Posts Tagged ‘mesothelioma settlement’

Mesothelioma Settlements

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Mesothelioma treatment has shown progress in recent years, including methods that may help extend life expectancy. Although there has been overall improvement in the treatment of mesothelioma, sadly, there is no cure for this devastating disease. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery comprise the most common treatments for mesothelioma. While none of these has resulted in a cure, the most effective treatment for lengthening life expectancy is pneumonectomy. Pneumonectomy involves the removal or a lung or part of a lung along with intensive chemotherapy.

As cancers go, the incidence of mesothelioma is comparatively rare. This fact comes with both benefits and disadvantages. Although this reduces the likelihood of any one individual contracting mesothelioma, the rarity of the disease has also led to fewer research dollars and a generally slow progress towards effective long-term treatment. Many people, however, have found assistance through Mesothelioma settlements.

One key factor in the history of asbestos and mesothelioma settlements is the degree to which major industries knew of the risk to their workers. A study at Harvard University showed that the annual number of mesothelioma cases among males in the U.S. neared its peak in 2000 and was expected to decline to approximately 500 cases per year by the year 2055. The heightened levels of exposure to asbestos in the 1930s through the 1960s coincided with in a spike in mesothelioma many years later. As various industries became aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure, their response to this risk varied. As a result, some industries took the measures needed to protect their workers, while others did not.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you might want to consider talking to a law firm that specializes in mesothelioma to find out whether you are entitled to mesothelioma settlements.  If you have questions, start by taking a look at our Mesothelioma FAQ, or simply contact us by filling out this online form or calling 800-723-3216.

 

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.

 

The Mesothelioma Diagonsis

Friday, April 1st, 2011

mesothelioma diagnosis can be a particularly terrible misfortune for those directly and indirectly affected by this terrible disease.  Obviously, a patient afflicted with mesothelioma may suffer a great deal; additionally, loved ones, relatives, dependents, and friends can also suffer misfortune.  Not only is the disease very often lethal, which means those who rely on a victim of mesothelioma for financial or familial support are left woefully adrift, mesothelioma is also remarkably fast-moving, once its symptoms manifest itself.  Indeed, the life expectancy of someone given a mesothelioma diagnosis is often, if not always, measured in mere months.  That often leaves precious little time for a sufferer of mesothelioma to make necessary arrangements to care for his or her dependents.

On a more direct note, such a short time frame means that the patient with a mesothelioma diagnosis has very little time to get the financial and medical resources needed to mount a fight against this terrible disease.  Because of this, it may be helpful to try to secure a mesothelioma settlement to try to combat this rare but brutal form of cancer.

And yet, despite mesothelioma’s often apparently rapid onset, the noticeable physical manifestations of mesothelioma are often the result of a decades-long period of latency.  Mesothelioma is most often caused by exposure to asbestos in the form of inhalation and ingestion.  This moment, where the patient first encounters asbestos, can happen anywhere from 10 to 50 years prior to the physical manifestation of symptoms.  Asbestos fibers often find their way into the lungs or stomach of the victim-to-be, where they embed themselves in that organ’s pleural lining.

One historically common way for people to come into contact with asbestos occurred when that mineral was used in a commercial capacity, such as in the construction or shipbuilding industries.  Alternately, and perhaps more insidiously, asbestos fibers can settle on the clothing of those handling the minerals.  It can then be transported and, conceivably, be inhaled or ingested by anyone coming in close contact with those clothes.

Pneumonectomy to Chemo Therapy

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

It’s a relatively comforting fact to point out that mesothelioma treatment is progressing, slowly but steadily.  One wishing to make such a case can point to the myriad studies regularly being published pointing toward novel, promising methods in various stages of the research process.  This news is indisputably good.  However, behind this obvious upward trend is a larger, sadder truth regarding mesothelioma treatment.  Which is this: despite all the generally upward-pointing arrows on the trend chart, mesothelioma treatment has not yet gotten over the hump.  There is no cure for this devastating disease.

Current, common methods of cancer treatment revolve around three methods of attack.  These are, in no particular order, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.  These treatments have demonstrated little or limited success as mesothelioma treatments.  Some mesothelioma treatment methods that have been researched recently include combining several of these common treatments in specific ways.  One such example of a combined treatment is referred to as a pneumonectomy.  A pneumonectomy involves a period of intense chemotherapy, combined with the removal of either a portion of or an entire lung.  This mesothelioma treatment has potential to increase the life expectancy of a person afflicted with mesothelioma.  Unfortunately, it does not cure the disease.

There’s a classic, tragic, double-edged sword regarding developing mesothelioma treatments.  Since mesothelioma is so rare (with approximately somewhere between seven and 40 victims per 1,000,000 population in the United States), relatively few people suffer from it.  However, there’s less of an impetus to develop proven methods of treatment for it for that very reason.

