Mesothelioma Lawsuits Seeking Compensation For Clients

By Beth Pracetin

Mesothelioma is considered a complex form of cancer that grows in human body tissue in the lungs, heart and abdomen. A substantial body of case law has been accumulated in the USA and other countries by parties litigated mesothelioma lawsuits. Three major forms of the cancer are commonly distinguished namely pleural, pericardial and peritoneal. They all have a common cause.

Pleural-meso is a cancer that attacks the lungs. Pericardial-meso is a cancer that attacks the heart. Finally, peritoneal-meso attacks the abdominal cavity. All these three forms of the disease are caused by a gradual accumulation of asbestos fibers over a long period of time, usually many years.

For many years in the 1900s, asbestos was considered to be a superior material because of its workability, fire resistance and lightness. It was used in many countries to produce a wide range of building materials, including wall siding, floor panels, water piping and fire insulation products. Materials with asbestos were used in thousands of houses, offices, warehouses, factories, military facilities, hospitals, prisons, schools and so on.

Symptoms of the disease vary depending on its specific form. In the case of pleural-meso, symptoms typically include shortness of breath, chest pains and weight loss. Diagnosis usually begins with a chest x-ray CT scan and then subsequently confirmed via a biopsy (skin tissue sample). A thorocoscopy, where a tube with a camera is inserted into the chest, is often used to take biopsies. It can take a long time for the cancer to emerge, sometimes as long as thirty to fifty years. This naturally obscures diagnosis and complicates identifying the cause.

Sufferers incur substantial economic loss through debility and loss of employment. They also incur significant medical costs. Treatment is very expensive. Strategies include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, gene therapy, angiogenesis, immunotherapy and surgery.

In many cases, it takes many years for the disease to emerge in the sufferer. This complicates diagnosis which can often be too late for the application of some form of permanent cure, surgery or otherwise. Consequently, sufferers usually lose the ability to maintain paid employment, adding to their economic loss and hence the potential value of their legal claim.

Given the high medical costs and other economic losses forming the basis for a legal compensation claim, sufferers commonly seek legal advice. Some lawyers have focused their practice exclusively on dealing with compensation claims by mesothelioma sufferers.

These specialist lawyers are the very experienced and knowledgeable of the legal intricacies of compensation claims. They have built-up extensive case experience and can provide very precise attention to detail. For example, laws involving compensation for sufferers of this disease in the USA can vary from state to state and from country to country. A Mesothelioma Lawyer can advise sufferers whether they can or should file a claim in alternative jurisdictions and, if so, which is likely to be the most advantageous.

It is not uncommon for lawyers to work on mesothelioma lawsuits on a success fee basis. This is generally a positive for the client since it provides the lawyers with a strong incentive to succeed. The fee structure effectively places the risk of litigation with the lawyers.

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