Posts Tagged ‘mesothelioma lawsuit’

Breakthrough Mesothelioma Case

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

On February 13, 2012, the Italian court announced a verdict that may have an impact on people and families around the world who are dealing with mesothelioma. Billionaires Stephan Schidheiny and Jean-Louis de Cartier, key shareholders in the company Eternit, a producer of fiber-reinforced cement, were each sentenced to sixteen years in prison for the failure to comply with safety regulations in their factories’ uses of asbestos. This class action law suit is being touted as the most significant suit yet, because criminal charges were actually placed on the owners who benefited from the profits of the negligent factories.

Invented in the late 19th century, fiber-reinforced cement products, generally containing a mixture of cement and asbestos, has been favored in construction for it’s relatively light weight along with its resistance to fire and water. Production of this material has reduced significantly since the public has been aware of the risks of exposure to friable asbestos.

Prosecutors in the Eternit case claimed that at least 1,800 people died as a result of asbestos-related diseases in the town of Casale Monferrato, where the largest of the company’s factories was located. According to some reports, the company conducted its asbestos disposal in the open, releasing clouds of friable asbestos into the air to settle and collect on the town’s streets. They also gave left-over asbestos to families to use at home. When evidence of the dangers of asbestos began to surface, the company apparently concealed it and continued harmful practices, intending to protect the company profits.

In addition to facing criminal charges, Schidheiny and de Cartier were ordered to pay €95 million (about $126 million US dollars) to families of the victims, as well as large sums to other entities and organizations, including trade unions and the town of Casale. This is a clear victory for asbestos awareness groups and advocates of mesothelioma victim’s rights.

One of the biggest challenges facing groups dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos is the inconsistency among trading nations in their asbestos laws and regulations. Many workers rights groups, environmental advocates, and asbestos awareness groups are hoping this case will have positive global impact on this issue.

 

Diagnosed with Mesothelioma?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have gone to the doctor because of troubling or persistant symptoms. If the doctor suspects that a patient has mesothelioma, he or she will use certain tests to determine with certainty whether mesothelioma is actually present.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can easily be mistaken for symptoms of other illnesses, especially early on. As a result, many people are not diagnosed until symptoms have persisted for several months or have gotten noticeably worse. Symptoms of mesothelioma depend on the type of mesothelioma and vary from individual to individual. According to current medical knowledge, peritoneal mesothelioma, which takes place in the lining of the abdominal cavity, may include swelling and or pain in the abdomen, weight loss, vomiting and nausea. Pleural mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the lungs, on the other hand, is more likely to cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever, sweating, isolated pain, muscle weakness, persistant cough, and fatigue. These symptoms may not all present at the same time, and are much more likely to the result of other problems. Only a series of exams can allow a doctor to determine the presence of mesothelioma.

In addition to a physical exam, your doctor may want to conduct one or more other tests. Imaging tests, such as tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), make it possible to look inside the body and identify cancerous masses. Blood tests can identify if certain substances are at characteristically elevated levels. Buildup of fluid in certain areas of the body can also be an indicator of mesothlioma. Removing and testing the fluid can show the presence of cancer cells. Finally, biopsies can also reveal the presence of mesothelioma. After a diagnosis is made and the extent of the disease is established, a course of mesothelioma treatment and mesothelioma therapy will be recommended.

 

File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Mesothelioma is a very challenging disease. Not only does the disease cause pain and suffering, it also can leave families in financial stress. By the time most people who have mesothelioma are diagnosed, the large majority is either retired or unable to work due to symptoms of the disease. Many mesothelioma victims are therefore left dealing with a lack of income combined with high medical bills, and many face the additional challenge of having no health insurance. As a result, many victims of mesothelioma seek legal settlements to take care of these expenses.

