Many workers in an array of industries have been exposed to asbestos, a deadly carcinogen. Asbestos is known to be lethal and may lead to various dangerous illnesses, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. According to the Environmental Working Group, there are nearly 10,000 deaths every year from asbestos-related diseases. Sadly, many of those whose lives have been destroyed by asbestos were exposed to the carcinogen through no fault of their own. In many cases, companies know of the dangers posed by asbestos for years or even decades, yet fail to warn their workers of the life-threatening danger.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, then you may be entitled to recovery. Our experienced network of lawyers have secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients and their families in order to recover for pain and suffering, medical costs, and other related expenses. In cases where we work with other attorneys, we continue to act as co-counsel and maintain joint responsibility. Many asbestos cases have led to multi-million dollar verdicts, but the outcome of any individual case will depend on the specific facts of that case.
The use and exposure of asbestos peaked in the United States in the mid 1970s when many products contained asbestos and the chemical was commonly used in public buildings and workplaces for soundproofing, fireproofing and insulation. Due to the long latency period, many of the individuals that were exposed prior to 1980 are only now showing symptoms of the disease. Indeed, the number of people diagnosed globally is expected to peak between 2015 and 2030, and it has been projected that there may be more than 100,000 asbestos deaths in the next decade.
Exposure to asbestos occurs by inhaling fibers in the air. This inhalation may occur during mining and processing asbestos, manufacturing asbestos-containing products, installing asbestos insulation, or demolishing and renovating old buildings. In these situations, asbestos fibers may create a dust composed of small particles which can be breathed in the air. After inhalation, the fibers become trapped in the lungs and stay there for many years. Even though asbestos is now well understood to be a dangerous carcinogen, it remains heavily used in many industries, including brake shoes and other products that directly expose auto mechanics to this day.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in the lungs of individuals that have been exposed to asbestos. It is a rare form of cancer that can take between 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos before symptoms begin to appear. While it normally requires long-term exposure to put someone at risk, even one-time exposures have been known to cause mesothelioma.
A person may have early stages of mesothelioma and not even know. The early symptoms are mild, but may include fatigue and pain around the tumor. As the disease progresses, symptoms will become more noticeable and may include chronic pain near the tumor, shortness of breath, weight loss, fluid buildup or bowel obstruction. Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed following imaging scans or biopsies.
If you or a loved one believes you have a claim for exposure to asbestos and are interested in legal assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us for a free legal consultation.