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Mesothelioma Lawsuit & Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos, a mineral that occurs naturally in large deposits on every continent in the world, has been used by humans since before written history when people occasionally used it for wicks in lamps and candles. Humans didn’t use asbestos regularly until the Industrial age when its fire-retardant properties became indispensable for the automobile, construction, and military industries. However, despite those crucial uses, asbestos eventually became known as a danger to human health. In the last few decades, the mineral has generally been regarded as a known carcinogen that can cause horrific damage and related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

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What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of mesothelial tissue, a thin tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs. It is most commonly associated with asbestos exposure. A Mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary as it is considered incurable, symptoms can be relieved by treatments such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Neglecting exposure to asbestos can and has led to some large-scale asbestos lawsuits with mesothelioma settlement amounts in the millions.

What are the side effects of asbestos exposure?

Unfortunately, asbestos can be found almost anywhere, exposing people to it at the workplace, in nature, their communities, and in homes. When objects containing asbestos are disturbed, microscopic asbestos fibers are released into the air, breathed in, and trapped in the lungs. When asbestos remains in the lungs long, the fibers can accumulate, causing scarring, inflammation, breathing, and serious health issues. Some of the more common side effects of asbestos exposure include:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • Persistent cough that escalates over time
  • Blood in the fluid coughed up from the lungs
  • Pain or tightening in the chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Appetite loss
  • Swelling of the neck or face
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue or anemia

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms or suspect you may have been exposed to asbestos, contact your doctor immediately.

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Types of Mesothelioma

Based on the location where the first tumor develops, there are four primary types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural – develops in the lungs
  • Peritoneal – develops in the abdomen
  • Pericardial – develops in the heart
  • Testicular – develops in the testicles

Mesothelioma can also be categorized based on the type of cancer cell (epithelioid, sarcomatoid, biphasic) and according to the degree of malignancy.

Types of Mesothelioma

The majority of mesothelioma claims end in settlements before ever reaching the courtroom. Asbestos related diseases are serious and are treated as such in the courtroom. According to a recent Mealey’s Litigation Report, the average mesothelioma trial award is estimated to be around $2.4 million, while the average compensation for mesothelioma is between $1 million and $1.4 million. However, some larger mesothelioma lawsuits result in much more substantial court awards and settlements. Below are some prominent mesothelioma cases and settlements:

  • In 2011, a circuit court judge in Missouri awarded $10 million to a woman who was exposed to asbestos during a renovation project done by U.S. Engineering Company. The woman died two years later, and two former co-workers filed a class action suit against Jackson County and U.S. Engineering. The case resulted in an $80 million settlement.
  • In 2005, in a rare example of a case settled after trial, U.S. Steel was ordered to pay $250 million to the wife of a former steel worker who died of mesothelioma. The company reached a post-verdict settlement for an undisclosed amount said to be much less than the compensatory award.
  • In Montana, the mass asbestos exposure from the infamous vermiculite mines in Libby resulted in two major pay asbestos claims payouts: A $43 million settlement in 2011 for more than 1,300 miners and their families, and a $25 million settlement for more than 1,000 miners in January 2017.
  • In New York in 2006, a retired police officer and brake specialist reached a $25 million settlement with Daimler-Chrysler, which exposed him (and many others) to asbestos while working on their asbestos-lined brakes.

Finding a Mesothelioma and Asbestos lawyer can be troubling when dealing with a serious medical condition. However, a Mesothelioma Asbestos claim is a  situation requireing expert and professional guidance. Contact our Asbestos injury lawyers today!

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