Over $1 Billion Won
For Our Clients

Chronic Respiratory Diseases Contracted in the Workplace

The occurrence of chronic respiratory diseases contracted in the workplace is alarming. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020 saw an astonishing 4,000-percent increase in respiratory illness and disease cases reported in the workplace. Over 420,000 new cases were reported that calendar year, an increase from approximately 11,000 in 2019. The incidence of respiratory illness and disease arising in the workplace occurs at a rate of 2.7 cases per 100 fulltime equivalent workers.

While it is true that some workplace respiratory illnesses are transitory, many situations involve some type of employment-related exposure that results in chronic, debilitating, and even deadly respiratory disease. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with chronic respiratory disease from a workplace exposure, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can connect with our firm any time of the day or night, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, by calling us at (800) 349-0000.

Frequently Occurring Chronic Respiratory Diseases Contracted in the Workplace

American novelist Terry Goodkind once wrote that “knowledge is a weapon.” The reality is that we all need to be armed about potential risks to your health and wellbeing that might exist in the workplace. For example, there are a dozen types of chronic respiratory diseases that most commonly occur in the workplace. If you suffer adverse effects from one or more of these health conditions, it may be worth speaking to a Houston workplace injury attorney to discuss your case in detail.


Asthma is a prevalent respiratory issue in which an individual’s airways become inflamed, narrow, and swell up while producing extra mucus. It can complicate breathing and is typically triggered by various environmental elements like dust, fumes, and allergens present in the workplace. The severity of asthma varies with individuals and in extreme cases, it leads to an asthma attack necessitating immediate medical attention.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a type of obstructive lung disease that’s characterized by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. The primary cause of this disease is prolonged exposure to harmful pollutants, which are prevalent in workplaces like factories and mines. The most widespread conditions of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which progressively damage the lung tissues.


Silicosis is an occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica dust. This condition is characterized by inflammation and scarring in the form of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs. The resultant shortness of breath, chest pain, and other respiratory issues can severely impact a person’s quality of life and ability to perform daily tasks.


Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Continuous inhalation of these fibers leads to scarring of lung tissues, which hinders normal lung function over time. Employees in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing are often at risk, especially if safety protocols and personal protective equipment are not properly implemented and used.


Pneumoconiosis is an umbrella term for conditions caused by the inhalation of certain types of dust particles that harm the lungs. The most common types are coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung disease, and silicosis. These conditions can lead to chronic lung diseases and respiratory failure in severe cases, significantly impacting a person’s lifespan and quality of life.


Mesothelioma is a rare, yet aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It’s primarily caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, often in a work environment where asbestos is present. Due to its aggressive nature, mesothelioma is difficult to treat and is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, making the prognosis generally poor.

Lung Cancer

This type of cancer begins in the lungs and is often a result of exposure to carcinogenic substances, like certain chemicals and asbestos in the workplace. It’s characterized by persistent coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath. If not detected and treated early, lung cancer can metastasize to other parts of the body and is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.


Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is often associated with continuous exposure to irritants at work, such as smoke, dust, fumes, and chemicals. This condition leads to excessive mucus production, cough, and difficulties in breathing, all of which can interfere with a person’s daily activities.


Tuberculosis is a severe infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. It is easily spread in work environments with close contact, particularly in healthcare settings. It’s characterized by coughing, chest pains, and fatigue, and can lead to severe complications, including respiratory failure and death if not treated on time.

Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of atypical pneumonia caused by any species of Gram-negative aerobic bacteria belonging to the genus Legionella. Those at higher risk include people who work with water systems, such as air conditioning maintenance workers. The disease can lead to severe pneumonia and can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an inflammation of the lungs due to breathing in certain dusts, fungus, or molds that are often found in the workplace. It’s an allergic reaction that makes the lung tissues swell up and can lead to scarring over time if not managed properly. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue, and they can significantly affect work and life productivity.

Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma is a type of asthma that’s caused by inhaling certain substances in work environments, such as gases, dust, fumes, or vapors. It leads to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, and the symptoms may worsen with prolonged exposure. This condition can have a significant impact on a worker’s productivity and overall quality of life.

Costs and Expenses Associated with Workplace Chronic Respiratory Diseases

There are an array of different types of costs and expenses associated with workplace chronic respiratory diseases. These are the types of costs and expenses that The Doan Law Firm fights to obtain appropriate compensation for our clients. These costs and expenses include:

  • Medical expenses: This category includes all costs related to the medical care required due to the chronic respiratory disease contracted at the workplace. It covers treatments, medications, hospital stays, rehabilitation services, physiotherapy, and any other medical care or procedures necessary to manage the disease. These costs can be substantial, and compensation can help offset this financial burden.
  • Lost wages: If the victim had to take time off work due to the disease, they may be entitled to compensation for these lost wages. This not only includes the wages lost during the period of illness but could also account for salary increments, bonuses, and other benefits that the victim might have earned had they been able to work.
  • Future earning capacity: This compensation considers the impact of the disease on the victim’s ability to earn a living in the future. If the disease has permanently affected the victim’s ability to work or resulted in a decreased earning capacity, they may be entitled to a compensation that reflects this loss.
  • Pain and suffering: This compensation is for the physical pain and emotional distress the victim has endured as a result of the disease. It acknowledges that the impact of such a disease goes beyond the financial implications and can cause significant emotional and psychological distress.
  • Punitive damages: In cases where the disease was caused by extreme negligence or malice on the part of the employer, the victim may be awarded punitive damages. This is a type of compensation designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from committing similar actions in the future.
  • Loss of consortium: If the disease has affected the victim’s relationship with their spouse, they may be entitled to compensation for loss of companionship. This recognizes the emotional toll the disease can take on close relationships, affecting the quality of the victim’s personal life.
  • Wrongful death: If the victim passed away due to the disease, their family might be able to recover damages in a Houston wrongful death lawsuit. This can include funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and compensation for the emotional suffering experienced by the family as a result of their loss.

Your Legal Rights: The Doan Law Firm Fights for You

As mentioned previously, The Doan Law Firm is here for you if you (or a loved one) face chronic respiratory disease arising from some sort of workplace exposure. You can schedule an initial consultation by calling our legal team at (800) 349-0000 or by reaching out to us through our website. There is no cost associated with an initial consultation with an experienced workplace injury lawyer from our firm.

The Doan Law Firm will never charge an attorney fee in your case unless we win for you. Our legal team will fight tirelessly for you to obtain justice, accountability, and the compensation you deserve.

Contact Us
Request Your Free Consultation and Our Lawyer Will Contact You Within 1 Hour

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

* Required Field