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Summit County looks for heirs to complete settlements

News   May 15, 2016

Many years ago, the damage that could be caused by asbestos was not understood. Today, it’s much more clear that this material can cause serious health conditions. Workers who were exposed to asbestos in the past may have become seriously ill because of that exposure.

Usually, when someone is hurt at work or dies from a workplace injury, the family of that worker is compensated through workers’ compensation. Sometimes, it’s not known until much later what the cause of death was, like in the case of asbestos. The truth about the damage it could cause wasn’t known until much later than it should have been.

Sometimes, workers who made claims but passed away will leave their loved ones without the knowledge that a legal claim has been made. That seems to be what happened in many of these cases in Ohio, where Summit County’s courts are seeking out the heirs for a large settlement.

A recent news article points this out as Summit County has begun to look for heirs of those who became ill because of asbestos exposure. According to the news, the county’s court has around $2 million to give to the heirs of hundreds of workers who had been exposed to this material.

Many, but not all, of the heirs have been found over the last several years, but there are still around 850 workers whose heirs haven’t been identified. Heirs can be a number of people, from spouses to nieces, nephews, or cousins. The goal of the court is to spread out this compensation to as many heirs as possible.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal, “Summit County searching for heirs of rubber workers hurt by asbestos; hearings this week for potential heirs and list posted online,” Stephanie Warsmith, April 26, 2016