If you, or a loved one, has developed mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos, you may be considering filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which affects the mesothelium, a protective layer of tissue surrounding such important organs as the heart, lungs, and stomach.
Those who develop the disease have been exposed to asbestos, often while performing their job. The disease often does not exhibit symptoms for a long period of time—up to 50 years in some cases—which makes it hard to diagnose in the earlier stages. Another unfortunate hallmark of the disease is that mesothelioma does not respond well to traditional cancer treatment methods.
Many military veterans have been exposed to Asbestos and have developed Mesothelioma.
Read more in the book “100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma“
Mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed in men between the ages of 60 to 70, due to the high rate of asbestos exposure in traditionally male-dominated fields such as construction, plumbing, shipbuilding, mining, milling and manufacturing. The average mesothelioma patient dies within six to eighteen months of diagnosis, often gasping for breath and experiencing extreme pain.
Others who may develop mesothelioma include the children and spouses of workers who were exposed on the job, because affected workers often carried asbestos fibers and dust in their hair, on their skin, and on their clothes.
There are several symptoms of Mesothelioma.
Asbestos Exposure and Litigation
The hazards of asbestos to human health have been known for decades, but often the companies which made and used asbestos-containing products conspired to keep their workers in the dark. Adequate protective gear was not provided. The key to winning a mesothelioma lawsuit is in proving that although the defendant companies knew they were putting workers and their families at risk, they did nothing to mitigate this risk.
The long latency period of mesothelioma, as well as the ubiquity of asbestos-containing products, can make establishing liability very difficult. In many asbestos-related lawsuits, there are dozens of defendants, since it is nearly impossible to prove that any one of them manufactured, or did not manufacture, the product which may have been responsible for giving off the asbestos fibers that led to the disease. The complicated nature of most mesothelioma lawsuits will necessitate the services of an experienced attorney.
There are many law firms and lawyers which specialize in fighting these kinds of cases, or which have a dedicated staff and extensive resources. Mesothelioma lawsuits can drag on for years, and can be emotionally draining for the plaintiff and his or her family.
A mesothelioma lawsuit can usually be filed within two years of diagnosis, although the time limit can vary by state. A suit can be filed on your behalf, if you were the injured party. On the other hand, if a loved one died from mesothelioma, the executor of the estate of the deceased or a family member can file it. A lawsuit can be filed not only by someone who obtained the disease because of years of exposure to asbestos, but also by someone who obtained the disease through contact with an affected person.
A mesothelioma lawsuit can be a way for victims of asbestos disease to recover monies for pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of consortium (marital companionship) and medical expenses. A jury may also award punitive damages.
Most mesothelioma cases are appealed by the defendants, especially if a multi-million dollar verdict was handed down. You attorney will explain all of the potential outcomes of your case to you, and will make sure that you understand the possibilities before you begin the process of bringing suit.