What to Know About Your Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Pennsylvania

yellow caution tape warning public of asbestos dust

Mesothelioma is a disease that affects the tissue in your internal, vital organs. Eight out of ten people with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos, a common material found on construction sites and in various industries before the 1980s. Unfortunately, it can take decades before affected persons realize they have the disease, and by that time, the cancer is likely widespread and inoperable.

Notably, mesothelioma statistics differ across the United States, with certain states rising to the top of the case count. Pennsylvania shows particularly worrying trends:

  • Between 1999 and 2015, about 2,779 residents had died due to mesothelioma.
  • Pennsylvania carries the second-highest death rate for mesothelioma in the country. California currently leads in mesothelioma deaths.
  • Most deaths occur in or near Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
  • Approximately 41 asbestos “deposits or mines” have been located in Pennsylvania.

If you or someone you know has mesothelioma or is at risk for developing this disease in Pennsylvania, we will discuss everything you should know and how to find legal representation.

What is Mesothelioma, and is There a Cure?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the tissues in your vital organs. It only occurs after asbestos exposure. It’s a mineral once commonly used in construction materials and is still present in many older homes. Asbestos can also be found in vinyl flooring, insulation, roofing shingles, paint, pipes, fabrics, and car parts. Many employers have exposed personnel to asbestos with little or no protective wear.

Though its cause is well-known, mesothelioma is still difficult to diagnose and treat. It is known now that any asbestos exposure can lead to health problems, including this disease.

Mesothelioma has no cure, but treatments are available that help to prolong survival, such as chemotherapy, surgical removal, and radiation. Tragically, doctors often diagnose patients years too late when symptoms surface, but the disease has already advanced and spread.

Why is Mesothelioma so Prevalent in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is notorious for shipbuilding, steel, locomotives, and vermiculite, all industries with heavy asbestos exposure concentrated in metropolitan areas. For over a century, the U.S. has relied on Pennsylvania for manufacturing and industrial labor that greatly benefits the economy at the expense of the individual worker.

For example, the Penn Shipbuilding facility was once the biggest shipyard in the country, supplying almost half of the tanker vessels in the Navy. It closed in the 1980s, but years and years of production had already exposed workers to asbestos.

Asbestos is intricately tied to some of Pennsylvania’s most lucrative industries and, as such, has had significant effects on workers’ health.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision in 2013

A key to understanding the rights of mesothelioma patients is the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Tooey v. AK Steel in 2013.

John Tooey and Spurgeon Landis were both ill with mesothelioma years after their initial exposure in the workforce. Because doctors diagnosed their condition more than 300 weeks after their final day of employment, they were without recourse under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

While the court upheld this stipulation in the Workers’ Compensation Act, employees were free to file a mesothelioma lawsuit and sue their employers should they be diagnosed after 300 days.

Next Steps: File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit 

As attorneys dedicated to justice for mesothelioma patients, we are passionate about fighting for those affected by this terrible disease. We want to help you seek legal action and secure compensation. 

If you were exposed to asbestos in your Pennsylvania workplace and want to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Napoli Shkolnik for a free case review!