Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that starts in the thin lining that covers internal organs. Once the cancer has been established it can spread to other parts of the body. Diagnosis of Mesothelioma often occurs after the cancer has metastasized to the lungs or lymph nodes.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a substance that has been used to manufacture many building materials, machine parts, and other products. Its use increased greatly during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Because of its wide use, and because manufacturers continued to use asbestos after it was known to cause cancer, many buildings, insulation, and machinery still contain asbestos.
Unfortunately, about 3,000 people are diagnosed with Mesothelioma every year in the United States alone. Despite efforts to reduce exposure to asbestos, it will likely be many decades before these numbers drop significantly. This is partially due to the delayed onset of Mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos. Typically Mesothelioma occurs approximately 40 years after asbestos exposure.
Once diagnosed with Mesothelioma, prognosis is poor. In the United States less than 8% of patients diagnosed with Mesothelioma survive more than five years past diagnosis. Typical survival time after diagnosis is 12 to 21 months.
Because many asbestos manufacturers continued producing asbestos-containing products after the dangers were known, and because these manufacturers failed to adequately warn people before potential exposure to asbestos, many companies are legally responsible for causing Mesothelioma. Many of these companies have declared bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying the victims of their negligence. However, U.S. Bankruptcy courts have forced several of these companies to set up trust funds for compensating their victims. These trust funds are set up to compensate individuals who were diagnosed in the past, as well as those who get Mesothelioma in the future.
While setting up trust funds is a huge step toward compensating Mesothelioma patients, victims and their families still have many hurdles and complex legal issues to deal with before they can receive compensation. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, please contact our firm immediately to assure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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