Important Facts About Mesothelioma
According to experts, doctors diagnose approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma annually in the United States. The vast majority of these cases are linked to job-related exposure to asbestos. And although asbestos cases have been dropping in recent decades, this cancer can take from 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure for symptoms to appear people. For this reason, people are still being diagnosed with at a steady rate. Unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma. However, researchers have made significant progress in understanding this cancer and developing new treatment options for patients that are currently being diagnosed. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, you need to see a doctor for diagnosis and care.
What Actually Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma usually develops after a person is exposed to asbestos. As mentioned above, most of these cases occur in the workplace in industrial settings like shipyards, schools, old houses, public buildings, and auto repair shops. Additionally, this form of cancer usually a long period of exposure to put someone at risk. However, short-term and one-time exposures have also been known to cause this form of cancer.
How Does Asbestos Cause Damage?
Asbestos typically causes health complications when workers disturb asbestos-containing materials in walls or by releasing the fibers into the air. When the worker inhales or swallows these microscopic fibers, the body naturally struggles to get rid of them. Over decades, the fibers become trapped and trigger biological changes in the body. Usually, these changes can cause inflammation, genetic damage, scarring, and cancer.
Microscopic asbestos fibers most often collect in the lining of the lungs. But, they also can accumulate in the lining of the heart or the abdominal cavity. The bad news is, once fibers cause biological damage, the latency period begins and decades later, the person usually develops Mesothelioma.
Research On Mesothelioma
In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) presented full research that confirmed in no uncertain terms that asbestos exposure was the leading cause for mesothelioma. They also showed that all forms of asbestos cause the disease. Then, in early 2011, the IARC presented evidence of a direct link between asbestos and cancer. The IARC further explained that scientific evidence of this specific link has only been strengthened over time.
Additional Factors That Can Increase Mesothelioma Risk
Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause for mesothelioma. However, other factors can play a role in the development and speed at which this cancer progresses. Some of these risk factors include:
- Working at an asbestos processing plant or an asbestos mine.
- Working in high-risk occupational settings like construction or automotive industries.
- Serving on military ships or facilities built with materials that contain asbestos.
- Living in residential areas near asbestos mines.
- Disturbing asbestos fibers during a home renovation.
- Exposure to mineral fibers like zeolites. These fibers are chemically similar to asbestos, and may also increase the risk for mesothelioma.
- Exposure to radiation.
- Use of Polio Vaccines and Simian Virus 40P between 1955 and 1963.
- Age and Gender. Mesothelioma is more commonly diagnosed in men than women and usually does not affect people younger than age 45.
Is Use Of Tobacco Products A Risk Factor?
The answer to this is no. In fact, studies have shown that smoking or use of tobacco products may cause other forms of cancer but are not a risk factor for mesothelioma. However, it is important to note that people who smoke and have exposure to asbestos are as much as 90 percent more likely to develop lung cancer. Researchers also determined that smoking can weaken the lungs and reduce the body’s ability to naturally remove asbestos fibers that have become trapped inside. Smoking can also aggravate asbestosis, an incurable breathing disorder that is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Where Does Asbestos Usually Come From?
Most of us have heard of asbestos, but many of us know very little about where it comes from and where it usually lurks. Experts say that asbestos was once used in millions of U.S. homes and businesses as insulation and heat-protecting products. After the construction boom following World War II, drywall, wiring, glues, adhesives, ceiling tiles, cement, and shingles were all constructed with asbestos as a main component. This means that hundreds of thousands of homes built during that period may still contain this dangerous product. Many of the asbestos products in old structures and are usually harmless. The trouble only occurs when these products are disturbed through renovation or destruction of a home. Other exposure generally occurred in mines, processing plants, and shipyards.
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Lawsuit Filed in New Orleans Federal Court over Asbestos Death
The wife of a man who purportedly died from considerable exposure to asbestos has filed a lawsuit in New Orleans federal court against five companies for their alleged failure to warn her husband of the hazards associated with the product. 72-year-old Joseph Frazier died from mesothelioma in 2004 after more than 50 years of exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products at work sites in a variety of states. Earlier this month, his wife filed suit against Certainteed Corp., Owens-Illinois Inc., Crown Cork & Seal Company Inc., Georgia-Pacific Corp., and Crane Co. as the personal representative of his death beneficiaries.
