Rep. Carolyn McCarthyCarolyn McCarthyWhy Congress needs an openly atheist member, now Lobbying World Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.) is partly blaming her lung cancer diagnosis in June on exposure to asbestos as a child and is suing more than 70 companies to hold them accountable.
McCarthy’s lawyer, Daniel Blouin, told Newsday on Saturday they are asking those companies to take responsibility for the “disease that will likely cause her death.”
Blouin said McCarthy's long history of smoking likely also contributed to her cancer, according to Newsday.
The suit claims McCarthy was exposed to asbestos as a child while washing the clothes of her father, who worked in Navy yards, where he came in contact with the material.
“We're asking the corporations who played a role in causing the disease that will likely cause her death to take responsibility for the choices that they made to hide information about the dangers of asbestos," Blouin told Newsday. "Medical literature is in consensus that asbestos causes lung cancer on its own and in contribution with cigarette smoking."
While Blouin admits that McCarthy’s smoking contributed to her cancer, he said studies show smokers are 4,000 more likely to get lung cancer after exposure to asbestos.
The suit was first reported over the weekend after McCarthy gave a deposition on Friday.
In June, McCarthy, known for her advocacy of gun control, said she was diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer.
“There will be some tough days ahead, and I will have to miss activities in Washington during my treatment in New York, but I will continue to be a strong advocate for the 4th Congressional District,” she said at the time.
After doctors discovered the cancer during a physical, she began treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.