When considering pressing a legal suit against a company that made or handled asbestos products unsafely, many people question their right to legal compensation. Public knowledge of the dangers of asbestos has existed for hundreds of years, becoming very well publicized in the US in the 1920’s and 30’s. Unfortunately, the industries affected by mesothelioma include many companies who chose not to protect their workers, despite these risks. As a result, in many cases, mesothelioma victim’s rights also include legal compensation.

Many mesothelioma victims have never engaged in a legal suit. When seeking legal assistance, there are a few guidelines that will help greatly. When selecting a lawyer, make sure that the lawyer you are talking to will be the one handling your case, and not handing your case off to someone else. Be sure to check the lawyer’s track record with similar mesothelioma cases to confirm that they are consistently successful with this type of case. Also, the location in which you file your case can make a difference in the result. While some state laws are generally supportive of victims’ rights to compensation, others can be very restrictive.

A concern for many families when considering a law suit is whether they can handles the physical stress of legal appointments and court appearances. Fortunately, most lawyers who are experienced in these types of cases are very sensitive to the needs of victims and their families, and do their best to handle most things by phone. For more information about your legal rights, please contact us at 1-888-370-0121, or complete our online form.

 

The Largest Asbestos Settlement Ever

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

In a recent landmark decision, a Mississippi jury awarded the highest-ever settlement in the history of asbestos related injury cases and mesothelioma settlements. Thomas Brown, Jr., a 48-year-old oil field worker, was awarded $322 million for suffering, expenses and punitive damages. The defendants in the case, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Union Carbide Corporation, allegedly continued putting workers at risk even after the dangers of asbestos exposure were well known.

Brown, working in the oil fields for several years in the 1970’s and 80’s, claims he inhaled asbestos dust on a regular basis when mixing drilling mud that was sold by Chevron Phillips Chemical and manufactured by Union Carbide. He has since developed a serious condition known as asbestosis, a disease that causes lung scarring and may become worse with time. Brown requires oxygen 24 hours a day, limiting his mobility and ability to work. Apparently at issue was Brown’s inability to read the warning labels and signs posted by the company. The companies’ spokespeople vehemently denied the claims and stated that there were plans for an appeal.

Regardless of the eventual outcome of this particular case, the large settlement may send a strong message to companies who are not keenly focused on the health and safety of workers. Prior to this case, the largest settlement, in an amount over $200 million, resulted from a class-action suit that took place in Illinois. The next highest settlement occurred in March of this year, when $90 million was awarded to Charles Gillenwater. Since the first asbestos-related injury case in 1929, hundreds of thousands of people have filed lawsuits against thousands of defendants. But this is the largest known settlement to date.  For more information about victim’s rights, visit our page on mesothelioma victim’s rights.

According to the EPA, exposure to asbestos can be a cause of mesothelioma or lead to other cancers or asbestosis, as in Brown’s case. Exposure to asbestos can be particularly dangerous because of the long latency period of the diseases associated with asbestos exposure. A worker may expose themselves repeatedly for years before any symptoms arise. Once symptoms do arise, for many people the diagnosis is unfortunately terminal. Our mesothelioma articles provide useful information to anyone interested in finding out more about mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases.

 

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.

Secondary Asbestos Exposure Decision

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Mesothelioma lawsuits have traditionally been high-stakes, but the outcome of a recent trial in California might be uncharted territory, as far as payout size is concerned.

According to an article found on the Surviving Mesothelioma site, jurors in a recent case involving a woman who allegedly contracted mesothelioma by washing her husband’s asbestos-tainted clothing ruled in her favor, awarding her $208.8 million in total damages.  Of that total, $8.8 million was compensatory, while $200 million was punitive.

The article states that Bobby Evans, a worker for the L.A. Department of Water and Power from 1974 to 1998, had to, among other things, had to cut asbestos cement pipes as part of his job’s duties.  These pipes, manufactured by CertainTeed Corporation, released asbestos fibers into the air when cut.  These fibers then settled into his clothing, which were then apparently released into the air when his wife, Rhoda, washed them.

