Patsy Jean Bodkin, a retired cook who washed her father’s and brother’s work clothes for years, says the clothes were covered in asbestos dust that ultimately made her sick. Now bedridden, Bodkin relies on oxygen and morphine. She was expected to travel from her nursing home in northern Mississippi to Atlanta on Monday for trial, but last week the parties reached an out-of-court settlement.

A secondhand exposure suit is unusual, attorneys said.