Second-hand smoke can cause many of the same ill health and worsened medical conditions as smoking can. When a non-smoker is exposed to cigarette smoke in his or her workplace environment and as a result, develops a terminal case of lung cancer, the company could face liability.
Certain professions are more likely to have these workplace cigarette smoke exposures. Bartenders, casino workers and others who work in the service industries can find themselves subjected to environmental tobacco smoke, and it may be possible for them to file claims through the workers' compensation program.
However, in the worst case scenario when the environmental tobacco smoke exposure leads to a terminal diagnosis of lung cancer, their survivors also have legal options available to them through the filing of wrongful death litigation.
Health care experts agree that environmental exposures to tobacco smoke and its carcinogens and toxins can cause debilitating health conditions to be diagnosed. These are the diagnoses most commonly associated with tobacco smokers, yet these sufferers are non-smokers who would otherwise be healthy without the on-the-job exposures.
Survivors will have to prove that their deceased loved one's condition was caused or exacerbated by the workplace environmental smoke. This can be a tedious process best left to attorneys who routinely handle wrongful death cases in Illinois. Subpoenaing past employers and co-workers and requesting employment and medical records can be a complicated matter, especially if the companies are no longer in business or have merged with other corporate entities.
If you lost a loved one due to lung cancer or other diseases due to workplace tobacco smoke exposures, you may wish to take legal action.
Source: Findlaw, "Smoking in the Workplace and Workers' Compensation," accessed May 06, 2016