There are four (4) separate and distinct asbestos-related diseases and/or disease categories: Mesothelioma, lung cancer, other cancers and asbestosis. Each of these diseases develops slowly over many years from first exposure to asbestos.
MESOTHELIOMA – This is the most devastating of the asbestos-related disease processes and invariably results in death. It is a malignant tumor that attacks the pleura or the peritoneum, which are the thin membrane linings that surround the lungs and the abdominal cavity, respectively. Malignant mesothelioma is virtually always the result of asbestos exposure.
OTHER CANCERS – Workers exposed to asbestos inhale or swallow asbestos fibers into the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Medical studies have linked certain cancers that originate in the throat such as pharynx, larynx or esophagus or, in the stomach, colon-rectum, with previous occupational asbestos exposure.
ASBESTOSIS – This is lung scarring or fibrosis caused by microscopic size asbestos fibers that are deposited in the small airways of the lungs. The symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, dry cough and fatigue. Asbestosis impairs the gas exchange in lung tissue, that is, scar tissue in the lungs prevents the transfer of oxygen into the blood stream and, in advanced cases, may result in death.
Asbestos-related lawsuits are typically litigated as product liability claims under theories of negligence and strict liability. Injured parties proceed against the former manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of asbestos-containing products that were used at their job sites. Because each of our clients has a unique work history, we devote a great deal of time and attention in the investigation of each case.
Asbestos In Shipyards, Steel Plants, Powerhouses, Construction Trades
Workers who had asbestos exposure in the shipyards during World War II, as well as clients who have been exposed to asbestos in steel plants, powerhouses and in the construction trades may suffer the effects of exposure. Many of our younger clients who were first exposed in the late 1960s to early 1970s are just now being diagnosed. If you, or a loved one, have significant occupational or “para-occupational” exposure or diagnosis, we urge you to act quickly to protect your rights.
In some serious cases in which a worker dies from mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, wrongful death claims for the surviving spouse and dependents may be filed up to ten (10) years from the date of death, based upon a special statute. If we can answer any questions for you, please do not hesitate to telephone us or email us.