Unfortunately, there is nothing new about this claim.  Many industries, but primarily the shipbuilding and construction ones, historically used asbestos as an insulator and a fire retardant.  It did both jobs well, and was a remarkably light material to boot, so it was highly prized.  Unfortunately, it also causes devastating lung diseases, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other debilitating cancers.  It decimated workers in those very industries that used it most.

What’s more, the lightweight fibers did have a tendency to get stuck in clothing and hair, which could then be disturbed in workers’ households and inhaled by his family.  Hence the very real possibility that this is indeed what happened to Rhoda Evans.

Though $208.8 million seems like a staggering payday, there’s a good chance that the final amount will be lowered in an appeal.  What’s more, mesothelioma is an absolutely ravaging disease, one that, as of now, has no apparent cure.  Despite constant improvements in mesothelioma treatment, the life expectancy of a victim is often measured in months, not years.

Should I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

A frequently asked question we see is, Why should I file a mesothelioma lawsuit? Many victims of mesothelioma don’t realize that their illness is likely due to the negligence of others. For that reason, victims would deserve to be compensated. An experienced, qualified mesothelioma attorney can help you decide the best course of action.

Companies that made and sold asbestos products knew of the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1890s, yet they continued to place a higher value on profits than human life. Asbestos companies knew that asbestos was a deadly poison, but because so many workers were exposed to it, these workers may have developed — or will develop — mesothelioma. There is no cure for mesothelioma.

One reason people don’t file a mesothelioma lawsuit is that they don’t think they’d be able to afford an attorney. This is not necessarily true. Most mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that any money they receive has to come from the mesothelioma settlement or verdict obtained in the case. So the person who files a mesothelioma lawsuit does not ever have to actually pay for the legal bills with their own funds. Typically, the standard fee for mesothelioma cases is about 40 percent of the total amount recovered. While it’s possible to find an attorney who charges less, remember that the saying: “You get what you pay for.”

Another reason that keeps a lot of mesothelioma victims from filing lawsuits is that they assume they’ll have to be in court all the time. Luckily, this isn’t true — most matters today can be handled over the phone and through the mail. A good mesothelioma attorney will make the process as painless as possible and will do his best not to intrude on victims’ lives unless it is absolutely necessary. This way, mesothelioma victims can focus on their family and health.

If you have questions about why you should file a mesothelioma lawsuit, don’t hesitate to contact a resource person at 1-888-370-0121 for more information.

Getting Help for Mesothelioma

Friday, June 26th, 2009

If you or a loved one have Mesothelioma, it’s important to get help. Getting help from a doctor as well as a lawyer is essential.

There is currently no cure for Mesothelioma, which is often also called “Asbestos cancer.” Mesothelioma causes pain and suffering, and those who suffer from it may be entitled to compensation. On top of the physical effects of Mesothelioma, victims must also deal with the economic hardship that comes along with it — and, in many cases, their families must also deal with this. The staggering medical bills are yet another thing to worry about, and some victims may not ever have health insurance. In order to pay for medical expenses and ensure their families are taken care of, many Mesothelioma victims must turn to the court system.

For Mesothelioma victims who have no experience being involved in a lawsuit, the whole process can feel overwhelming. But know that selecting a lawyer to handle your case is extremely important, and it is a necessary step to take in order to seek the compensation you deserve for your suffering and pain. When getting help from a Mesothelioma lawyer, seek a lawyer who has experience handling similar cases. Before you make your final decision on a lawyer, be sure to find out who exactly will be handling your case, as all too often, the lawyer you initially talk to about your case may not wind up being the person who represents you — another lawyer in the office might handle it instead.

You definitely want to ask these important questions when you’re looking to hire a Mesothelioma lawyer. Also, you want to ask what their record is when it comes to trying and settling asbestos cases. Even though past case results don’t guarantee how your case will turn out, this information can still be valuable. Another thing to consider is the location, as many states have laws that can be extremely restrictive of an injured person’s right to compensation. Texas is a state that’s known for its fairness when it comes to asbestos victims.

