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If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, your doctor will describe the state of your condition using one of four stages. Each stage represents the extent to which the tumor has metastasised, which is the spread from its original growth point. Identifying the cancer’s stage is an important aspect of the diagnosis and can ultimately determine treatment options moving forward.

Depending on the patient’s health and stage of the cancer, doctors may recommend more aggressive treatment options like surgery to try and remove the tumors present. When the cancer is operable, doctors consider the tumors resectable and may help extend the life expectancy of the patient.

Stage I Mesothelioma

iabestosisotherasbestosdisease_27.jpgRay Albright, a former Tennessee state legislator, recently revealed his mesothelioma diagnosis almost four decades after exposure to asbestos while working as a boilermaker in a Chattanooga factory to support his family. Sadly, doctors informed him that he only has a few months to live. He and his wife had planned to continue their lives together for decades to come as they raised a family, worked hard, and served the citizens of Tennessee.

According to reports, the victim took a job at Combustion Engineering back in 1953 where he worked for almost two-decades using a bandsaw to cut steel tops for boilers. The victim described the toxic atmosphere he worked in, noting the dust from the job made the air so thick that visibility was extremely limited.

Unfortunately for the victim, he and others at the plant unknowingly breathed in toxic asbestos, an industrial insulation commonly used in various industries because of its heat resistant properties. The former state legislator believes his employer and others knew about the dangers asbestos exposure could pose but did nothing to warn him and others.

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As we observe Lung Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to understand the various causes of lung cancers and work hard to promote awareness about how and why these types of diseases occur, how to avoid them, and what our treatment options are. Fortunately, support communities across the country are coming together for just this very purpose.

Asbestos exposure can increase your risk for lung cancer. While not exclusive to the lungs, mesothelioma tumors often affect a thin lining around these organs, known as the mesothelial tissue. When affecting the lining around the lungs, this type of cancer is known as pleural mesothelioma and occurs in about two-thirds of mesothelioma patients.

Lowering Your Risk for Lung Cancer

iabestosisotherasbestosdisease_27.jpgIf you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you undoubtedly have serious questions about the disease, its causes, and possible medical treatments to help live a longer, happier life. Often times, one of the most pressing questions for mesothelioma victims is, “How did I get mesothelioma?” or “Where did my mesothelioma come from?”

While cancer diagnoses are best made by trained, experienced oncologists and pathologists, the causal link between exposure to asbestos and developing mesothelioma has been known for many decades. Mesothelioma is often referred to the signature disease of asbestos exposure. In other words, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and when a diagnosis is made, asbestos exposure is investigated as the cause.

Asbestos is a mineral once popular in many industrial and commercial products, particularly as an insulation due to its heat-resistant properties. Applications of the dangerous mineral included auto parts, flooring, siding, and military settings, which created the possibility that millions of Americans could have been exposed.

img-2.jpgThe two sides in a class action asbestos exposure lawsuit recently agreed to an $80 million settlement just days before the trial was scheduled to commence. The settlement sets a record for the largest medical monitoring fund ever created in the state of Missouri and could provide services to up to 7,500 individuals who may have been exposed to asbestos.

The case stems from renovations on the Jackson County Courthouse between 1983 and 1985 when potentially thousands of individuals were exposed to asbestos during the project. One of the lead plaintiffs, a Jackson County Courthouse worker, claims the floor she worked on was almost completely covered in asbestos by workers who tracked the deadly mineral around when the failed to follow any sort of safety protocols.

While the defendant U.S. Engineering claims no one was harmed by the renovations almost 30 years ago, at least one death has been linked to asbestos exposure at the site. In 2011, the family of an administrative worker at the courthouse recovered $10.4 million in a settlement with the county and U.S. Engineering after the victim passed away from mesothelioma.

iabestosisotherasbestosdisease_27.jpgA Los Angeles jury recently made headlines after awarding $18 million to a plaintiff claiming asbestos-laced talcum powder was to blame for his mesothelioma. The 68-year-old former Los Angeles political figure claims he developed mesothelioma from coming in contact with talcum powder at his father’s barbershop where he would visit and spent time working as a child, stemming all the way back to the 1940s.

