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Published: August 12th, 2008
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and breathing asbestos fibers. It is a very serious disease, which is often at a very advanced stage when a diagnosis is made. Asbestos lawsuits have been filed by thousands of individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma.
STATUS OF MESOTHELIOMA LITIGATION: The first asbestos lawsuit was filed in 1929, and with thousands of people being diagnosed with this condition each year, new mesothelioma lawsuits will continue to be filed by lawyers throughout the country for the foreseeable future.
OVERVIEW: Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos either directly or indirectly through family members who worked with the material. A mesothelioma cancer diagnosis can be made years after a family member carried home asbestos dust or fibers on their clothing, shoes, skin or in their hair.
Common industrial fields where works may be exposed to asbestos include:
- Factory Workers
- Ship Builders
- Brake Repair Workers
- Contruction Workers
- Insulation Manufacturers and Installers
- Asbestos Miners
The rare form of cancer is found in the lining of the chest and lung, but unlike lung cancer, there is no connection between the development of mesothelioma and smoking. Early symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest wall pain or substantial weight loss. Because the mesothelioma symptoms are not always recognized, by the time the cancer is diagnosed, the median survival time is often under a year.
ASBESTOS LAWSUITS: Mesothelioma litigation is often referred to as the longest running mass tort in the history of the United States. Cases have been filed by over 600,000 people against approximately 6,000 defendants as a result of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma lawsuits often result on multi-million dollar jury verdicts,and some analysts estimate that the total cost of asbestos litigation in the United States could eventually reach $200 billion.