What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma, though a rare form of cancer has been found to exhibit a continually increasing trend of its occurrences. The cancer develops as a result of the transformation of the cells lying within the mesothelium, which is a protective membrane covering many of the internal organs of the body. However, the disease largely invades the lining of lungs, abdomen and heart leading to cancers of the particular areas. Statistics show that around three fourth of the cases develop in the pleura (lining of lungs) and about 10 to 20% in the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen).
What does Mesothelioma have to do with Asbestos?
The disorder, categorized among the aggressive forms of cancer that are generally resistant to the usual therapy regimens, is largely attributed to the asbestos exposure. Asbestos is basically a naturally occurring mineral, which is prominently characterized by its features of being economical and heat resistant; thus finding widespread applications including its use in Military and Naval setups. Asbestos is made up of minute fibers that we can breathe in case of contact, which exactly happens in situations where people are exposed to the mineral during their work
Patients having contracted this disease, usually shoulder a considerably long history with asbestos, which may be
associated with the nature of environment they had been living in or the kind of work they had been doing. Most patients contracting this disorder are found to have worked where they either inhaled asbestos or were exposed to asbestos in other ways; which is the very reason that men, as compared to women, are around five times more susceptible to it. The relationship between asbestos and the concerned disease is so strong that many consider this disorder a “signal” tumor.
Despite the fact that in most of the cases, the disease is triggered by the exposure of asbestos, the truth remains that the mineral may not always be the causative agent. Many cases of the disease have also been reported here no eminent contact to asbestos was observed.
Pursual of a lawsuit
Since the diagnosis of this particular kind of cancer braces the notion of asbestos exposure beyond safe limits, the person diagnosed with it can easily and under all legal rights, file a lawsuit against the employer company. This kind of lawsuit is basically a means to claim for the compensation in the treatment expenses. It is filed to provide damages for medical expenses, lost income and for all the pain and agony the patient went through.
Why pursue such a lawsuit?
For many, filing a these kind of lawsuits wouldn’t make sense as the onset of the disease is usually around 20 to 30 years past the initial exposure. However, dragging the company/employer to the court is necessary not only to get compensation in the highly priced treatment expenses but also in order to keep such cases from recurring in the future. Since, it was the negligence of the company to have its employees exposed to such unsafe levels of
the mineral in the first place; the company will understand its part in the demise of patient’s health condition only after paying heavy liabilities to the subject. Thus as a rule of thumb, as soon as the patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, he should consider contacting an attorney in order to drag his/her company into a lawsuit.
Whom to consult in order to file a lawsuit?
The symptoms of the disease often do not appear until 20 to 50 years after the initial exposure, which is the reason why it is commonly diagnosed in people aged 50 to 70 years. The risk is even greater if the exposure to asbestos starts from an early age for a long period of time. However, when filing a lawsuit, one must keep in mind that these lawsuits are sensitive and should be dealt by professional attorneys and lawyers trained in asbestos litigation. In order to make the a successful lawsuit, it is imperative that the patient acquaintances the lawyer having vast knowledge and experience about the asbestos litigation. Many asbestos sensitive patients have successfully claimed compensation from responsible companies through such lawsuits.
A lawyer, specialist in dealing with mesothelioma lawsuits, can help the patient achieve his claims for the compensation of treatment expenses through litigating against the company responsible for asbestos exposure; provided that the statute of limitations has not expired. In this way, the patients who have experienced asbestos contact due to company’s own negligence are able to secure compensation for themselves as well as their families by pursuing such lawsuits.
General procedure of filing a Lawsuit
If you decide to file a lawsuit , a number of steps apply nearly to everyone who files an asbestos related lawsuit with an attorney.
- First step – is preparation, in which the attorney will help in considering legal actions.
- Second step – is filing, in which a written complaint must be given to begin with the lawsuit.
- Third step – deals with the responses, where each defendant will be given a certain period of time to respond.
- Fourth step – includes discovery, where lawyers gather information about the claims.
- Fifth step – includes settlement where before the trial starts, the defendant’s lawyers may offer to resolve the case for a set amount of money.
- Sixth step – includes trial and the last step is appeal where the claimant succeeds the trial, the defendant may decide to file an appeal.
An alternative to Lawsuits
In the past few years, lawsuits like these have been filed by patients have increased in number. The litigation claims attempt to recover losses from the companies that were responsible for the exposure to asbestos patients by their products. The rapid increase in these kind of lawsuits gave rise to new way of compensating past employees of companies that had the exposure to asbestos. Many of the companies have set up trust funds that are currently available to those diagnosed with this disease. If a person has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, he may file to recover money from these trust funds. The awareness of asbestos dangers has grown, so have the frequency of legal actions against it. Moreover, as increased number of patients files mesothelioma lawsuits against exposure to asbestos, the trusts have increased in size to accommodate the asbestos exposure.