The defendant, Whittaker Clark & Daniels, was just one of many parties the plaintiff intended to hold responsible for his health issues. The plaintiff claims he was exposed to asbestos-laced talc in common hygiene products like Old Spice, Clubman, Kings Men, and Mennen Shave Talc.

The 12-person jury ultimately found Whittaker Clark & Daniels 30% at fault for the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. The verdict is also significant because the jury awarded the victim $3 million more than named in the suit and could have been much more had the trial proceeded to the punitive damages award stage.

img-2.jpgWhile the disease is rare, many are familiar with mesothelioma and its causal relationship to exposure to asbestos, a once common additive to many industrial and commercial products during the mid-20th century. However, many do not realize that mesothelioma is not the only debilitating condition associated with exposure to toxic asbestos.

According to research analyzed by reporters, the case study of one small Montana town highlights just how high the risks of asbestos exposure can be, even if it does not result in developing mesothelioma. The study analyzed the health of the 7,300 residents of Libby, Montana in the years following the closure of a nearby vermiculite mine.

The mine operated for decades until its closure in 1990. The vermiculite mined contained asbestos and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared it a an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in 2002. It became one of the largest environmental cleanups in U.S. history.

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Asbestos-related conditions like mesothelioma do not usually manifest themselves right away. Most of the time, it can take years before the signs and symptoms of serious illnesses alert asbestos exposure victims to the harm they have suffered. With such a long passage of time between asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma, victims may be unsure of the legal timeframes they have to file claims and seek compensation.

One recent case highlights exactly why victims and their families need to take immediate action when someone they love is diagnosed with mesothelioma or another serious asbestos-related condition. While times can be trying after a mesothelioma diagnosis, victims are strongly advised to contact an experienced, nationwide mesothelioma lawyer about their case as soon as possible.

The victim in this case was an 84-year-old Washington man who worked at a paper pulp factory for many years after his discharge from the Navy. The victim passed away in 2010 due to complications from the mesothelioma he developed from asbestos exposure while at the pulp and paper mill.

iabestosisotherasbestosdisease_27.jpgAn Arizona Appeals Court ruled that parties are not liable for the harm their asbestos products cause to others in secondhand or “take-home” asbestos exposure. The case centered around a decedent whose surviving heirs claim the victim passed away due to secondhand exposure of asbestos brought home by the victim’s father. The mesothelioma victim’s father worked for Arizona-based Reynolds Metals Co. in Maricopa County during the 1950’s and was frequently exposed to asbestos fibers on work clothes, inside automobiles, and general surroundings.

Attorneys for the plaintiff argued that defendant owed a duty to refrain from creating dangerous or otherwise hazardous conditions on its property, which could cause harm to others off site. Courts in other states have found that plaintiffs were harmed because their parent worked in proximity to asbestos and the defendants owed them a duty not to place them at risk.

The plaintiff argued citing other state courts that property owners owe “a general duty to refrain from engaging in affirmative acts that a reasonable person should recognize as involving an unreasonable risk of causing an invasion of an interest of another, or acts which involve an unreasonable risk of harm to another.”

img-2.jpgA group of plaintiffs recently filed a federal lawsuit against an asbestos litigation trust set up by their former employer to recover millions in unpaid claims they allege the administrators are squandering. In addition to this suit, the asbestos litigation trust set up to disperse compensation to victims also faces hundreds of other claims over allegations that workers at a Texas-based plant were exposed to asbestos for decades.

The case began in 2000 when the defendants, Tyler Pipe and Swan Transportation, lost a pair of multimillion dollar asbestos exposure lawsuits which ultimately bankrupted the companies. As is common with these types of cases, bankruptcy courts required the defendants to set up a trust fund for these and other victims exposed to dangerous industrial conditions while working at the plant.

Victims Still Waiting for Asbestos Exposure Compensation

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