Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that only develops from exposure to asbestos. It affects the thin membrane that lines the spaces in the body where the internal organs are located, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma usually develops in the mesothelium of the lungs and hastily spreads throughout the body, although it has been known to develop near other organs.
Mesothelioma has been causing Tennesseans so much pain and suffering over the past decades. From 2008 to 2012 alone there were 270 reported mesothelioma cases in Tennessee, resulting in 235 deaths in that period. Numbers like these beg the question: What is causing this horrible and fatal disease?
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a set of six naturally-occurring fibrous minerals, mined and used commercially in North America starting in the late 1800s. Due to its unique composition, asbestos is virtually resistant to fire and most chemical reactions, making it the perfect building material for commercial and industrial uses.
Asbestos use increased considerably during the Second World War. Since then, asbestos has been used substantially in industries like construction, mining, plumbing, shipping, and manufacturing – to name just a few. Asbestos was also used in a variety of goods, such as floor tiles, roofing shingles, textile products, cement compounds, ceiling materials, and automotive parts.
During the second half of the 1970s, asbestos use dipped when the significant health risks associated with it became clear. Starting in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began regulating the use of asbestos, and slowly phased it out of use in the workplace over the next two decades.
What Makes Asbestos Exposure Hazardous?
The reason asbestos is harmful to humans is the same reason it was widely used for so long: its durability. The six fibers that compose asbestos are microscopic and easily inhaled by humans.
While mining asbestos or using it for construction, asbestos can get broken into tiny pieces that create a dust that can settle in the lungs when it is inhaled. The fibers in the dust then bind themselves to the respiratory system, which makes them difficult to remove. The fibers do not cause mesothelioma immediately, though. According to the Mayo Clinic, the cancer may not develop until 40 years after a person’s initial exposure to asbestos.
Who Is Most Likely to be Exposed to Asbestos?
The decades long use of asbestos in many industries and thousands of commercial products exposed countless workers, and their families to asbestos. However, those Nashville workers who worked at certain industries were more likely to be exposed to asbestos than others. Those industries include:
- Armed Forces
- Power plants
- Commercial product manufacturing
Nashville workers most at risk of being diagnosed with Mesothelioma are those who:
- Have personally been exposed directly to asbestos, in the workplace or somewhere else; or
- Lived with a person who regularly handled asbestos at work and brought the fibers home on their clothing, skin, and hair.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are typically brought against a previous employer that used asbestos in the workplace, or a business that produced and marketed an asbestos product. In a mesothelioma case, two types of lawsuits can be filed:
- Personal Injury Lawsuits: A person that developed Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos is able to file a personal injury claim within four years of their Mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Wrongful Death Claims: The family of a person who died from Mesothelioma can file a wrongful death lawsuit against those who are responsible for the person’s exposure to asbestos. There is a time limit on how long the family has to file the lawsuit so it is important to speak with a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer shortly after your loved one passes away.
In order to file a successful mesothelioma lawsuit, the victim must prove that they were exposed to asbestos, something that probably occurred decades prior. Our attorneys can review the victim’s employment history and establish a connection between their exposure and mesothelioma diagnosis by identifying the source of their asbestos exposure.
Our Nashville Mesothelioma Lawyers Are Here to Help
Our knowledgeable attorneys at Morgan & Morgan know what effect a Mesothelioma diagnosis can have on the patient, and their loved ones. We are aware that bringing a lawsuit is likely not your number-one concern at this moment.
That being said, if you do decide to file a claim we will seek to make it as simple as possible. We are capable of dealing with each step of the legal process, and allow for you to determine your level of involvement 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 parties at-fault, you will not pay us any fees until we recover compensation for you or your family. Get your free consultation today.