If you or someone you know is undergoing mesothelioma treatment due to a contraction caused by asbestos exposure, it could be a good idea to think about contacting a mesothelioma law firm to determine if it’s possible to secure a mesothelioma settlement.  Though a settlement can’t cure anyone of mesothelioma, it has the potential to help with the exorbitant medical costs and hardships associated with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Pneumonectomy and Other Treatments

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Understanding mesothelioma treatment is critical for both those who are currently suffering from mesothelioma as well as for that friend’s loved ones and friends.  Being armed with knowledge is often helpful in trying medical times, so it’s often helpful for a patient to understand what sort of options may be available for him or her.

Mesothelioma treatment is a medical field that is showing progress.  New kinds of treatments are being devised, researched, and tested with some regularity  Oftentimes, these treatments involve combining previously existing methods of combating mesothelioma in new ways.  However, despite the good work being done in research institutions all over, the stark fact remains that there is no cure for mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma treatment, sadly, does not often result in the cancer’s remission.  What’s more, once a patient becomes diagnosed with mesothelioma, their life expectancy is often measured in mere months, not years.

Though many of the standard cancer treatments—including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy—are currently used to treat mesothelioma, none of them has exhibited high effectiveness in turning the tide against this particular form of cancer.  The previously mentioned method of combining existing treatments has resulted in options like a pneumonectomy, which consists of an intensive regimen of chemotherapy in tandem with the partial or total removal of a lung.  Again, however, though this method provides positive results on occasion, and will sometimes extend the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient, the result is rarely a cure.

The silver lining, if it can be called that, is that mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer.  Somewhere between seven and 40 people per 1,000,000 U.S. citizens contract it, which is a rate much lower than for some other, more common forms of cancer.  That means fewer people are likely to suffer from it.  However, that rate isn’t zero, which means it still strikes down people.

If you or someone you know is undergoing mesothelioma treatment, it might be a good idea to consider consulting a law firm with a history of mesothelioma experience to attempt to secure a mesothelioma settlement.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis Help

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

A mesothelioma diagnosis can be devastating, not only for the afflicted patient, but for that person’s friends, family, and dependents.  That’s because mesothelioma, once diagnosed, spreads rapidly, and is very often lethal.  The life expectancy of someone unfortunately given a mesothelioma diagnosis is often measured in months, not years.

Such a brief time period means there isn’t very much time, relative to other diagnoses one might get, to fight the disease, let alone to marshal the finances necessary to do so.  (It’s times like these that securing a mesothelioma settlement can help after receiving the stunning news of a mesothelioma diagnosis.)

Given its rapid advancement after a mesothelioma diagnosis, it might be surprising to learn that the visible symptoms of mesothelioma manifest themselves after decades of dormancy.  That’s right, mesothelioma is the result of a long latency period, during which inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers embed themselves in the pleural lining of the lungs or stomach.

Asbestos fibers, historically, have often been inhaled by workers handling them, or by family members handling that worker’s clothing or living with him or her.  Asbestos is a mineral that has very feathery, fibrous, low-density physical characteristics, so when it’s handled, it’s easy to become airborne, which is when it becomes dangerous.

These characteristics, incidentally, are what made asbestos such a prized mineral in the shipbuilding and construction industries, where it was most often employed for its insulating and fire retardant properties.  Its low density also made it a useful additive in concrete, which lowered transportation and construction costs while simultaneously strengthening the concrete.

Unfortunately, asbestos has subsequently proven that it can be a killer.

If you or someone you love has a mesothelioma diagnosis, it might be in your best interest to consider securing a mesothelioma settlement.  It may help defray the staggering costs associated with such an unfortunate turn of events.

Mesothelioma Prognosis

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Mesothelioma treatment is an area of the medical field that is showing remarkable progress.  New methods of combating this devastating disease are being tested regularly.  Novel combinations of existing treatments are also being researched in an attempt to see what methods work best.  These are good signs, obviously, but they underscore the ultimate, sad truth about mesothelioma.  Despite all of science’s latest improvements, there is, unfortunately, no cure for this cancer.

Traditionally, there are three forms of standard treatment for most  cancers.  They are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.  None of these treatments alone has demonstrated overwhelming effectiveness in combating mesothelioma.  One promising mesothelioma treatment involves surgical removal of a lung or portion of a long to go with a period of aggressive chemotherapy.  This treatment is called a pneumonectomy.  Though a pneumonectomy can increase a mesothelioma victim’s life expectancy, it does not usually cure the victim of the disease.

Fortunately, mesothelioma is not a particularly common cancer.  The typical rate of contraction in the United States hovers somewhere between seven and 40 per 1,000,000 citizens, which is pretty low.  That’s good news, yet it’s a bit of a two-edged sword.  That’s because, research dollars being finite, a rarer cancer is less likely to draw the kind of research budget that a more common one will bring in.  That translates to a potentially slower rate of progress than commonly found with other cancers.

Another issue with rarity is that there are fewer cases to compare.  That means less comparative research can be conducted.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with this disease and is undergoing mesothelioma treatment, it might be worth considering consulting a mesothelioma law firm to try to secure some sort of mesothelioma settlement.  When considering mesothelioma law firms, it might be a good idea to opt for one that has significant amounts of experience in the field, as they might be more well-equipped to secure your settlement.

