An Overview of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma causes the protective lining or mesothelium that covers all the major body organs, to function abnormally and invade into the nearby main body organs like the heart, lungs or abdomen and damage them. There are mainly three types of mesothelioma – pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. Of the three types, pleural mesothelioma is the most common type that affects the lining of the lungs and is found to occur in human beings. The rarest malignant cancer is the pericardial mesothelioma which affects the lining around the heart. The peritoneal mesothelioma is found to affect the lining of the abdominal cavity. Continue reading “Mesothelioma”
Not Sick Yet From Asbestos Exposure Injury Law
I am not sick but fear that eventually I will become ill from asbestos exposure. Do I have a case?
Not at this time. For you to recover damages for emotional distress for future illness, you have to be suffering from a current illness that may worsen. Being worried about future illness while you are still well does not rise to the level of emotional distress necessary for a lawsuit – many people are worried about becoming ill in the future, but they don’t have grounds to sue anyone based on that.
A recent United States Supreme Court case, Norfolk & Western Railway Co. v. Ayers, held that the plaintiffs, who were already sick with asbestosis from asbestos exposure, could also receive damages for emotional distress based on the fact that roughly 10% of patients with asbestosis develop, and die from, mesothelioma. The Court excluded those who had been exposed to asbestos but were not yet sick, stating that to do otherwise would be to open the claims up to unlimited and unpredictable numbers. The Court also found that there needed to be both a serious and genuine fear of developing a more serious disease, and that this might preclude liability on this issue in the future.
Therefore, since you are not currently suffering from any asbestos related illness, your best plan right now is to document any asbestos exposure that you suspect you have had, where you were exposed, and for how long.
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What Is Asbestos Injury Law
What is asbestos? What are some of the diseases or disorders that are related to asbestos exposure?
Asbestos is a health hazard. It is fibrous material used widely for insulation and fireproofing. It is dangerous when the fibers are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring. This scar tissue reduces the amount of oxygen that can be taken in by the body. Enough scarring and inflammation can affect breathing and can lead to shortness of breath and frequent lung infections and heart or respiratory failure. There is no effective treatment. The condition in which asbestos causes scar tissue to build up in the lungs is called asbestosis.
Whether someone will develop asbestosis depends on such factors as the intensity and duration of exposure and the person’s age when exposed. Asbestosis slowly progresses and will show no symptoms for 10 to 30 years after the initial exposure. However, there is no known “safe” level of exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,493 people died from asbestosis in 2000, compared with 77 in 1968 (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC, July 23, 2004; http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5328.pdf).
Persons occupationally exposed to asbestos have developed several types of life-threatening diseases. There are four main diseases related to asbestos exposure. They are:
. Pleural mesothelioma;
. Peritoneal mesothelioma;
. Asbestosis; and
. Lung cancer.
None of these diseases can actually be cured; however, with various treatments, the patient’s life can be extended.
See our discussion on Mesothelioma for further information.
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