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New Bern, NC |

My dad was recently diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis; he worked at a phosphate mining company for around 35 years. He recently had a coworker stop by to see him that he has not seen or spoken to in years. He told his former coworker of his diagnosis; and to our surprise he knew of 3 other coworkers that had also been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. I began to wonder just how many others that worked at this company for many years has also been diagnosed with pulmonary fibosis. I believe with all my heart and soul that his many years of working at this company and breathing the air is what has caused this disease.

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Attorney answers 3


I am very sorry to learn of your father's situation. I am licensed to practice in Illinois and I am unsure where your father's exposure occurred so please take my suggestions with that grain of salt. Worker's protection and compensation laws do vary from state to state.

A worker injured due to a jobsite exposure is entitled to worker's compensation benefits if a claim is timely filed. The worker may also obtain compensation against companies other than his employer if he can establish the exposure was due to their fault, typically negligence or the sale of an unsafe product.

Please feel free to follow up with me with specifics if you believe I can be of service.

My best wishes to you and your family, Bruce Pfaff, Pfaff & Gill, Ltd., Chicago.


I am sorry to hear of your father's problems. Given that he was exposed to a dangerous substance while on the job, his injury probably falls under the North Carolina Workmen's Compensation Act. There are specific provisions regarding occupational disease and the requirements for establishing a claim in the WC Act. You need to consult a lawyer who focuses his or her practice in this area of the law and who has experience with occupational diseases.


You will want to consult with an attorney right there in your state, without delay. You can do a few preliminary calls, sharing your father's information (generally) to see if it is the type of matter that firm handles. You can gather a fair amount of information with just a few calls, and possible referrals. You may find a firm handling other similar cases, even against the same company. Do not delay. Time is always important in matters of this kind.

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