Posts Tagged ‘mesothelioma settlements’

Seeking Legal Help, Part 2 of 2

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

On our blog last week, we looked at why mesothelioma victims sometimes turn to the legal system for help. But many mesothelioma victims are hesitant to take action, because they are unfamiliar with the legal process, and the prospect of dealing with a legal battle may seem insurmountable given their physical condition. In truth, the process is more simple than you may imagine.

First, it is critical to select a lawyer carefully. Be sure that you understand who will actually be handling your case. Sometimes people hire a lawyer, not realizing that their case will be handed off to someone else. Finding this out after the contract is signed can be an unwelcome surprise at a difficult time.

Be sure to inquire into the case history and success record in handling mesothelioma cases. While a great track record does not guarantee success in your case, it does speak to the lawyer’s level of expertise and point to how they have handled similar cases. To better understand the magnitude of some asbestos cases, visit the asbestos lawsuit article.

You’ll also want to consider where your case will be tried. The scope of victims rights to compensation vary from state to state. While some states significantly restrict an injured person’s rights to these claims, other states, such as Texas, are known for speedy and fair trials. Speedy trials are especially important to victims who may have only a few months to live.

Finally, arm yourself with knowledge and support. Provided your health allows, do all the research you can about the causes of mesothelioma, mesotheioma victim’s rights and industries affected by mesothelioma. Research other cases like yours and the results of those trials. Rally your family and friends around you for support. Ask for the help you need (both logistically and emotionally) to take the next step. With the support of family and friends and an excellent lawyer, the resolution of your case may well bring some relief in a very difficult and challenging time. If you want more information about a possible suit or settlement, please fill out our online form.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

September 26th: Mesothelioma Day

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer that afflicts somewhere between 7 and 40 people per 1,000,000 population in the United States.  It is most commonly linked to asbestos exposure.  Despite its lethality (the average life expectancy of someone given a mesothelioma diagnosis is often measured in months, and there is no cure for it), since it’s ultimately an exceedingly uncommon disease, not many people are aware of its particulars.  And that’s if they know of the disease at all.

That’s why the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has designated this upcoming September 26th as Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  According to an article posted on Mesothelioma.com, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has planned for a video and banner display situated at 10 Rockafeller Plaza.  The display is geared towards informing those who see it with important facts related to the disease, and to its primary cause—asbestos exposure.  (According to the article, asbestos exposure is the cause of 77% of all mesothelioma cases.)

Unfortunately and all too often, those who possess an awareness of mesothelioma are tragically afflicted by it, or know someone who is.  If you or someone you care about is currently struggling with this ravaging, rapidly advancing disease, you might want to consider contacting a law firm that is experienced in handling mesothelioma settlements.  Such a mesothelioma law firm might be able to secure financial compensation, depending on the particulars of the case in question, which might be able to go some ways toward helping defray the costs of treating this disease.

While mesothelioma, unfortunately, has no cure, there are treatments out there that may help extend the life expectancy of its victims, or the quality of life of people suffering from it.  Awareness about it—about its causes, manifestations, symptoms, and what to do about it all—might go some distance toward helping the safety of those at risk to contract it.

Asbestos Updates In Africa

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Use of asbestos in building materials such as roof sheet is banned in many countries, but this is frequently not enforced. However, according to a new report from AllAfrica Global Media, the government in Rwanda is making progressive steps forward. Their goal is to remove the mineral from the nation entirely.  These plans to safely banish asbestos could make Rwanda the first African nation to use no materials containing asbestos whatsoever.

Unfortunately, not every country intends to follow in Rwanda’s footsteps in eliminating asbestos, the dangerous cause of life-threatening illnesses like mesothelioma. In Ghana, construction of houses continues to involve the use of roof sheet containing asbestos. When asbestos is handled incorrectly or when its dust particles are accidentally inhaled, it sets the stage for mesothelioma and other deadly diseases, such as lung cancer.

