Mesothelioma: Harmful Exposure to Asbestos Leads to Lawsuits

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a tumor of the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs. It is the most serious asbestos-related disease. There is no current cure for mesothelioma, however treatments like surgery or chemotherapy can improve the chances of survival.

There are three major types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural mesothelioma: affecting the lung’s protective lining in the chest cavity
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma: affects the abdominal cavity
  • Pericardial mesothelioma: affects the cardiac cavity

 How does Asbestos Cause Cancer?

Mesothelioma typically develops after exposure to asbestos in the workplace. Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that are naturally in  the environment as bundles of fibers. If someone works in industrial settings like shipyards, auto repair shops, old houses, or public buildings, they are at risk of exposure.

While mesothelioma tends to develop 10 to 40 years after exposure, there are some short term exposures. Microscopic fibers are breathed in or swallowed, and our bodies has trouble destroying them. Over decades, these fibers cause biological changes including inflammation and genetic damage.

The symptoms for mesothelioma are:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Fluid buildup
  • Pain near tumor
  • Bowel obstruction

 Mesothelioma Lawsuit & Settlements

In terms of the statutes of limitations, state laws usually give people one to five years from the diagnosis or discovery of mesothelioma to file a lawsuit. Regardless of the limitation, it is crucial to act promptly. In some states like California and Louisana, the statue of limitations is only a year from diagnosis.

If a mesothelioma victim has already passed away, his or her spouse usually has one to three years from the time of death to file a wrongful death action, which can result in money damages. The options for victims is to file a lawsuit against the company believed to be responsible for the exposure. Asbestos-related diseases are 100% preventable. There could be liability issues if an asbestos mining company or employees failed to inform workers about the potential exposure.

Most asbestos lawsuits are settled out of court, or before trial. The settlements for these types of lawsuits can range from moderate to large sums of money. In addition, the outcome of the lawsuits can differ because each case varies. Some victorious verdicts for mesothelioma victims have been Alfred Todak, with a verdict of $337 million and Susan Buttitta, who won $30.3 million in damages.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. 

Contact us today at 1-800-214-1010.

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Sources: Mayo Clinic

Mesothelioma claims and settlements page update on April 22, 2015