Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, a material that was widely used in various industries until the late 1970s. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma it means that you were exposed to asbestos at some point in your life. Anyone with mesothelioma is eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit and get financial compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos products.

Our national product liability firm is currently seeking asbestos cases from anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or the surviving family members of someone who died from mesothelioma. Contact our office today at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation.

History of Asbestos

Asbestos is a very unique type of natural mineral that is made up of highly flexible fibers. What makes asbestos so unique is that its fibers are almost completely resistant to heat deterioration. Even at extremely high temperatures or under direct flame, asbestos fibers do not break down or weaken. Asbestos is also very resistant to any type of corrosion and does not conduct electricity.

asbestos lawsuit

The unique properties and indestructible nature of asbestos made it extremely useful for a wide variety of industrial purposes. The use of asbestos in American industry began in the late 1800s and by the early the 1900s asbestos had become widely used in thousands of products and in a wide variety of applications.

The primary and most significant use of asbestos was as an insulation material. Its ability to resist heat damage and not corrode or conduct electricity made asbestos the ideal material for insulation in both construction and heavy industry. Asbestos was also used to make a wide variety or products including breaks and auto parts, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, shingles, and other building materials. It was also used in electrical parts.

Asbestos Exposure Risks

When the fibrous asbestos particles become airborne and are inhaled they are extremely toxic to the human body. The same indestructible nature that made asbestos so useful as an industrial material also made it extremely harmful inside the human body.

When inhaled in large quantities or in small amounts over long time periods, asbestos fibers rapidly accumulate in the lungs and cause major damage. Asbestos is considered one of the most carcinogenic and it has been completely banned in most developed countries.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a very rare and extremely dangerous type of cancer that is specifically caused by asbestos. Mesothelioma develops in the lining the surrounds certain tissue inside the body such as the lungs. There are different subtypes of mesothelioma based on where the cancer originates in the body.

The two most common mesothelioma subtypes are pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. Pleural is the most common, accounting for about 80 of all cases, and it occurs when the cancer forms in the lining of around the lung tissue. Peritoneal occurs when the cancer originates in the tissue surrounding the abdomen.

Only about 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the U.S., making it a very rare form of cancer. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is extremely aggressive and one of the most (if not the most) deadliest cancer types. The overall 5-year survival rate for mesothelioma is only 12%.

Mesothelioma is Caused By Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is a very unique type of cancer because it is only caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos exposure is the only definitive cause of mesothelioma. Only people who are exposed to asbestos fibers develop mesothelioma.

As airborne asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they accumulate inside the body and never go away. Eventually the accumulated fibers become embedded in the tissue and lining of the lungs, abdomen or other organs. Once lodged in this tissue, the asbestos fibers cause chronic irritation, inflammation, and scarring. Over time, these sites of chronic inflammation and scarring from the asbestos fibers form into mesothelioma tumors.

The latency period between exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma is very long. It can take 15 or 20 years for the asbestos accumulations inside the body to form into mesothelioma. In many cases, however, the latency period can be even longer.

Who Was Exposed to Asbestos?

Between 1940 and 1979, an estimated 27 million workers in the U.S. were exposed to airborne asbestos particles in an occupational setting. After 1979, new laws and regulations greatly limited the use of and occupational exposure to asbestos.

Almost anyone who worked in a blue-collar, industrial job prior to 1980 was potentially exposed to asbestos. Those occupations or trades with the highest risk of asbestos exposure included:

Mining Steamfitters / Pipefitters
Construction Manufacturing
Shipbuilding Electrical Generation (Boilers)
Heavy Industry

Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Asbestos product liability lawsuits have been around for decades. The first major asbestos lawsuits started getting filed in the 1970s and by the 1980s asbestos litigation had evolved into its own legal industry.

Companies who manufactured and sold asbestos products can be held liable for mesothelioma and other injuries caused as a result of exposure to those products. Many former asbestos manufacturers have gone bankrupt due to asbestos liabilities, but there are still active companies with current liability for asbestos products, even those that were sold decades ago. There is also an asbestos compensation trust fund available to compensate victims who have claims against companies that are no longer around.