A major issue with the roof sheet in Ghana is that rainfall actually washes the asbestos dust off the roofs and flows into major waterways. This water is then sourced for food preparation, introducing asbestos to the human population. Additionally, when roof sheet becomes old and cracks, previously dormant particles are disrupted and  released.

The chances of acquiring mesothelioma from asbestos exposure increase with length of exposure over extended periods of time. This means it is especially harmful to those individuals in the building construction industry.  Emmanuel Salu, a director of the Environmental Protection Agency in Ghana, recommends individuals contact a licensed asbestos inspection agency in the event that cracked, chipping or otherwise disturbed roof sheet is detected in the home or workplace.

Nations like Rwanda are setting an example for the rest of the world. Meanwhile, there is a worldwide trend toward increasing diagnosis of mesothelioma and other life-threatening illnesses caused by the various uses of asbestos. Advocating for government-enforced nationwide bans of the mineral is a proactive way to turn this trend around.

If you or someone you care about has been adversely affected by asbestos exposure, you might consider reaching out to a mesothelioma lawyer. Look for one with strong experience and a record of success in mesothelioma litigation, and feel free to simply ask for more information.

Asbestos Claims: GM Possibly Facing Billions

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Asbestos claims might reach billions of dollars for creditors of the GM bankruptcy estate, according to an article published on Bloomberg Businessweek (see “GM’s Estate May Face Billions in Asbestos Claims” for the original article.)  They were granted permission from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber to seek data from other parties to roughly determine the cost of such claims.

The plan formulated by Motors Liquidation Co., the former portion of General Motors that remains in bankruptcy, involves creating a trust.  This trust will allow Motors Liquidation Co. to leave bankruptcy with some funds earmarked for the payment of future tort claims.  The estate currently faces around $648 million for asbestos liability and might, down the road, face claims for up to 10 times that much.

Much of this asbestos liability comes from GM’s use of asbestos in their brake linings, something they used to do in the past.

Asbestos settlements are commonly reached because a worker has been exposed to asbestos in the past.  Much of this exposure occurs to workers in the shipbuilding and construction industries, both of which (historically) frequently used asbestos for its properties as a flame retardant and insulator.  A worker can inhale asbestos by working directly with it or by repairing something that was originally built or manufactured with the mineral.

The potential issues associated with asbestos exposure can be devastating.  Once inhaled in the lungs, asbestos fibers remain there because they cannot be broken down by the human body.  After a period of latency lasting anywhere from 10 to 50 years, mesothelioma can strike.  This cancer, once its symptoms manifest itself, moves incredibly quickly and is highly deadly: After all, though there are treatments for mesothelioma, there is no cure.  What’s more, the life expectancy of someone diagnosed with this disease is often measured in months.

If you think you may have suffered from asbestos exposure, you may want to consider contacting a mesothelioma law firm with a historical track record of success with settling asbestos claims.

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.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

You don’t typically hear about mesothelioma without hearing something about asbestos or asbestos exposure. The reason for that is because mesothelioma is overwhelmingly caused by asbestos exposure. A rare form of cancer often called “asbestos cancer,” mesothelioma does not have a cure. Once diagnosed, victims usually do not have much time left. Medical bills can pile up, and families can be left devastated.

Mesothelioma affects the pleura membrane surrounding the lungs or the lining of the abdomen, attacking the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. People who worked at jobs where they were exposed to asbestos likely had no idea of the danger they were in at the time. Some industries affected include the construction and ship building industries. Additionally, the family members of workers may have been put at risk for mesothelioma. Workers exposed to asbestos could have tracked the fibers into their homes with their shoes and clothing.

Three seriously medical conditions associated with asbestos include: asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Many mesothelioma victims fail to realize that their former occupation explains their illness because it can take years or even decades after asbestos exposure for the condition to manifest. Victims must fight for their rights. If you or a loved one have mesothelioma, contact an attorney to find out what steps to take next. A good mesothelioma attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve.

To speak with someone further about mesothelioma, call 1-888-370-0121.