Malignant mesothelioma is a rare, asbestos-related cancer that forms on the thin protective tissues that cover the lungs and abdomen. It typically develops after people are exposed to asbestos in the workplace, often times in industrial settings, shipyards, auto repair shops, old houses, schools and public buildings. Mesothelioma usually develops after long-term exposure to asbestos, but short-term and one-time exposures have also been found to cause the cancer in some cases. Asbestos refers to the set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals, chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. These natural fibers are extremely durable, able to withstand fire and most chemical reactions. Its durability made asbestos ideal for use in various commercial and industrial capacities, such as roofing shingles, floor tiles, ceiling materials, cement compounds, textile products, and automotive parts. However, it was discovered in the late 1970s that asbestos was hazardous to humans and is now known to be a human carcinogen. The microscopic fibers are easily inhaled and become lodged in the soft respiratory systems of humans, causing inflammation, scarring, and genetic damage.
One type of cancer that asbestos exposure can cause is Mesothelioma. This cancer can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years after exposure before symptoms appear. Many mesothelioma symptoms are so mild that few people notice them until the cancer progresses and symptoms worsen. Symptoms include, fatigue, pain near tumor, shortness of breath, dry cough, weight loss, fluid buildup, bowel obstruction, and difficulty swallowing. Although there is no cure or mesothelioma currently, many patients have been able to manage it with some traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. For victims of mesothelioma, there are several types of compensation available, including bankruptcy trust funds, settlements and trial verdicts. Veterans also can seek compensation from the Veterans Association. Mesothelioma claims hold companies accountable for exposing employees to asbestos and also compensate those employees financially for their medical bills and lost wages. Compensation can range from small amounts to millions of dollars depending on the claim.
Two common types of claims involving mesothelioma are personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. A personal injury claim is filed by an individual who has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Unlike most personal injury lawsuits, those involving asbestos injury are more difficult to pinpoint when and where the injury happened. Due to this extended latency period, some states have made exceptions involving statutes of limitations with such cases. Wrongful death claims can be filed if the original claimant dies as a result of the asbestos-related disease. Mesothelioma claims began being filed over 35 years ago. Most often, these cases have been settled before reaching court. According to Mealey’s Litigation Report, the average mesothelioma trial award is $2.4 million while the average mesothelioma settlement ranges between $1 million and $1.4 million. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, be sure to know the facts and know what you’re entitled to. The attorney’s at Altman & Altman LLP are available to answer your questions and provide your with an experienced legal team by your side. 617-492-3000.
“Mesothelioma Claims – Options for Filing a Claim.” Mesothelioma Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2016.
“Mesothelioma Compensation – Verdicts, Settlements from Asbestos Lawsuits.” Mesothelioma Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2016.
“Mesothelioma – Overview of Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer.” Mesothelioma Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2016.
“What Is Asbestos?” What Is Asbestos? N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2016.