one state that recognizes these claims and the plaintiffs in the Raytheon case are seeking to recover from the company and its suppliers. The lawsuit involves allegations that the company failed to warn about the dangers of beryllium dust and that suppliers conspired to conceal these same dangers (Betucchy v. Raytheon Co., Case No. 1:10-cv-11652, Genereux v. Hadric Laboratories Inc., Case No. 04-cv-12137) (ii).
Chronic beryllium disease can lead to substantial medical expenses and increase the risk of lung cancer. People who have been injured by this disease may be able to recover damages, workers’ compensation benefits, or Social Security Disability benefits. d’Oliveira & Associates handles injury and disability claims at its offices throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The law firm works with some of the more experienced beryllium lawyers and there are no legal fees unless a settlement or award is obtained. To contact the firm call 1-800-992-6878 or submit a contact form online.
- (i) Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
- (ii) Harris Martin Publishing, June 20, 2013.
Harris Martin Publishing, September 11, 2013.