Asbestos & Mesothelioma
Asbestos has long been a known carcinogen, causing mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as a lung disease called asbestosis. Despite a decades-long ban on the substance, cases of cancer and disease linked to asbestos continue to crop up, devastating families. With its long history in manufacturing and industries that relied heavily on asbestos, Massachusetts is no stranger to this disease. In fact, Massachusetts ranks 13th in the nation for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths, according to The Mesothelioma Center.
If you worked in the shipyards or textile mills of Massachusetts, at a power plant or an auto parts manufacturer, you might have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace for years. If you are now dealing with a serious lung illness or cancer, or if you lost a loved one to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, you deserve to be compensated for the medical bills and other expenses you incurred as a result of the illness, as well as the pain and suffering and emotional distress you have had to endure. The Massachusetts personal injury attorneys at Scalli Murphy can help you through this process in Massachusetts and throughout the United States.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is very strong and heat-resistant. In addition, the fibrous physical structure of asbestos enables it to be woven into fabrics and other materials. Because of these properties, asbestos was heavily relied upon in textiles and manufacturing for over 100 years. Unfortunately, the properties that make asbestos such a useful manufacturing material also make it extremely harmful to public health. The long, thin microscopic asbestos fibers can rub off from the materials they are used with and released into the air, where they are inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos fibers do not get broken down in the body but instead accumulate over years until they manifest in a severe, often deadly illness. Asbestos inhalation can cause:
Mesothelioma – A rare, aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is incurable and fatal. It typically starts in the membranes covering the lungs (the pleura) or other organs (the peritoneum), but it can originate in the testicles, as well.
Asbestosis – A lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos particles. Asbestosis often causes fibrosis (scarring in the lung tissue) and puts victims at risk of mesothelioma.
Asbestos was used in construction and manufacturing from the 1850s well into the 1970s, despite knowledge of the health risks dating back to the 1930s. It has been used in everything from roofing and building boards in commercial and residential construction to the brakes and clutches in automobiles. You could find asbestos everywhere, from office buildings to apartment buildings, shipyards to automotive assembly plants. Even household consumer products like baby powder (talcum powder) have been found to contain asbestos, with possible links to ovarian cancer.
Asbestos disease takes a long time to develop following exposure. It can take anywhere from 15 to 60 years for disease symptoms to manifest. It is not only factor workers who have been at risk for asbestosis and mesothelioma, but also those in close contact with the worker as well. For instance, spouses or other family members who washed the worker’s clothes could wind up inhaling asbestos fibers for years, putting them at equal risk for contracting a disease.
Proving an Asbestos Case
Courts long ago ruled that asbestos manufacturers knew their product was hazardous and entered into a conscious conspiracy to suppress such information. Companies that profited in any way from asbestos, used asbestos, claimed to stop using asbestos yet continued to do so or failed in their duty to remediate can and should be held liable for the deadly effects of their negligence or flagrant misconduct.
Fortunately, unlike most legal matters, an affected person does not have to prove liability. If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, liability is proven and conclusive. Only asbestos exposure causes Mesothelioma. Defendant companies are without argument or ability to say otherwise. In other words, you have already one the case. The case then is solely about how much compensation should each defendant pay to you and your loved ones for the pain, suffering and death they are causing or have caused.
Help Is Available to Deal With Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Massachusetts
It is difficult to imagine the pain and grief of terminal lung disease, or losing a loved one to mesothelioma, when the victim did nothing but spend a lifetime working to put food on the table and provide for the family. We cherish the opportunity to help you recover for your medical bills and other expenses and provide financial compensation to help you and your loved ones going forward. If you contracted asbestosis, mesothelioma or a lung disease you believe might be tied to asbestos exposure, call Scalli Murphy in Everett for a free consultation. Our dedicated personal injury lawyers take cases throughout Massachusetts and the United States. Also, we only get paid if we are able to help you receive compensation.