Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly form of cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, the thin layer of issue surrounding major organs. Mesothelioma can grow in a number of places within the body including the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), testicles, and the heart (pericardial mesothelioma). Pleural mesothelioma accounts for about 70% of all cases. Mesothelimoa rarely appears without the negligence of someone else. If you or a loved one has or had mesothelimoa, call 800-553-8082 or get a free on-line case review.Overview of the Asbestos Exposure
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. Because asbestos fibers are resistance to heat, asbestos has been used for insulation, brakes, flooring, electrical wiring, and many other common products.
During the process of mining and using asbestos, dust is often created. If inhaled or ingested, the dust particles settle in the lungs or stomach and can eventually lead to mesothelioma. It usually takes between 30 and 40 years for exposure to result in cancer. Mesothelioma has also been reported in people who were not directly exposed to the asbestos particles. Common examples include spouses who washed the clothes of contaminated workers or who were otherwise in close contact with those workers. This is referred to as second hand mesothelioma and can be deadly.Symptoms and Treatment
Mesothelioma symptoms vary depending on where the cancer has grown. Plural mesothelioma symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, painful coughing, weight loss, and lumpy tissue in the chest area. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain, swelling, and weight loss.
Treatment options often combine surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. After diagnosis the average patient lives, tragically, only for 18 months.The Mesothelimoa Tragedy
People working with asbestos and those living with exposed workers are at an increased risk for developing mesothelioma. Even after the risks of exposure had been established, asbestos companies continued to use the mineral thus exposing thousands of construction workers, military members, and others. Because of the industry's efforts to profit off of a substance they knew to be dangerous, US courts have established asbestos trusts in the amount of $30 billion. These trusts are meant to compensate victims who developed cancer after exposure. Most asbestos settlements are tied to the costs of related medical expenses. Where a plaintiff can prove that a manufacturer actively concealed the dangerous nature of their product or where they failed to provide adequate worker protections, the damages can be much higher.Maryland Asbestos History
Maryland holds a unique place in the history of asbestos use, exposure, and litigation. The state is home to over 20 asbestos deposits and at least four have been mined. Further, Maryland residents have a statistically increased risk of exposure because of the state's shipyards, power plants, chemical factories, and construction companies that boomed during and after World War II. Overall, Maryland ranks 16th in a nationwide survey of mesothelioma cases. There were 1,074 mesothelioma deaths from 1979-2001. At least 553 - more than half - of these fatalities were in Baltimore.
Maryland has a statute of limitations for asbestos claims that applies to injured parties as well as their heirs. The statute begins to run when the plaintiff has knowledge of the asbestos- related injury. If you or a relative have been exposed to asbestos, we encourage quick action to ensure that your claim can be considered.
Strict liability - also called "enterprise liability" or "absolute legal responsibility" is when a defendant has legal responsibility for damages or injures regardless of whether or not the person or company was at fault for the harm caused. In its pure form, it means that the defendant is responsible for the plaintiffs losses even if they did absolutely nothing wrong.