Mesothelioma Awareness: Shine a Light Campaign

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Mesothelioma, despite its reputation as a killer, doesn’t receive as much attention as other cancers.  A lot of that has to do with its comparative rarity: In the United States, for example, between seven and 40 people per 1,000,000 population contract the disease.  That’s a rate lower than many other more well-known cancers.  Unfortunately, mesothelioma also has a lower rate of survival than many of those aforementioned diseases.  Thus, it may warrant more attention than it currently gets, if only to raise awareness about how it’s contracted.

According to a recent blog post we came across on the Mesothelioma Resource Center, the Lung Cancer Alliance has put together an event designed to raise awareness about malignant mesothelioma.  The event, called Shine a Light, is an annual vigil conceived to highlight many of the dangers of lung cancer.  Malignant mesothelioma falls into the category of “dangerous lung cancer.”

Earlier, we mentioned raising awareness about how mesothelioma is contracted.  One answer to that is that mesothelioma is often the result of asbestos exposure.  The history of asbestos and its relationship with humans a long one.  Societies from the ancient Greeks all the way up to recent times employed asbestos in a variety of ways.

The uses of asbestos in this century was predominantly centered around the shipbuilding and construction industries.  That’s because asbestos, as a mineral, has excellent fire-retardant and insulation capabilities.  It could be mixed with concrete to increase the strength and lessen the density of the construction material, which lowered construction and transportation costs.  It could also be used as a lightweight insulation material on pipes and around boilers in ships, vessels where weight comes at a very high premium indeed.

Unfortunately, asbestos, when inhaled, can eventually lead to mesothelioma or asbestosis, both of which are devastating diseases.  In addition, mesothelioma has no known cure.

Mesothelioma Victims’ Rights

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Since there’s so much at stake when one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, understanding mesothelioma victims’ rights can be an important part of dealing with the issue with dignity, understanding, and respect.

We often talk about the grievous physical damage mesothelioma inflicts on its victims because that’s the most visible aspect of the devastation it wreaks.  There are good reasons for that visibility.  First, mesothelioma attacks the body in a particularly cruel fashion, lying dormant for years or even decades before snapping out of its latency period and advancing with terrifying rapidity.  Along with that fearsome onset, there is no known cure for the disease, even though there are several treatments that might look promising out there.  After it’s detected, mesothelioma moves quickly, and the life expectancies of its victims are often measured in months, not years.

What’s talked about less often is the economic aspect of being diagnosed with this savage cancer.  Due to the quickly damaging impact mesothelioma has on the body, it often puts workers out of commission at the exact time money is most urgently needed.  Experimental treatments and expensive, exhaustive traditional ones can cost incredible amounts of money, financial burdens that are often compounded by the fact that many victims are already retired or might not have adequate (or any) health insurance.

When faced with all these unforeseen calamities all at once, it can be tough to face up to all of it.  A mesothelioma law firm might be just the help that victims need, especially if they’re qualified and experienced with similar cases.  The right law firm might be able to provide you with valuable information for securing a favorable mesothelioma settlement in less time than might be possible otherwise, which is an important consideration, especially when taking the brief average life expectancy of mesothelioma victims into account.

Mesothelioma Cases in Italy Ruled “Negligent Homicide”

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Here’s an intriguing bit of news on the mesothelioma law front: three former executives of the massive, Trieste, Italy-based shipbuilding company Fincantieri have been convicted of “negligent homicide” in light of the fact that 37 employees died due to asbestos exposure.

According to an article posted on the Canadian news source site The Province, the three executives were jailed and given sentences ranging from three to 7 1/2 years.  A sum that was either undisclosed or not specifically reported by The Province, but was nevertheless noted to be in the millions of dollars, was also part of the damages secured.

The decision against the Fincantieri executives stems from the apparent fact that the shipbuilding company continued to use asbestos in the construction of its ships until 1999.  For a little perspective, Italy outlawed the use of asbestos as a construction material back in 1996.  The three years of oversight was enough for the court to find the former executives guilty.

Asbestos, a fibrous material used for its valuable insulation properties, was an integral element in the shipbuilding industry for many years.  Some of the many uses of asbestos in the field were the insulation of pipes, gaskets, boilers, and engines.  Unfortunately, asbestos also causes devastating lung diseases, among them mesothelioma, an insidious cancer that has no known cure.

It sounds like the plaintiffs in this case got what appears to be a pretty aggressive and savvy law firm working for them.  That’s good to hear.  Though a successful mesothelioma settlement can’t undo the ravages that this disease causes on a victim’s lungs, it can help mitigate the medical expenses left behind for the bereaved to deal with.  That can be useful, considering the massive and rapidly accruing expenses often associated with experimental treatments and quickly advancing diseases.

And, like the conviction of the former executives of Fincantieri might indicate, these settlements are also capable of achieving another purpose: justice.