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Month: June 2017

News

Veteran’s Mesothelioma Lawsuit Allowed to Proceed by Rhode Island Court

When it comes to fighting back against the asbestos companies, it is essential that you work with a mesothelioma attorney who knows the law and how to use it to stand up for your rights…. otherwise those responsible for your illness will try to shut you down. An example of this recently played out in the Superior Court of Rhode Island, where the family of a Navy veteran who died of mesothelioma had to fight for the right to seek justice from the asbestos companies responsible for his death.

The case involved Paul F. McCarthy, who served four years from 1951 to 1955. During his time of service he was first a member of the deck force and then the quartermaster of the U.S.S. Glennon, a ship that is known to have been fabricated using large quantities of asbestos, and whose turbine “was reported to have excessive vibrations” that meant that when its guns fired, asbestos dust would rain down on the ship’s occupants. McCarthy was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in May of 2013 and died the following November. Prior to his death he provided sworn testimony to his attorney and a court reporter, just days before his mesothelioma attorney filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against several asbestos companies who outfitted his ship on his behalf.  Those asbestos companies attempted to use technicalities to say that his testimony was not valid and that the information he provided not sufficient to use as evidence. Had the companies prevailed, Mr. McCarthy’s family would have been unable to pursue justice in court – their case would have been dismissed.

Instead, the mesothelioma attorney that is representing the family pushed back, using their knowledge of the law to prove that his testimony was admissible because it was provided in good faith and that it was a “statement under belief of impending death.” The court agreed. The judges also agreed that it was up to a jury to decide whether there was sufficient evidence that the asbestos companies’ products had caused Mr. McCarthy’s mesothelioma, and that it would not be appropriate to dismiss the case without letting a jury decide.

Having the right representation makes all the difference in a mesothelioma lawsuit. If you are seeking justice on behalf of yourself or a loved one who has been lost to an asbestos-related disease, contact us at 1-800-966-2244 to make sure that you have an attorney with the right knowledge and experience.

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Senate Healthcare Bill Increases Concerns Over Mesothelioma Costs

People who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma have a lot on their plate. Once they have been informed of their condition they have to deal with the emotional realities of a fast-moving terminal prognosis, the costs of treating a disease that requires highly specialized care, concerns about their family’s economic wellbeing, and much more. Now that the Senate is considering passage of a new healthcare bill, they have one more issue added to their plate: the very real worry that if the bill is passed, their healthcare costs could rise substantially as protections for those with preexisting conditions could end up being stripped away.

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FDA Warns that Fake Mesothelioma Drugs Pose Risk

People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have already been victimized once: exposed to asbestos by companies that were well aware of the dangers of the carcinogenic material, they now face a grim prognosis and an expected survival rate that rarely exceeds two years. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that they risk being harmed by yet another set of people putting profit over people: companies that are marketing false hope of a cancer cure in pill or bottle form.
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Asbestos Producing Countries Defy Member Nations Wishing to Restrict Export of Dangerous Material

Malignant mesothelioma claims 3,000 lives in the United States every year, and tens of thousands worldwide. Other asbestos-related diseases claim an estimated 100,000 lives around the globe each year. Yet despite these frightening statistics, the world’s largest exporters of asbestos continue to put profits over people. At this year’s meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention, Russia and six other countries stood in the way of placing tough trade restrictions on chrysotile asbestos. The world organization is now discussing steps that may change the existing rules in order to remove the countries’ veto powers.
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Study may Yield Faster Identification of Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cruel disease. It is caused by exposure to the mineral asbestos, and it sneaks up on its victims decades after that exposure takes place. The symptoms of the condition are far from obvious – they often are mistaken for the flu or a stomach bug, pneumonia or heartburn. It is only once treatments for those common illnesses fail that suspicions rise and physicians begin ordering tests: in the meantime, each day that goes by is a treatment day lost, and brings the victim closer to the day when mesothelioma finally claims their life.

The tests that confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma are still being developed. Physicians often order a series of diagnostic imaging studies or blood work that can take an extended period of time to provide definitive results, but now a study published in the journal Cellular Oncology points to a more accurate test that not only confirms the presence of mesothelioma, but also provides a clearer picture of the patient’s prognosis. This test takes a close look at cells found when patients undergo removal of pleural effusion, which is a gathering of fluid in the lungs. When the pleural effusions of patients who were confirmed to have malignant pleural mesothelioma were analyzed, researchers found that there were high levels of tumor cells and other biomarkers that provided an accurate assessment of the patient’s condition as well as how long they were likely to survive.

Being diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma is never a good thing, but with the certainty of the diagnosis patients are able to move forward with important life decisions about how they want to spend their remaining time, how aggressively they want to fight the disease, and what type of actions they want to take against those who are responsible for having exposed them to asbestos in the first place. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you would like to explore your legal options, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244. Our mesothelioma lawyers have the experience and knowledge you need to guide you to the right decision for you and your family.

News

Choosing Your Battles When Facing Mesothelioma

One of the cruelest aspects of a mesothelioma diagnosis is the fact that – in most cases – the disease is not diagnosed until patients are close to retirement age: just as they are anticipating spending their golden years doing all of the things that they pushed off for the future, they receive word that their future has been dramatically foreshortened. Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive disease that generally claims the lives of its victims within two years of diagnosis. Suddenly men and women in their late 50s or beyond find themselves having to decide whether to pursue aggressive medical treatments and having difficult and painful discussions with their loved ones as they prepare for the end of their lives.

