Mesothelioma is an asbestos–related cancer that affects thousands of people every year in the United States and the United Kingdom. Victims of mesothelioma have the right to seek justice and compensation through mesothelioma lawsuits. These lawsuits allow victims to hold responsible parties accountable and seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In this post, we’ll take a look at mesothelioma lawsuits in the United States and the United Kingdom, including claims types, the process of filing a claim, and more. We’ll also discuss the importance of seeking professional legal help when filing a mesothelioma lawsuit and the benefits of doing so.
What is Mesothelioma & What Causes It?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by inhaling large quantities of asbestos fibers or by second-hand exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma forms malignant tumors on the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and/or other organs. Though rare, it can be a very aggressive disease, and many people do not live much longer than a year after their diagnosis. However, mesothelioma is treatable despite there being no known cure.
More than 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States every year. White men are the primary demographic affected, though the disease can affect anyone—primarily individuals who have prolonged exposure to asbestos, such as factory workers and military service members. The average life expectancy for someone living with mesothelioma is 12 to 21 months from the date of diagnosis.
Who is at risk for Mesothelioma?
Anyone who worked with, or was exposed to, asbestos in the past is at an increased risk of contracting mesothelioma. For decades asbestos use was common in power plants, auto plants, shipyards, chemical plants, aluminum plants, oil refineries, steel mills, paper plants, asbestos manufacturing plants and on construction job sites.
How a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Works
A mesothelioma injury lawsuit can be filed as a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The former is filed by the individual who has been injured; the latter is filed by the family of the individual who has passed away.
In civil court lawsuits for damages, legal responsibility for injuries caused by asbestos exposure is generally determined under product liability law, which holds manufacturers and distributors responsible for failing to provide a well-designed product that is reasonably safe when used as intended.
Product liability lawsuits regarding asbestos exposure can be based on three theories – breach of warranty, negligence, or strict liability – or a combination of all three.
Our team of experienced product liability lawyers can explain these concepts, summarized briefly below, in more detail and determine which might apply to your situation:
Breach of Warranty
There are two types of warranties – express and implied. An express warranty exists when a claim is made about a product, the buyer relies on that claim and then the claim turns out to be false.
If an asbestos manufacturer, supplier or anyone involved in that chain claimed that using asbestos was safe, they may be held liable for injuries that result from that usage. An implied warranty accompanies the sale and use of products pursuant to state commercial code statutes.
It is generally implied that a product will be safe and fit for its determined purpose. Asbestos was sold to many industries as an insulation product, and it was used for that purpose and should have been safe; therefore, its safety was implied simply by its sale.
There are four parts to a negligence claim – duty, breach, causation, and damages. Asbestos manufacturers, suppliers, and sellers may have had a duty (based on a legal standard) to provide adequate warning to people who used or were exposed to asbestos about its dangers.
In most cases, warnings were not provided, so that duty may have very well been breached. If it can be determined that a plaintiff’s injury was ultimately caused by that asbestos use or exposure and they have been damaged, then liability is present.
Under strict liability, a plaintiff does not need to prove that a defendant acted negligently in order to recover damages. The fact that a product was unreasonably dangerous and sold by a retail manufacturer or seller may be enough to establish that a defendant may have breached their duty.
Deciding Your Mesothelioma Claim
Deciding which legal theory to use in your case is only the first step in your case. Law firm knows how to pursue your claim in state or federal court, and skilled legal team knows how to negotiate with the parties responsible for your illness.
They’ll take them to court if a settlement cannot be reached. At every step of the way, they keep your best interests in mind while keeping you up-to-date on your case’s progress.
For your mesothelioma claim, turn to an Illinois law firm with a record of success and a team of skilled Illinois mesothelioma lawyers who know how to get results.
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., offers a free, no-obligation evaluation of Mesothelioma claims in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
You will not pay for the company’s legal services unless we obtain compensation for both you and your family feel free to contact an Illinois Mesothelioma lawyer today.
Sadly, the prognosis for mesothelioma cancer is grim – most patients die within a year or two after diagnosis.
Other diseases associated with asbestos exposure include asbestosis (a scarring of the lung tissue from an acid produced by the body’s attempt to dissolve the fiber) and various cancers that affect the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, ovaries, testicles, and larynx.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawyers in Chicago
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium – a protective lining made of Mesothelioma cells. The mesothelium forms sacs of fluid around most human organs to allow them to properly move and function.
