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Machine makers can now be sued by asbestos victims

An appeals court ruled this week that asbestos victims can file lawsuits against the maker of brake shoe grinding machines after it was determined that asbestos fibers were released from the lining of the brakes.

The lawsuits were filed by a former mechanic and three other families who lost their loved one to an asbestos-related disease. The lawsuits state that the machine, made by Hennessy Industries, exposed the workers to asbestos.

The mechanic is suffering from asbestosis and the three other victims passed away in 2007 and 2008. This ruling overturned a decision made in June 2010 that stated that Hennessy Industries did not use asbestos in the machine and that they were not responsible for toxic substances that may have come from other company’s products.

The decision was reversed because it was discovered that the purpose of the machines was to grind down the lining of brakes, which would release asbestos as a result.

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