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Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that can only develop from exposure to asbestos. The condition affects the thin membrane that lines the space where the internal organs are located, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma (asbestosis) typically develops in the mesothelium of the lungs and spreads rapidly throughout the body, although it has been known to develop near other organs.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals, mined and used commercially in North America beginning in the late 1800’s. The minerals unique composition makes it nearly fire retardant and averse to most chemical reactions, establishing it as the perfect building material for commercial and industrial purposes.
The use of asbestos rose exponentially during World War Two. In the decades that followed, asbestos use continued to rise in industries like construction, mining, plumbing, shipping, and manufacturing, among others. A wide array of goods, such as floor tiles, roofing shingles, textile products, cement compounds, ceiling materials, and automotive parts also used asbestos.
Things changed during the 1970s, when asbestos use decreased with the revelation about the serious health risks associated with it. Notably, in 1971 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began regulating the use of asbestos in the workplace. In the years that followed, asbestos use in construction and other products was slowly phased out.
What Makes Asbestos Exposure Dangerous?
Asbestos was widely used in construction because of its unique durability, which is the same thing that makes it dangerous to humans. The six fibers that compose asbestos are microscopic and easily inhaled. While asbestos is being mined or broken up during construction the mineral is fragmented, releasing a dust that can easily settle in the lungs when it is inhaled.
Once in the lungs, the fibers bind themselves to the respiratory system, which makes them difficult to expel. The fibers do not cause Mesothelioma immediately, and in some cases Mesothelioma does not develop for up to 40 years, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Asbestos Exposure?
The use of asbestos for decades in a multitude of industries and thousands of commercial products exposed an unknown number of Lexington workers and their families to asbestos. However, those that worked in certain industries were more likely to be exposed to asbestos than those in others. The riskiest industries include:
- Armed Forces
- Power plants
- Commercial product manufacturing
Workers in Lexington with the greatest risk of being diagnosed with Mesothelioma are those who:
- Have personally been exposed directly to asbestos, in the workplace or elsewhere; or
- Lived with a person who regularly worked with asbestos and carried the fibers home on their clothing, skin, or hair.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are typically brought against a former employer that used asbestos in the workplace, or a business that produced and advertised a product that contained asbestos. In a Mesothelioma case, two kinds of lawsuits can be filed:
- Personal Injury Lawsuits: A person that contracted Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos is able to file a personal injury lawsuit within four years of their diagnosis.
- Wrongful Death Claims: The Kentucky Wrongful Death Statute gives the family of a Mesothelioma victim power to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages against those who caused the person’s exposure to asbestos. There is finite amount of time the family has to file a lawsuit, so it is imperative that they speak with a knowledgeable Mesothelioma attorney shortly after their loved one passes away.
To file a successful Mesothelioma lawsuit, the victim has to demonstrate that they came into contact with asbestos, something that probably took place decades earlier. Our attorneys at Morgan & Morgan will review the victim’s history of employment in order to establish a connection between their exposure and Mesothelioma diagnosis by finding the source of their asbestos exposure.
Our Mesothelioma Lawyers Are Ready to Help
Our knowledgeable Mesothelioma lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have personally seen what effect a Mesothelioma diagnosis can have on the patient, and their loved ones. We are aware that bringing a lawsuit is probably not your first priority at this moment. Nevertheless, if you do choose to file a lawsuit we will try and make the process as simple as possible.
We are capable of dealing with each part of the legal process, and allow for you to control your level of participation in the case. You do not have an infinite amount of time to file a Mesothelioma lawsuit so contact us for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.
If you opt to work with our attorneys to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault parties, you will not pay us any fees until we recover compensation for you or your family. Schedule your free consultation today.