Asbestos was a popular material used in construction and manufacturing for decades in the mid-20th century. While asbestos has desired properties like heat resistance, durability, and electrical insulation, it’s also toxic when inhaled and causes adverse health effects. Between 1940 and 1980, millions of workers in various industries in the US were exposed to asbestos and have since been diagnosed with rare cancers like mesothelioma. Learn more about asbestos exposure and its link to mesothelioma below.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a natural fiber used in a wide range of construction and manufacturing settings until 1980. Asbestos was used in various construction materials, such as ceiling tiles, roof shingles, drywall, electrical parts, automotive parts, textiles, and insulation. When someone inhales asbestos fibers, they accumulate in the lungs and abdomen, lodging themselves into the body and creating inflammation and scar tissue. Eventually, this inflammation and scar tissue causes tumors and cancer.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer that affects the lining (called the mesothelium) of the lungs. It’s one of the most deadly types of cancers and has no cure. Mesothelioma has an extremely long latency period, taking anywhere from 15 to 70 years to develop after exposure. Common symptoms of mesothelioma include chest and abdominal pain, chronic coughing, fluid buildup, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
The Link Between Asbestos and Mesothelioma
The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. The link between asbestos and mesothelioma dates back to the 1930s when the first case highlighting the dangers of asbestos exposure and increased cancer risk was brought to court. Unfortunately, the case didn’t move forward and manufacturers continued to use asbestos for decades, hiding the dangers of asbestos exposure from the general public.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Mass lawsuits regarding asbestos exposure and mesothelioma diagnosis began in the 1970s. It’s estimated that over 25 million Americans were exposed to asbestos in the workforce between 1940 and 1980. Cases have continued to be filed since then, as mesothelioma’s long latency period means many people don’t know they’ve been exposed until decades afterward. Many asbestos manufacturers have allotted billions of dollars to settle cases for victims to help pay for medical expenses and treatments. Some companies have gone bankrupt from the high cost of settling thousands of cases. However, trust funds established for bankrupt businesses allow victims to receive compensation for mesothelioma claims. Families of victims exposed to asbestos who later died from mesothelioma can also pursue wrongful death lawsuits against these companies.
Eligibility to File a Claim For Cancer Due to Asbestos Exposure
The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestosis is eligible to file a claim. Family members or estate representatives of loved ones who died from mesothelioma can also file wrongful death claims. Most asbestos exposures happened between 1940—1979 and affected workers of various occupations such as construction, firefighting, military veterans, shipyard workers, miners, manufacturing, and those who worked in industrial settings.
Asbestos materials, primarily found in buildings constructed before 1980, must be properly removed to prevent asbestos exposure during renovations and demolition. Improper handling of asbestos materials may also make you eligible to file a claim.
Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Know Your Options
The Michael Brady Lynch Law Firm can help you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve for expenses related to a mesothelioma diagnosis. We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t owe us anything unless you win. Contact our office at 888-585-5970 for a free consultation to discuss your case. For more information about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma claims, view our online resources.
Date: August 11, 2023
Author: Brandon Salter