Mesothelioma

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Class Action Lawsuits filed against companies that exposed individuals to asbestos.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a flame resistant product used in the past for lagging and fireproofing. When the fibers are absorbed by the body, usually by inhalation they can cause severe medical problems.

Side Effects

Risks from exposure to asbestos include asbestosis, cancer and mesothelioma.

Plaintiffs

People with have worked in environments in the past where they were exposed to asbestos.

History

For many years asbestos was used in the manufacture of certain building products including roofing shingles, insulations, felt and certain types of paint. Because of its fire retardant qualities it was used extensively in the construction industry from 1940 – 1980. Millions of people working in the manufacture and installation of these products were put at risk during this time. Also at risk after this period were workers involved in the removal and renovations in areas that used these products. Often the diseases associated with exposure are not diagnosed for up to 40 years after exposure.

Who Qualifies for a Class Action Claim?

People suffering from the following conditions who have been exposed to asbestos. The conditions include: asbestosis, cancer and mesothelioma.

Victims and their families have a right to take part in the class action suit. If you believe there has been harmed caused you may be entitled to compensation. Class action lawsuits are brought about to protect the public from corporate wrong doings.

Article

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly type of cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products. The mesothelium is a thin mucous membrane that covers most major organs, and provides the moisture the organs need to move properly. Lubrication allows organs to move in order to circulate blood in the heart, or infuse it with oxygen in the lungs, or process food properly in the gastrointestinal tract.

There are several different kinds of mesothelioma, but by far the most common is pleural, or lung-related mesothelioma. As asbestos enters the body through respiration, the microscopic shards pierce the lungs and lodge in the delicate pleural mesothelium. The shards irritate and fester in the mesothelium, and over time will most likely develop into mesothelioma. Most cases of this cancer take decades before any symptoms begin to appear, but by the time they manifest they are too advanced to treat.

Other kinds of mesothelioma include pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the lining around the stomach and digestive tract; and pericardial mesothelioma that affects the lining of the sac that contains the heart. Most mesothelioma prognoses are not positive; victims rarely live longer than five years after their first diagnosis, and most succumb between six and 12 months.

Many experts call mesothelioma the “silent epidemic”, because virtually every person in the United States has been exposed to asbestos at some point in time. Asbestos is naturally heat and flame resistant, pliable, durable, and was made into everything from baby’s clothing to brake pads to insulation to potting ceramics. Many of the current victims of the mesothelioma epidemic worked in or around military installations, as asbestos was a critical part of shipbuilding and other large scale manufacturing industries, but mesothelioma can strike anyone of any age.

Part of the tragedy of mesothelioma is that many asbestos companies or industries that used the material refused to acknowledge it is dangerous. Civilizations around the world used asbestos for thousands of years, and even peoples as early as the ancient Romans knew that people who worked with the mineral died of lung ailments. Even into the 20th and 21st century these companies denied or covered up the evidence that linked their product to not only mesothelioma, but lung cancer and asbestosis as well.

In order to address the mounting concerns about the legacy of asbestos, Senator Arlen Specter proposed a bill that would remove the ability of victims of mesothelioma to pursue legal settlements against the companies or industries that may be responsible. The government expects thousands of new cases of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in the years to come, and so the bill will establish a $140 billion trust to compensate victims or their families. Ostensibly, this is to relieve the stress on the courts of thousands of lawsuits, but it in fact would severely limit the amount of financial restitution the companies would owe their victims. Furthermore it would disallow many types of asbestos suits, and would potentially extend legal proceedings far beyond the expected lifespan of the people afflicted with this deadly disease.

 

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