Asbestos is a group of minerals that were once used abundantly to manufacture a variety of products, building materials and equipment. In 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer confirmed that all six types of asbestos can cause cancer. The most common type of cancer associated with exposure to asbestos is mesothelioma – a rare and aggressive type of cancer with no known cure.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and wish to discuss your potential legal options with an attorney, contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP for a free case review. We have years of experience handling asbestos and mesothelioma claims for clients in Hawaii and across the country.
Why Choose Us for This Case?
- We have proven case results and are committed to fighting for the best possible outcome for each client. We’ve recovered more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts for asbestos-related cases.
- Our attorneys provide personalized care and attention to each case. We will carefully guide you and your family through each phase of the legal process to make sure you have everything you need.
- We offer free initial case consultations and accept mesothelioma cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will only pay for our legal services if we collect compensation on your behalf.
What Is Mesothelioma? What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma refers to cancer of the mesothelium, also called the mesothelial tissues. This is the thin membrane that makes up the lining of many internal organs. Asbestos can cause mesothelioma by damaging the mesothelial cells. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become lodged in the mesothelium around the lungs, abdomen, heart or testicles. They can become stuck there for many years, causing inflammation and scarring that can eventually lead to mesothelioma.
There are four types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma – cancer of the lining of the lungs
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – cancer of the lining of the abdomen
- Pericardial mesothelioma – cancer of the protective sac around the heart
- Testicular mesothelioma – cancer of the lining that surrounds the testes
The symptoms of mesothelioma are not discovered right away. Instead, it takes years for exposure to asbestos to result in cancer of the mesothelium. The average latency period for this disease is 20-60+ years. Unfortunately, this can make mesothelioma difficult to diagnose. The symptoms often include shortness of breath, a cough that won’t go away, chest pain or tightness, fever, and fatigue. By the time most patients notice symptoms of mesothelioma, the cancer may have spread to other parts of the body. The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to minimize your exposure to asbestos.
How Many People Are Diagnosed With Mesothelioma in Hawaii Each Year?
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in Hawaii from 2015 to 2019, there were 38 new cases of mesothelioma and 36 people who died from this disease. Hawaii had an average of 7.6 new mesothelioma cases per year for each of these five years. These numbers put Hawaii toward the bottom of the list of states – number 46 – for mesothelioma incidence rates. The only county with high enough mesothelioma numbers to be included in the CDC’s report was Honolulu County, with 28 cases and 25 deaths recorded within the study period.
At-Risk Individuals for Mesothelioma
Coming into contact with asbestos just once could potentially lead to a case of mesothelioma or another serious illness. Research suggests that there is no “safe” amount of asbestos exposure. However, an individual’s risk of developing mesothelioma increases in proportion to the amount that he or she is exposed to asbestos. This means the people who are most at risk are those who are near or around asbestos regularly.
People at the highest risk of mesothelioma include workers in dangerous occupations, the family members of at-risk workers and residents who live in older buildings. High-risk workers may deal directly with asbestos, such as asbestos miners, abatement professionals or removal experts. They may also work with building materials or products that contain asbestos, such as construction workers, insulation installers, HVAC technicians and electricians.
Other at-risk jobs include firefighting first response. People who are the first to the scene of a disaster or emergency could be exposed to asbestos dust that has entered the air from a fire or structural collapse. Anyone who lives with workers who are around asbestos often could suffer from secondhand exposure due to particles of asbestos coming home with the worker on his or her hair, skin, shoes or clothes. Finally, residents in homes that were built prior to the 1980s could be at risk of mesothelioma if asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed.
Your Legal Rights as a Victim of Mesothelioma
If you were exposed to asbestos by an employer, product manufacturer, property owner or the military, you may be eligible for mesothelioma compensation. The options available to you will depend on the circumstances, such as whether someone was negligent or breached a duty of care owed to you. Possibilities may include an asbestos trust fund claim, a mesothelioma lawsuit, a workers’ compensation claim or a veterans claim.
You may be entitled to the following types of compensation as a mesothelioma victim:
- Past and future medical bills
- Mesothelioma treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Lost capacity to earn in the future
- Disability expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Most mesothelioma cases reach settlements, or written agreements between the plaintiff and defendant that are made out of court. Complex cases, however, may need to go to trial to be resolved. Filing one or multiple claims with assistance from an attorney can help you pursue maximum financial compensation for your losses. Your lawyer will be committed to achieving the best possible results for your case.
Speak to a Mesothelioma Attorney Today
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma or another serious illness associated with exposure to asbestos could mean that you are entitled to financial compensation. Filing a claim or lawsuit for your medical expenses, lost income and other damages could help you and your family move forward with greater peace of mind.
The attorneys at Bailey & Glasser, LLP can use their knowledge and experience in mesothelioma litigation to provide the support that you need during this difficult time. Request your free case consultation today to learn more about how we can help you. Call (866) 871-7971.