If you have questions about Mesothelioma and getting help for it, don’t hesitate to call 1-888-370-0121 for more information.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

A Mesothelioma diagnosis is made by a doctor. Mesothelioma symptoms can vary depending on the person affected and how severe the illness is. Symptoms can include having a hard time breathing and/or swallowing, a loss of appetite and chest pain, for example. If you believe you have Mesothelioma or if you were exposed to asbestos, it may be ideal to visit a doctor.

How a Mesothelioma Diagnosis is Determined

There are several methods doctors will use to make a Mesothelioma diagnosis. A physical exam is usually the first step, and the doctor will want to ask questions regarding your medical and family history. MRIs and CT Scans may be used, as they can possibly show the fluid collection between the lung and chest wall that sometimes appears as a result of Mesothelioma, thus giving the indication that a person has it. A tissue biopsy can also be used for a Mesothelioma diagnosis.

These are merely examples — you will want to ask your doctor how your Mesothelioma diagnosis was made. You may also want to ask your doctor about how accurate the method of making your diagnosis was, and if it wasn’t thought to be highly accurate, if there’s another type of test you could undergo. If you aren’t happy with your doctor’s response, you may consider getting a second opinion.

Treatment After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, you were likely referred to an oncologist or Mesothelioma specialist doctor for treatment. Though there is no proven cure for Mesothelioma, treatment is available. Around the country, doctors are experimenting with different kinds of treatments, one of them being pneumonectomy. This involves the surgical removal of a lung as well as intensive chemotherapy. This treatment might extend the life of a person who has Mesothelioma.

Long-term survival of Mesothelioma is very rare, and victims have a life expectancy of less than two years from the onset of symptoms. Sadly, it’s not unusual for a person to die just months after a Mesothelioma diagnosis.

If you would like more information about Mesothelioma diagnosis and treatments, call 1-888-370-0121 to speak to a resource person.

Mesothelioma Lawyers

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Mesothelioma lawyers play an essential role in getting asbestos exposure victims the compensation they deserve. Asbestos was used for many years in thousands of products like floor tiles, appliances and industrial insulation. It’s a mineral that, when disturbed, releases tiny, nearly invisible fibers that travel deep into the lungs when they’re inhaled. Once asbestos is inhaled, it causes scarring, called ASBESTOSIS. Asbestos fibers can cause Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that goes after the lining of many organs in the body and areas in the body like the lungs and abdomen. Mesothelioma has no cure.

Those who are suffering from Mesothelioma, or those who have loved ones suffering from it, should get help by speaking with Mesothelioma lawyers. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.

Mesothelioma Lawyers Help With Settlements

When a Mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, it is possible for there to be a settlement before the case goes to trial. A good Mesothelioma lawyer is key to the negotiation process here, as the lawyer will be communicating with the defendants and will be working towards getting  you as much compensation as possible. Though it may feel overwhelming and stressful to deal with Mesothelioma, keep in mind that by taking the time to contact a lawyer as soon as possible, you may eventually receive compensation should your case go to trial or should a settlement be reached.

Hiring Mesothelioma Lawyers

Hiring Mesothelioma lawyers should involve a few things. First, you’ll want to make sure the Mesothelioma lawyer has a proven record of fighting aggressively for their clients. A good Mesothelioma lawyer should be familiar with settling and negotiating for a Mesothelioma settlement. Ask the Mesothelioma lawyer how many cases he or she has worked on, and of those, what the outcomes were. What’s more is that finding an experienced Mesothelioma lawyer may mean that should you be looking for the information, he or she can offer recommendations in regards to excellent doctors and specialists in the area.

Would you like more information about Mesothelioma? Continue browsing this site or call 1-888-370-0121 to speak with a Mesothelioma resource professional.