Home > asbestos, News > TSA Machines: the Asbestos Litigation of the Future?

TSA Machines: the Asbestos Litigation of the Future?

For all its harmful effect, asbestos has a wonderful property which prompted its frequent use – it is resistant to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, making it ideal for insulation purposes.  The Federal Government was well aware of its benefits, and required government contractors building ships for the United States Navy to use asbestos to, among other things, prevent fires aboard-ship.

Fast-forward several years: decade after decade of asbestos litigation burdens employers, the legal system, and our daytime and midnight television commercial space while the Federal Government which mandated the use of asbestos walks away, the words “sovereign” and “immunity” heard between laughs.

Recently, your easily alarmed and somewhat paranoid blogger started thinking about this upon seeing this story.  It appears that more and more concern is being raised about the possible cancer-causing effect of the Transportation Security Administration’s full-body scanners.  According to Dr. Edward Dauer, head of radiology at Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, the full-body scanners pose a threat to those over 65 years of age and women genetically at risk of breast cancer.  The radiation could also imperil the lens of the eye.

Frequently enough, California employers send their employees abroad or even to other parts of California by flight.  Conferences, training sessions, meetings, and presentations might require an employee to take to the skies countless times a year.  A certain George Clooney film immediately comes to mind.

And, as California retains jurisdiction over all injuries that occurred and/or those in which the contract of hire was completed in California (see Labor Code section 5305) employers might soon enough find themselves before a Workers’ Compensation Judge, hearing the theory of how all those client meetings all over the country exposed applicant X to so many scanner machines, causing this cancer or that.

Hopefully, the machines are harmless to the body; both to flyers and to California’s self-insured employers and insurers.  If they are not, we can only hope that the Federal Government will not walk away from the mess it created, leaving private-sized employers to shoulder a federal-sized problem.

Categories: asbestos, News
  1. Fair Practice
    January 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

    You are so right. For many years we insured a major shipyard in Maine that had numerous US Navy contracts which mandated asbestos fitting. So after the dozens and dozens of asbestosis WC claims were adjudicated, when it came time for third party action or subrogation they were untouchable.

  2. Steve Cattolica
    January 10, 2012 at 11:04 am


    Don’t worry. If an such claimant ever traveled for pleasure, the resulting CT claim could be apportioned.

    • January 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      That’s true, but apportionment has its limitations. Death cases, medical treatment, TD. Section 5500.5 will come into play as well in cases of multiple employers.

  1. February 26, 2012 at 6:36 am
  2. February 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

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