Posts Tagged ‘lanier law firm’

The Mesothelioma Treatment Field

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Mesothelioma treatment is a rapidly advancing field.  Improvements and promising steps forward are made on a regular basis, as modern science does its best to catch up with this ravaging cancer.  Despite what appears to be a constant, if gradual and experimental, march of progress, however, there unfortunately remains no cure for mesothelioma.

Of the three primary methods of treatment for most cancers—surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy—none has proven particularly effective.  One of the more effective treatments used by surgeons is a procedure known as a pneumonectomy, which involves intense chemotherapy combined with the removal of a lung.  Although this treatment does not typically result in a cure for the patient, it can extend that patient’s life.

Any extension of a mesothelioma victim’s life can be a pretty big deal, especially since the average life expectancy of someone diagnosed with this cancer is less than two years.  From the onset of symptoms, the disease moves very rapidly.

Mesothelioma, thankfully, is a very rare disease.  Only somewhere between seven and 40 in a 1,000,000 get it in the United States of America, which is a blessedly low rate.  However, this low rate of prevalence is yet another reason why it’s so difficult to treat effectively.  That’s because there is very little comparative data on mesothelioma out there.  There are projects that attempt to compile disease data, like the Cornell University Mesothelioma Program, which works to establish a national registry of all mesothelioma cases, but the sheer lack of victims results in a lack of studies, which, in turn, means fewer big steps forward.

No matter what happens, it might be a good idea to consult with a mesothelioma law firm about securing a mesothelioma settlement.  When looking for one, think about the amount of experience that law firm has when dealing with cases of that nature, along with the track record it’s amounted.  Gathering those two bits of information will help you make a more well-informed decision, because a mesothelioma lawsuit or settlement is not something that can easily be taken lightly.

What Are the Causes of Mesothelioma?

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Causes of mesothelioma are usually pretty well-known among those who spend a significant amount of time dealing with mesothelioma litigation, and to any regular visitor of this blog, or its parent site, the Mesothelioma Help Network, this post likely won’t open any new eyes.  Nevertheless, we like to make sure that new visitors are caught up to speed about what makes this devastating, largely incurable disease strike.

There may be other causes of mesothelioma, but the one it’s most commonly associated with, especially as it pertains to mesothelioma law, is asbestos exposure.  Asbestos exposure was prevalent for centuries because, during that time, it was highly prized for its properties as an insulant and a fire retardant in the shipbuilding and construction industries.  The mineral’s fibrous form also made it much lighter than other alternatives, which was another reason it was so coveted.  However, its lightweight, fibrous nature allowed it to become airborne easily by workers mining for it.  And, once airborne, asbestos is easily inhaled.  It also settles on clothing, which can transport the fibers to a worker’s home, where his family members can inhale them.

Once inhaled, the fibers travel to the mesothelium, which is the lining of the lungs or the stomach.  There, the asbestos fibers cannot be broken down, so they remain, where they often cause the mesothelium cells to divide and subdivide unchecked.  Following a latency period lasting anywhere from 10 to 50 years, the cancer in the mesothelioma starts to rapidly advance, causing shortness of breath and a lingering cough.

Once the symptoms of mesothelioma begin to manifest themselves, the disease advances with what can be alarming rapidity.  The life expectancy of someone diagnosed with this brutal disease is often measured in months, not years.  Sadly, though promising treatments are being developed on a regular basis, there is no cure.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit $14 Million-Plus Award

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Another mesothelioma lawsuit has recently been settled in the plaintiff’s favor.  According to a blog post published today (May 24) on Asbestos.com, a 59-year-old man in the Miami area has been awarded over $14 million because of asbestos exposure he was subjected to while working.  This asbestos exposure later caused the man to develop peritoneal mesothelioma.  (The “peritoneal” element of this particular mesothelioma indicates that this cancer had attacked the lining of his abdomen, not necessarily the pleural lining of his lungs.)

The judgment decided against the defendant, Union Carbide, who was found to be negligent for selling asbestos fibers to companies, such as construction equipment companies, who then used the fibers in the manufacturing of their products.  The man came into contact with these asbestos fiber-laden products in the 1970s, when he worked for his family’s construction company.

Though mesothelioma is an incredibly rare disease, it much more strongly affects those in an certain industries, especially the fields of shipbuilding and construction.  That’s because asbestos used to be a prized ingredient in many of the products used in those areas.  Asbestos uses in these disciplines was varied.  The mineral has excellent insulation and flame-retardant properties, and its light density set it apart from other similar additives.   Unfortunately, when inhaled, it also causes mesothelioma, a grievously lethal disease for which there is no cure.  In addition to workers in the aforementioned industries, the families of those laborers also were at higher risk of coming into contact with asbestos fibers, since they often got trapped in hair and clothing and taken home.

Once inhaled, asbestos fibers can remain relatively harmless in the lungs for anywhere from 10 to 50 years before triggering mesothelioma. Despite such a long latency period, however, once the disease is diagnosed, life it advances rapidly.  The life expectancy of a mesothelioma victim is often measured in months, and as previously mentioned, there is no cure for this devastating disease.

Libby, Montana Asbestos Tragedy

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Asbestos exposure has been a widespread, well-documented, and sadly devastating concern in the isolated mining community of Libby, Montana.  The issue began in 1919, when a vermiculite mine, called the Zonolite Company, opened in the area.  The mine soon grew to become a primary employer in the area, with many of the area’s population employed in the mining of vermiculite, and, in 1963, the mine was purchased by W. R. Grace and Company.  Unfortunately, the vermiculite that was proving to be a boon to the people of Libby also appeared to contain asbestos fibers, which, unbeknownst to the local populace, was causing an abnormally high number of deaths from asbestos-related ailments, including mesothelioma.

Once the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a series of articles (called, collectively, “A Town Left to Die”) linking the unusual number of asbestos-related deaths in the area to the mine formerly run by W. R. Grace and Company, federal investigators stepped in to determine the veracity of some of the claims made.  Their investigation turned up a disheartening result: there was an alarmingly high level of asbestos fibers found in air samples taken from around the area.  The authorities subsequently linked this finding to the asbestos-related illnesses that plagued the town.

Once the connection was made, the wide-ranging nature of Libby’s asbestos problems was made clear.  Nearly 300 deaths in the town and its surrounding are suspected to be related to asbestos.  This figure, already shockingly high, is even more tragic when taken in context of the town’s population of under 3,000.  Subsequent criminal charges were brought against employees of W. R. Grace & Company, all of whom were found not guilty on all counts.

Nothing can undo the disaster that transpired in Libby, Montana, a good mesothelioma lawyer—or, more likely, a  team of them—could theoretically help intercede on their behalf.  Let’s hope that environmental disasters such as this one neither transpire nor go unpunished in the future.