Mesothelioma Lawsuit Attorney investigate causes of mesothelioma
At this time, asbestos exposure is widely recognized as the leading cause of mesothelioma. There are some theories suggesting other mesothelioma causes, but these are extremely rare. Smoking may increase the risk of a patient developing pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs, from exposure to asbestos. Miners and others who work or have worked directly with asbestos are at the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. Others at risk may include those who work in construction, manufacturing or other fields that may use or come into contact with products that contain asbestos. Even the families of miners and other workers may be at risk due to secondary exposure.
No matter how exposure occurs, a person who has developed mesothelioma from asbestos may be able to seek financial compensation by way of a personal injury lawsuit. The long latency period of mesothelioma and the fact that the manufacturer of the product that contained asbestos may be out of business can make these cases particularly complex. Fortunately, our attorneys know how to identify potential sources of compensation, prove liability and seek maximum damages for our clients. With the costly medical care required to treat mesothelioma, recovering compensation is a must.
While some firms may advertise for mesothelioma lawsuits, only to refer clients to other firms when they call in, we have no need to do so. We handle these complex cases ourselves. Not only do we have more than 35 trial lawyers in our Asbestos Litigation Department, but these lawyers handle these cases regularly in state and federal courts across the country. We have secured numerous million dollar and multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of mesothelioma patients, such as a jury award of more than $35 million for a U.S. Navy machinist who was exposed to asbestos while in service.
Napoli Shkolnik PLLC represents clients across the U.S. from our headquarters in New York City and fully-staffed offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois, California and Florida. In addition to scheduling a complimentary case review with a mesothelioma lawyer at our firm, you can review the following information to learn more about this deadly disease.
How does asbestos exposure cause mesothelioma?
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral found in natural deposits throughout the world. There are six different types of asbestos, but all share similar qualities in that they are fibrous, heat and corrosion resistant and do not conduct electricity. Exposure to any type of asbestos may lead to serious health problems, including causing mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen or other cavities or organs.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are:
- lung cancer
- mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart
- asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs
Because it is a thin, fibrous substance, asbestos is easily inhaled and ingested. Inhalation is most common, and when this occurs the fibers become lodged in the lung tissue or lining of the lungs. The body has difficulty expelling these fibers once they are in place. They irritate the surrounding tissue and may cause inflammation and scarring. Over time, this paves the way for cancerous cells to develop, and causes mesothelioma. A similar process occurs when asbestos fibers are ingested; they may become lodged in the lining of the abdomen and abdominal organs. Asbestos fibers may even make their way into the bloodstream and become lodged in the lining of the heart.
The lining of the lungs (pleura), lining of the abdomen and abdominal organs (peritoneum) and lining of the heart (pericardium) are all parts of the mesothelium, a thin membrane that surrounds the organs and the body cavities containing those organs. This membrane protects the organs and allows for them to move against one another or the walls of the cavity. For example, the pleura allows for the fluid expansion and contraction of the lungs in the chest cavity. When cancerous cells develop in the pleura, peritoneum or pericardium, the results can be catastrophic. Depending on which area of the body is affected, a patient may experience difficulty breathing, heart palpitations or other serious health problems.
Most instances of asbestos exposure leading to mesothelioma affect the pleura (approximately 75% of the time) or the pericardium (approximately 10-20% of the time). Pericardial mesothelioma is particularly rare.
What circumstances cause mesothelioma?
The United States was the world’s leading user of asbestos and asbestos products in the mid-1900s. Since then, the health problems caused by asbestos exposure have been widely noted and the mineral is heavily regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Because it may take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for a patient who has been exposed to asbestos to show symptoms and be diagnosed with mesothelioma, the following circumstances may cause this disease:
- Working at an asbestos mine;
- Working at an asbestos processing plant;
- Working in an industry where one is exposed to asbestos (construction, automotive, manufacturing);
- Living near a mine or asbestos processing plant;
- Renovating or demolishing a home or commercial building that contains asbestos; or
- Working in a naval shipyard or military facility where asbestos was used during construction.
In any of these circumstances, you may be able to hold the party responsible for your exposure accountable for your medical condition and therefore your healthcare costs, lost earnings and other financial, physical and emotional injuries or losses. An attorney at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC can talk to you about your options.
Contact our office today for a free consultation.