Cancer in this lining causes the mesothelium cells to abnormally and uncontrollably divide – which can metastasize and spread to the organ they are protecting as well as to other organs. Although mesothelioma cancers can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to appear, many patients die within one to two years of diagnosis.
Mesothelioma generally affects these three parts of the human body:
- Lungs (known as pleural mesothelioma)
- Abdomen (known as peritoneal mesothelioma)
- Heart (known as pericardium mesothelioma)
Pleural Mesothelioma Lawyers in Chicago
Pleural mesothelioma is cancer of the lungs that starts in the chest cavity or pleura, the lining around the chest cavity. It accounts for 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases. The most common symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Night sweats/fever
- Persistent chest pain
- Persistent dry cough
- Shortness of breath.
Traditional treatments for pleural mesothelioma include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. While radiation and chemotherapy can help to kill cancerous cells, these methods are risky as they kill healthy cells in the process and, like all cancer treatments, can lead to other health concerns.
Surgery is also an option for pleural mesothelioma by removing all or part of the affected lung. However, that can be dangerous and seriously affect a patient’s overall health and future quality of life.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer of the abdomen that starts in the abdominal area or peritoneum, the lining around the abdomen. It accounts for 10-20 percent of all mesothelioma cases. The most common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Weight loss.
Traditional treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma also include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery to remove the cancerous tissue in the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract.
However, treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma can be difficult, as it tends to metastasize more quickly than other types of mesothelioma. In many cases, treatments simply focus on cancer’s symptoms and not a cure.
Pericardial mesothelioma is a cancer of the heart, which starts in the pericardium or the exterior lining around the heart. It accounts for only about one percent of all mesothelioma cases. The most common symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Night sweats/fever.
Traditional treatments for pericardial mesothelioma also include radiation and chemotherapy; however, surgery to remove the cancer is risky due to its proximity to the heart. As with other forms of mesothelioma, many treatments simply focus on cancer’s symptoms and not a cure.
What are the Compensations that Mesothelioma Victims may be entitled to?
Many mesothelioma lawsuits have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, and defendants have already paid out billions of dollars. While the facts and circumstances of every case are different, mesothelioma victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for damages that include:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Loss of spousal support and companionship
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Costs of rehabilitation
- End of life expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages and more.
Why You Should Hire a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Having a mesothelioma lawyer on your side can make all the difference when seeking to prevail in your mesothelioma illness lawsuit. In addition to advising you on your rights and determining the types of compensation for which you may be entitled, a mesothelioma lawyer knows which industries, companies and job sites have already been implicated in asbestos-related injuries, which asbestos manufacturers and suppliers have been found liable and in which legal venues to pursue your claim.
What type of lawsuit is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma lawsuits are a type of product liability lawsuit that secure financial compensation from negligent asbestos product manufacturers to help pay for treatments and other expenses. Your lawsuit must prove your mesothelioma diagnosis was caused by asbestos exposure.
How can I get mesothelioma compensation?
The general process for filing any mesothelioma compensation claim is similar.
1. Connect With a Mesothelioma Lawyer. The first step for filing any mesothelioma claim is to consult an experienced lawyer.
2. Research Details for Your Claim.
3. Determine Your Options.
4. File Your Claim.
5. Negotiate Your Award.
How much is a typical mesothelioma settlement?
The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $2 million. The average mesothelioma trial verdict is between $5 million and $11.4 million. Financial compensation from settlement payouts is generally nontaxable under federal tax laws.
What is the lowest mesothelioma settlement?
Mesothelioma lawsuit settlements average $1 million to $1.4 million. Mesothelioma verdicts average $2.4 million. Actual compensation amounts vary from case to case. At trial, judges and juries consider several factors to determine the awarded amount.
How long does it take for mesothelioma case to settle?
Although each case is different, many mesothelioma lawsuits start to award compensation in 90 days or less. Further, the entire mesothelioma lawsuit timeline may take under a year in some cases.
How do you prove mesothelioma?
To prove asbestos exposure for a mesothelioma legal claim, an attorney will need evidence of your exposure to asbestos products. Mesothelioma attorneys will also need medical documentation, such as test results and pathology reports, to build your case.
How much compensation will I get for mesothelioma UK?
(Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 provides lump sum payments to workers with certain dust related diseases (including Mesothelioma), whose employer or insurer cannot be traced. On average these payments are £18k for Mesothelioma claims.