The lawsuit claims Frazier was exposed to asbestos while employed by the United States Army, Illinois Fibre Specialty Co., Illinois Roofing & Insulation, Midwest Industrial Siding Inc., Wynwood Builders Inc., L&S Roofing & Insulation, Abbey Home & Builders, Welso Construction Co., and JD Frazier Building Co. The five companies listed in the complaint are the successors to Frazier’s previous employers. Frazier’s wife has accused the companies of negligence and stated they should be held strictly liable for a failure to warn Frazier of the dangers related to asbestos exposure, failure to place sufficient warnings on products which contain asbestos, failure to provide Frazier with the proper safety equipment, failure to implement and follow a safety plan, and failure to remove products which contain asbestos from the marketplace.
Frazier’s widow has asked the New Orleans court to award damages for her own metal anguish and her husband’s mental anguish, conscious suffering and pain, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and medical expenditures. She has also asked for an award of punitive damages, court costs, and interest. Interestingly, this case was initially filed in Mississippi and dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The case was later filed in both Alabama and Louisiana. Frazier’s widow has requested a jury trial in Louisiana and stated she will ask that the case in Alabama be dismissed.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer. It has been linked to exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Mesothelioma often occurs in construction workers, shipyard workers, miners, and those employed in industries where asbestos was commonly used. Because symptoms may not appear for many years after exposure, it can be difficult for mesothelioma victims to determine exactly when they were exposed to asbestos. The medical costs associated with mesothelioma treatment are generally quite high. An individual suffering from mesothelioma may be eligible for compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and relatives may be eligible for death benefits. If you have questions about your mesothelioma diagnosis, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assist you with evaluating the facts of your case.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in representing mesothelioma patients. J. Price McNamara is a skilled New Orleans mesothelioma lawyer. He represents clients throughout Louisiana including Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mandeville, Metairie, and Lafayette. If you would like assistance with filing your personal injury claim, call J. Price McNamara today at (866) 248-0580. You may also contact him through his website.
Three New Mesothelioma Lawsuits Recently Filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court
Rivera seeks compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, disability, and other damages. Three new asbestos lawsuits were recently filed in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. After being diagnosed with mesothelioma in October, Juan Rivera filed a lawsuit against Avondale Industries, Inc. for exposure to asbestos between 1966 and 1974 during the course of his employment with the company. Avondale Industries is accused of reckless and willful negligence and failure to provide a safe working environment. Rivera also named 32 additional defendants who purportedly sold, manufactured or distributed the asbestos to which he was exposed. Rivera claims all of the named defendants were negligent in their handling of asbestos which resulted in his exposure and subsequent cancer. Rivera also alleges the defendants failed to warn him, failed to adequately inspect and test asbestos products, failed to report the results of medical product tests truthfully, and failed to package the products appropriately.
Rivera seeks compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, disability, and other damages. After a recent mesothelioma diagnosis, a second plaintiff, Roger Klibert, filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court against most of his former employers dating all of the way back to 1946. Klibert is seeking damages from Avondale Shipyard, Shell Oil Company, DuPont, American Oil, and several asbestos manufacturers and distributors for negligently or intentionally exposing him to asbestos. He has also accused the defendants of concealing the dangers of handling asbestos from him. Klibert has asked the court to award monetary damages for physical and mental pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, and other costs.
On December 8th, Harold Guarino also filed suit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court against Avondale Shipyards and several other defendants who manufactured or sold asbestos products. Guarino claims he developed mesothelioma as a result of negligence on the part of defendants during the course of his employment more than 30 years ago. He alleges his cancer resulted from breathing asbestos fibers in the air after defendants failed to provide proper safeguards and acted with indifference to his welfare and safety. Guarino is seeking compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer believed to be caused by exposure to asbestos. It frequently occurs in shipyard or construction workers, miners, and employees in other industries where asbestos was commonly used. Due to the time it takes for exposure to result in symptoms and a diagnosis, it is often difficult for mesothelioma victims to determine exactly when they were exposed to asbestos. The costs associated with mesothelioma treatment are often quite high. A mesothelioma victim may be eligible for compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and his or her family may be eligible for death benefits. A personal injury attorney with experience representing mesothelioma patients can assist you with evaluating the facts of your case.
If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, a qualified personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. J. Price McNamara, a Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer, represents clients throughout Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, Metairie, New Orleans, Lafayette, and Mandeville. To speak with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, call J. Price McNamara today at (866) 248-0580 or contact him through his website.