A recent article in the New York Times puts one of the most difficult decisions facing mesothelioma patients into sharp focus: when is it okay to stop fighting the disease. The author describes the ravages of what she calls “treatment fatigue” and the pressure that is put on patients by the use of military-style language to describe the “battle” or “war” on disease. She makes the point that by urging patients to maintain a positive attitude and battle bravely, well-intended loved ones may put additional and painful pressure on people who are exhausted by the emotional, physical and financial impact of the ordeal.

Each mesothelioma patient will have to make their own decision as to when their body and mind have had enough of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery – the multi-modality treatment protocol that is favored in the treatment of their disease. These treatments may be used simply for pain relief or in an attempt to extend life and buy a few more critical months. For those who are viewing the situation from an economic perspective or who are concerned about the financial security of those they will leave behind, there are options available through the legal system. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, and because many in the asbestos industry were aware of its dangers, they have been held legally responsible for the damage that they have done.

If you would like to discuss your legal options, we can put you in touch with an experienced and knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244 to set up a free consultation.

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As National Cancer Survivor’s Day Approaches, Mesothelioma Victims Search for Justice

This coming Sunday marks the annual celebration of National Cancer Survivor’s Day, and mesothelioma patients and their loved ones are marking the event with mixed emotions. The celebration’s name suggests that it is specifically meant for those who have beaten cancer, and though event coordinators contradict this and say that it is an all-inclusive term, it still brings home the difficult fact that mesothelioma patients face a grim prognosis and a cruelly shortened life expectancy. Even with aggressive treatment, most mesothelioma patients live less than two years from the time that they’re diagnosed.

Mesothelioma is a disease that is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is extremely rare, and is only diagnosed in about 3,500 patients per year. In most cases the patients’ disease is advanced: this is in part because the disease has an extremely long latency period – mesothelioma only begins to show symptoms decades after exposure to the carcinogenic material. Most mesothelioma patients’ exposure to asbestos occurred in their work environments, though in some cases people have been sickened in other environments or as a result of second-hand exposure from the clothing worn by loved ones who worked near asbestos.

The emotional impact of a mesothelioma diagnosis is often just as devastating as the physical impact. While patients are facing the disease’s painful and debilitating symptoms and undergoing invasive treatment protocols, they are also forced to come to terms with the fact that their disease was entirely preventable: had their employer or the suppliers that provided their employers with asbestos-contaminated products acted more responsibly, they could be enjoying the long life that they have been cheated of. Many are bitter and angry: others are more resolute, but still realistic enough to know that they need to take action to protect their families against mounting medical bills and an uncertain economic future.

Mesothelioma victims do have options and resources available to help them seek compensation and justice for the wrongs that have been done to them. These options include filing a mesothelioma lawsuit against the manufacturers who exposed them to asbestos, and filing claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts against others. For more information on how you can get the help you need in exploring these options, call us at 1-800-966-2244. We are here to help.

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Day in Court Leads to Victory for Pennsylvania Teacher with Mesothelioma

One of the most challenging aspects of a mesothelioma diagnosis is often figuring out exactly where your illness came from. Though it helps to know that the disease is caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos, because so many years generally pass between exposure and a mesothelioma diagnosis that victims who did not work in obviously contaminated environments – like insulators or construction workers – are sometimes left scratching their heads trying to figure out how it happened.  This was not the case with the late Marianne M. Geier, who had taught school for one year for the Pittsburgh School District. Though fifty years had gone by, when Mrs. Geier was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October of 2013 she clearly remembered that during the one year she taught math at South  High School, from the fall of 1958 through the summer of 1959, her classroom had a floor-to-ceiing steam pipe that was fitted with a covering to protect against heat. She also remembered that repairs were made to that covering using materials whose bags were marked with the word “asbestos“. She also remembered that the same bags were lying around the hallways of the school, where the material in them was used to make other repairs.

Mrs. Geier died from malignant mesothelioma in July of 2016, but before she did she filed a lawsuit against the Pittsburgh School District’s Board of Public Education for failing to provide her with a safe work environment. The school district argued that the case should be dismissed because they were entitled to governmental immunity from the duty to protect their employees. The case was recently heard by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, which agreed with the victim’s family that the school board was not entitled to the special protection that they sought. The school board filed for summary judgement, making the argument that though there are specific exemptions from their immunity against being sued, Mrs. Geier’s case did not fall under any of those eight highly specific exemptions.

Upon  hearing arguments from both sides, the judges in the case emphatically agreed with the argument made by Mrs. Geier’s mesothelioma attorneys. They ruled that the family was within their rights to file the lawsuit and that the school district would have to face the possibility of being legally responsible for the damages that the teacher suffered. This is another example of the kind of difference that a well-versed, experienced mesothelioma attorney can make when you are seeking justice.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need an aggressive and experienced mesothelioma attorney working on your behalf. For help finding a mesothelioma attorney in your area, contact Mesotheliomalawyers.com at 1-800-966-2244. We will get you the information you need to move forward.