Help is available if you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma. We know that this is a difficult and emotional time for you and your family. At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, our attorneys can connect you to resources so that you can better understand your disease and the legal options that you may have to pursue financial compensation. Our Mississippi mesothelioma attorneys represent victims as they seek justice and optimal case results.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals that are found are rock and soil. If asbestos fibers are released into the air, they can get inhaled or ingested and cause serious health problems for the victim. This includes cancer of the mesothelial tissues, known as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a deadly type of cancer with no known cure. It can develop when asbestos particles get lodged in the mesothelium and cause irritation, damage, and scar tissue. Over the course of many years, the damage can create cancer cells and malignant tumors. Asbestos is also connected to lung cancer and many other serious illnesses.
What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
The symptoms of mesothelioma do not arise soon after exposure to asbestos. Once asbestos exposure has occurred, it can take many decades for it to cause mesothelioma and other illnesses. It takes many years for the asbestos particles to cause enough damage and scar tissue to become noticeable for the victim; the average latency period is 20-60+ years.
Once asbestos has caused mesothelioma, the symptoms may include:
- A persistent cough
- Painful coughing
- Chest pain and tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Lumps beneath the skin of the chest
- Chronic fatigue
- Fever and night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Stomach pain and tightness
- Lack of appetite
- Clubbing of the fingers and toes
The symptoms experienced will depend on the area of the body affected by mesothelioma, as well as the stage of the cancer. This refers to how far the cancer has metastasized, or spread, throughout the body at the time of diagnosis. Pleural mesothelioma (the most common type) causes symptoms in the chest, lungs, and respiratory system. Peritoneal mesothelioma is located in the abdomen and can affect digestion. The two least common types, pericardial and testicular mesothelioma, affect the heart and testicles, respectively.
How Common Is Mesothelioma in Mississippi?
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare type of cancer. In a study spanning from 1999 to 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they found that an average of 3,127 new cases of mesothelioma were diagnosed in the U.S. per year. To put it in perspective, about 226,400 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year. Mississippi is 32nd on the list of states for the number of mesothelioma cases.
Data collected by the CDC from 2015 to 2019 reported 134 new cases of mesothelioma and 92 mesothelioma deaths in Mississippi. One county in Mississippi had high enough numbers to be included in the CDC’s data: Jackson County. This county reported 19 new mesothelioma cases and 16 deaths from 2015 to 2019, which was an age-adjusted rate of 2.4 cases and 2.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
Can You Prevent Mesothelioma?
Avoiding exposure to asbestos can prevent mesothelioma. In Mississippi, an individual could be exposed to asbestos at work, school, or home. Hundreds of products that we interact with every day may contain asbestos. Asbestos was widely used for manufacturing purposes before it became regulated by the federal government in the 1970s. It was relied upon heavily in building and construction materials in particular due to its natural ability to resist heat, flame, and corrosion.
Examples of products that may contain asbestos include:
- Adhesives, putties, glues, and caulks
- Brakes and gaskets
- Cement sheets and poured cement
- Ductwork and pipes
- Heat shields
- Heat-resistant clothing and blankets
- Insulating cloth
- Roofing shingles and ceiling tiles
- Textured sprays (“popcorn ceiling”)
- Vinyl flooring tiles
- Wall panels and drywall
Living or working in an older building could lead to asbestos exposure if any of these materials get disturbed or damaged. This can release asbestos dust into the air to get inhaled or ingested. Asbestos has also been discovered in a variety of consumer goods that contain talc. Talc is another naturally occurring mineral that is often found in deposits located near asbestos. For this reason, talc used in personal care products such as talcum powder (baby powder) and makeup may be contaminated with asbestos.
Pursuing Compensation for Mesothelioma in Mississippi
Victims of mesothelioma may be eligible for financial compensation. It is often possible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the person or party that is responsible for exposing the victim to asbestos with the help of a mesothelioma lawyer, even if the incident occurred many years ago. Common defendants include product manufacturers, employers, and property owners. With a strict product liability claim, you could recover compensation with evidence that a product contained asbestos and that this is what caused your mesothelioma. It is generally not necessary to prove negligence for this type of lawsuit.
A personal injury or wrongful death claim may also be brought against an employer. For example, if a company negligently failed to protect its employees from foreseeable asbestos exposure risks with proper personal protective equipment, barriers, and other measures, the employer may be held liable for mesothelioma contracted by workers. This type of lawsuit requires proof of negligence. A workers’ compensation claim, on the other hand, could result in insurance benefits regardless of whether the employer was negligent.
Other possibilities for mesothelioma compensation include veterans’ claims for injured military members and asbestos trust fund claims. Asbestos trust funds were set up by many companies to pay victims of asbestos exposure even after declaring bankruptcy. A successful settlement or judgment award could pay for your related medical costs, pain and suffering, losses of income, permanent disability, and other damages connected to a mesothelioma diagnosis. While no amount of money can make up for your devastating illness, achieving a fair mesothelioma case outcome can help you move forward.
Contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP
You have rights as someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, our mesothelioma lawyers will treat your case with the respect and attention that it deserves.
We understand the difficult time that you and your family are going through after receiving this life-changing medical news. Our law firm can connect you to vital mesothelioma resources and assist you with the next step forward. Call (866) 871-7971 or contact us online today to schedule a free case consultation.