Mesothelioma is a cancer that is almost exclusively the result of exposure to asbestos fibers. The risk of developing this illness has been known for many years, yet employers continue to use products that contain asbestos fibers, exposing employees to the risks and dangers of developing mesothelioma. As a result, numerous lawsuits have been filed against employers who continue to use asbestos products and the manufacturers of these products and mesothelioma settlement rates have ranged from the hundreds of thousands of dollars to the millions of dollars.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been mined in the United States since the 1800s. However, it came into extensive use after World War II and was and continues to be used in products ranging from brakes to ceiling tiles to insulation materials to playground materials. Almost everyone in the United States has been exposed, at least on some level, to asbestos fibers. However, those who have worked extensively in industries with high levels of asbestos exposure continue to develop mesothelioma, even years after the exposure event.
There are many, many industries in the United States that used and continue to use asbestos products. It is estimated that over 5,000 asbestos related products are used in the United States. Specifically affected industries include ship building, automotive, railroad, construction and demolition and many others.
Firefighters have become a group of people who are especially affected by mesothelioma because of the construction materials that they often encounter in buildings that are destroyed by fire or other events. For example, firefighters and others who participated in the recovery efforts at the World Trade Center in New York City after the September 11, 2001 attack have been shown to have ever increasing rates of mesothelioma as a result of the horrific amounts of asbestos they were exposed to.
And it is not only the individuals who are working directly in the asbestos materials that are at risk. Individuals in close proximity to workers may also be at risk because the fibers permeate clothing, hair and skin and may be transferred simply through close contact.
Mesothelioma Settlement Purposes
Today, mesothelioma litigation is very common and lawsuits against employers and manufacturers of asbestos related products have resulted in mesothelioma settlement actions that have ranged from hundreds of thousands of dollars into the millions of dollars. Some individuals opt to settle their claims without the benefit of a jury trail, because of the length of time it takes to go to jury trial and the amount of money this ultimately costs.
The primary purpose of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is for compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of wages and injuries resulting from exposure to asbestos fibers and the development of mesothelioma.
Attorneys taking mesothelioma cases often do so on a contingency basis. This means that they will collect their fees based on a percentage of any amount awarded as a result of the lawsuit. If there is no award, then they do not collect any fees. As a result, an attorney taking a mesothelioma case must feel strongly that there is a good chance of winning in order to invest the time and effort to file the lawsuit.