Who Qualifies for a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma (or if your deceased family member was diagnosed) you are automatically qualified to bring an asbestos lawsuit. Mesothelioma is rare cancer that is only caused by exposure to asbestos. This means that anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma is presumptively eligible to bring an asbestos lawsuit. The estate or surviving family members of someone who died from mesothelioma may also be eligible to bring an asbestos lawsuit for wrongful death.

Is It Too Late to File Your Asbestos Lawsuit?

Anyone with mesothelioma has a potential product liability lawsuit. The only question is whether the applicable statute of limitations has expired, in which case the asbestos lawsuit would be legally barred.

The statute of limitations varies in each state, but it is typically between 2-5 years from the “date of discovery.” In mesothelioma cases, the date of discovery is almost always going to be the date that the mesothelioma was diagnosed. Mesothelioma is uniquely linked to asbestos exposure. Therefore, when someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma they are on constructive notice of their potential asbestos claim and the clocks starts ticking.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

Mesothelioma lawsuits are potentially very high-value cases because the disease is so aggressive. In the early days of asbestos litigation, mesothelioma cases that went to trial often resulted in massive multi-million dollar verdicts for the plaintiff. Things are somewhat different these days because almost all asbestos cases settle out of court. In many cases, trial is not an option because the applicable defendants went bankrupt years ago.

Today, most mesothelioma asbestos lawsuits settle quickly, with an average settlement payout between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000. For cases in which the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure can be reliably linked back to a specific product that was manufactured by a company that is still around, the average settlement value is much higher.

Mesothelioma Settlements & Verdicts

Below are summaries of reported settlements and trial verdicts in recent mesothelioma asbestos cases. These cases demonstrate the very high-value mesothelioma asbestos cases have at trial, which is one of the primary reasons most mesothelioma cases settle.

  • O’Reilly v US Steel Corp. (Illinois 2022) $7,217,656: former pipefitter died at age 62 from pleural mesothelioma and his family brought a wrongful death action against a large group of asbestos defendants. Some of the defendants settled, but U.S. Steel and Fisher Controls Intl. went to trial. Jury awarded $7.2 million, but the award was reduced to $3.7 million based on comparative negligence.
  • Ibarra v Ameron International (Oregon 2022) $30,000,000: decedent was exposed to asbestos when he worked at a factory in 1974. In 2021 he died from mesothelioma and his spouse brought a wrongful death action. Jury awarded $30 million.
  • Constantine v Lenox Instrument Co. (Pennsylvania 2022) $2,218,415: decedent was exposed to asbestos from 1972 to 1981 while working as a draftsmen designer on jet engines for the Navy. In 2019 he died of mesothelioma. The jury awarded $2.2 million to his spouse for wrongful death.
  • Kraemer v Lone Star Inc. (Washington 2021) $10,000,000: plaintiff was a 79-year-old retired school principal diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Plaintiff’s father worked as an insulator at naval ship yards during WWII and plaintiff was exposed to asbestos as a child from his father’s work clothes.
  • Cowger v Qualitex Co. (Illinois 2021) $23,000,000: plaintiff was exposed to asbestos when she worked in an industrial laundry during the 1970s. She later developed mesothelioma. Jury in Chicago awarded $23 million.
  • Mada v Cincinnati Inc. (California 2021) $710,000: former sheet metal working died from mesothelioma. Defendant manufactured machines that the decedent operated at work and those machines contained asbestos friction parts. Verdict was lower because defendant was only found 5% at fault.
  • Jennings v Honeywell International (Ohio 2021) $10,657,189: former mechanic was exposed to asbestos in brake pads manufactured by defendant Honeywell (f/k/a Bendix Corporation) and later died of mesothelioma. The estate settled with several other defendants before going to trial.

Contact Us About Your Mesothelioma Lawsuit

If you (or a family member) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and want to get compensation, contact our national asbestos lawyers today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082.

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