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Kansas City Mesothelioma Attorney

Modern Kansas City was built during the Pendergast Era from 1890 to 1940. Brothers Tom and James Pendergast, who became wealthy selling Pendergast Readi-Mix Concrete, basically ran the city. That concrete was most likely laced with asbestos, to give it fireproofing properties and also hold the concrete together. Back then, the dangers of asbestos weren’t widely known, mostly because of the asbestos cover-up.

Asbestos may be the cheapest and most effective insulation mineral in the world. To endure its continued use, many companies downplayed the health risks. One asbestos mining company told its workers they did not need to wear protective equipment because the fibers dissolved in their lungs. In addition to using this fake science, asbestos companies discredited researchers who spoke out about the health hazards of asbestos.

The asbestos cover-up began unraveling in the 1960s. By the 1980s, courts were awarding substantial compensation to asbestos-exposure victims. Today, a mesothelioma lawyer in Kansas City has many ways to obtain the compensation these families need and deserve. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Furthermore, additional punitive damages are usually available in civil cases.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Pleural Mesothelioma (PlM) is a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer. Because of the nature of this disease, along with diagnosis and treatment issues, PlM’s five-year survival rate is less than 10%.

Before the 1900s, lung cancer was one of the rarest forms of cancer in the world. Today, mostly because of cigarette smoke and asbestos exposure, it’s one of the most common ones. In 2020, 2.2 million cases resulted in 1.8 million deaths.

PlM is a painful form of lung cancer, mostly because mesothelium tumors increase the production of certain hormones in the body, causing paraneoplastic syndromes. These symptoms include:

  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Constipation,
  • Increased thirst, Frequent urination, and
  • Altered mental status.

These additional symptoms make a bad disease, like lung cancer, almost impossible to deal with on an everyday basis.

Unfortunately for PlM victims, these and other lung cancer symptoms, like chest tightness and trouble breathing, do not appear for at least 50 years. When doctors see such symptoms, they order MRIs and other diagnostic tests, and the treatment process begins. When they do not see these symptoms, they do not order tests, and the treatment process does not begin until it is too late.400

Peritoneal mesothelioma (PtM) is a form of abdominal cancer. Once again, asbestos fibers cause tumors in the mesothelium (the membrane that surrounds the abdomen). These tumors are difficult to see, and since these victims have no physical symptoms, doctors usually are not looking for them.

PtM and related illnesses, like cervical cancer, are especially common in indirect ambient exposure cases. More on that below.

Some treatments are available for PtM. However, these treatments are expensive or risky. CRISPR gene editing therapy could reverse the cellular mutations that cause tumors. CRISPR drugs cost millions of dollars per treatment. HIPEC procedures inject superheated chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdominal cavity. These treatments often have significant side effects.

At-Risk Victims

Mostly because of the asbestos cover-up, this substance was deeply embedded in the supply chain for many decades. Today, this long-term excessive use produces four basic categories of asbestos-exposure victims:

  • Direct Occupational: Navy veterans may be the best example of direct occupational victims. Usually, these individuals worked in asbestos-lined ships and handled asbestos-laced products. The Navy extensively used asbestos until 1980.
  • Indirect Occupational: To stay with the Navy example, many servicemembers who hardly ever set foot aboard ship could also be victims. Asbestos fibers, which are only slightly heavier than air, easily float into parking lots and other workplace common areas.
  • Direct Ambient (Environmental): When Navy servicemembers, or other occupational exposure victims, drove home, they often unwittingly carried asbestos fibers home as well, usually on their clothes or hair. These fibers then infected friends and family members, most of whom had no idea they were at risk.
  • Indirect Ambient: Asbestos fibers often contaminate talc-containing products since asbestos and talc are geologically and chemically similar. Johnson & Johnson has already set aside more than $10 billion to settle the first round of talc-asbestos claims.

We discussed the economic losses these victims sustain above. They also sustain significant noneconomic losses, mostly emotional distress. Usually, a mesothelioma, cervical cancer, or other diagnosis completely blindsides victims and their families. The emotional shock makes a horrible disease even more horrible.

Your Legal Options

Because asbestos creates so many victims in so many circumstances, a mesothelioma lawyer in Kansas City has several different legal options, such as:

  • No-Fault Claim: These matters include workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability, and VA disability. Generally, these applicants must prove they have a debilitating illness. “Debilitating” means the victim cannot work because of a medical condition. To establish the illness portion, a Kansas City mesothelioma attorney often partners with an independent doctor.
  • Bankruptcy VCF: When faced with liability lawsuits, many companies try to take the easy way out and file bankruptcy. Federal judges normally allow these procedures if the company also transfers assets into a victim compensation fund. Many asbestos companies declared bankruptcy in the 1980s. Today, the VCFs they set up contain more than $30 billion.
  • Civil Action: Negligence and defective products are the two most common civil actions. Companies have a duty to warn customers about known adverse product effects, such as mesothelioma. Alternatively, if a mesothelioma lawyer in Kansas City proves a product caused illness, the manufacturer could be liable for damages as a matter of law. These claims face some additional procedural obstacles in the state of Kansas.

The additional procedural obstacle in Kansas is a statute of repose. Many other states have similar laws that cut off defective product-related civil actions after a certain number of years, usually around 10. A skilled lawyer can usually find ways around, over, or through such obstacles.

Count on a Dedicated Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Mesothelioma victims need and deserve significant compensation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Kansas City mesothelioma lawyer, contact the Throneberry Law Group. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

Client Reviews
You are the reason my mother was able to cope with losing a loved one. You and your staff are always helpful and go above and beyond to help. You have been great to my family and especially my mother. My mother would always come out of your office with a peace of mind. R.S.
We are so appreciative of the results Michael Throneberry got for us! Michael Throneberry and the attorneys we worked with were focused on our peace of mind and seemed to care for my family and me as if we were family. They truly get it. We were thrilled with the result and would recommend this firm to anyone. M.S.
During one of my family's darkest and trying times, Michael Throneberry was there to provide help. His personal experience with mesothelioma made certain that he advised us like family. Thank you, you are wonderful. Do yourself a favor and let him help you during this trying time. He is a true 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. T.S.
Michael Throneberry gave me a whole new outlook on attorneys'! A very caring person who was more concerned with my health than a case. Truly unexpected! He explained possible conditions in english and even found the right doctors in my area. Prepared me for the right questions to ask the doctors so that I can understand my illness better. A great person and a great human being! Thank you. Greg