Mesothelioma litigation is a type of lawsuit typically brought against manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos, a known hazardous substance used at one time in many products.
Mesothelioma cases usually involve people facing terminal illness and great hardship. Even so, these cases can be difficult to prove. Very often, a long period of time elapses between exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of mesothelioma. Typically, several decades may pass before the symptoms of mesothelioma appear.
Workers whose jobs directly exposed them to asbestos fibers, especially those who worked with asbestos many years ago, are most at risk for developing mesothelioma. Tradesmen who were exposed to asbestos indirectly – such as being present on a job site while asbestos-containing materials were being installed or removed, are also at risk. Additionally, family and friends of these workers may be at risk due to what is called “household exposure.”
Many victims of mesothelioma and their families are entitled to receive asbestos exposure compensation because manufacturers of asbestos-containing products often knew about the dangers of asbestos. In fact, asbestos has been linked to cancer as early as the 1930s.
The evidence shows that these companies did not advise workers of the potential hazards of their products, nor did they make any effort to put warning labels on the products to inform workers of the dangers of asbestos. As a result of this failure to warn, thousands of workers have developed mesothelioma over the past century. Many have died, others have had substantial damage to their lives. Bringing legal action against these companies is one remedy available to you.
In spite of these challenges, The Byrd Law Firm is dedicated to helping families affected by mesothelioma.
What is Malignant Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive cancer in which malignant cancer cells are found in the sac that lines the chest, abdominal cavity, or heart. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of this debilitating and devastating illness.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral known for its insulating and fire-retardant properties. Asbestos was a staple in most insulating products, many industrial and construction products, and was used extensively on U.S. Navy ships.
People with a history of long-term or extensive asbestos exposure are at the highest risk for developing malignant mesothelioma. Even so, sometimes even a minimal exposure to asbestos can result in malignant mesothelioma. The disease has a latency period of up to 30 to 40 years. This means that people who were exposed to asbestos decades ago may just now develop the disease.
The average age of mesothelioma patients is between 50 and 70 years. Men are typically affected more, due to the common presence of asbestos in industrial settings where they have worked. However, women are not excluded. Household exposure to asbestos is a leading cause of mesothelioma in women. There are three types of malignant mesothelioma. The specific diagnosis is made based on how the cells look under a microscope.
- Epithelioid The most common type of mesothelioma. Epithelioid mesothelioma accounts for 50 to 70 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses. Symptoms can include (but are not limited to) difficulty in breathing, a persistent cough and/or pneumonia. Symptoms are often mistaken for less serious ailments, which delays treatment. Many patients show no symptoms at all for a long period of time.
- Sarcomatoid or fibrous About 7 to 20 percent of all mesotheliomas are the sarcomatoid or fibrous type.
- Mixed type or biphasic Between 20 and 35 percent of all mesothelioma contain both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells. This type of mesothelioma is called “mixed” or “biphasic“mesothelioma.
Our lawyers represent families who have suffered the devastating consequences of mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related diseases in jurisdictions from coast to coast. We are constantly fighting to protect the rights of individuals, consumers and families affected by mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.