Finding out that you or a loved one has mesothelioma can leave you with more questions than answers. You may wonder where and when you were exposed to the asbestos that caused your disease, as well as whether you are eligible for financial compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit.
At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, we can provide answers, support, and legal advice. We know how difficult it is to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. Our attorneys represent clients in mesothelioma claims in Missouri and throughout the nation. We are top-rated attorneys with a long history of securing positive case results for our clients. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Why You Need a Mesothelioma Attorney
Hiring a Missouri mesothelioma attorney can give you access to important resources that you would not otherwise have. A law firm can hire investigators and mesothelioma experts, for example, to strengthen your case and support a claim against the at-fault party.
Your lawyer can help you build an insurance claim and pursue a fair and full settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can go to trial. Throughout the legal process, your lawyer can give you greater peace of mind and the opportunity to focus on what matters most – all while pursuing maximum case results on your behalf.
About Mesothelioma and the Dangers of Asbestos
Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal cancer that currently does not have a cure. It develops in the mesothelial tissues, which is the protective membrane that surrounds most of the organs. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos, a group of minerals that, upon entering the body, can become lodged in the mesothelium and cause irritation and scar tissue. Over time (the latency period is 20-60+ years, on average), the asbestos particles can cause enough damage to change the DNA cells and result in cancer.
There are four different types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma: cancer of the lining of the lungs and chest cavity
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: cancer of the lining of the abdomen
- Pericardial mesothelioma: cancer of the sac that surrounds the heart
- Testicular mesothelioma: cancer of the tunica vaginalis, the lining around the testicles
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type, making up 82.1 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is caused by inhaling particles or fibers of asbestos. Although mesothelioma treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery can potentially improve a patient’s quality of life and life expectancy, this is a terminal type of cancer. The average life expectancy for a patient who is diagnosed with mesothelioma is 12 to 21 months with treatment, according to the National Library of Medicine.
How Often Is Mesothelioma Diagnosed in Missouri?
Certain states have higher rates of mesothelioma than others, often due to a larger presence of asbestos in the environment and atmosphere. States with asbestos mines and natural deposits, for example, are connected to higher counts of related diseases. Based on data collected by the CDC from 1999 to 2018, the U.S. sees an average of 3,127 new cases of mesothelioma each year. Missouri was 20th in the country for the number of mesothelioma cases according to a CDC survey that took place from 2015 to 2019.
In this five-year span, there were 275 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed and 239 mesothelioma deaths in Missouri. Two counties in Missouri had high enough numbers to be included in the CDC’s data: St. Louis and Jackson. St. Louis County had 61 new cases of mesothelioma from 2015 to 2019, while Jackson County had 28. In the same time period, 57 mesothelioma-related deaths were reported in St. Louis County and 22 in Jackson County.
Where Is Asbestos Found?
While there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, being exposed to it regularly or consistently comes with higher odds of developing a related illness (source: National Cancer Institute). This means people who live or work around asbestos daily are at the highest risk of mesothelioma. Asbestos can be found in many buildings that were constructed prior to the 1990s. Asbestos was frequently used in building materials due to its natural fire resistance. This includes schools, offices, commercial buildings, and residences.
Products and materials that often contain asbestos include:
- Brake blocks
- Drywall and plaster
- Electrical panels
- Fire protection products
- Furnaces and boilers
- Joint compounds
- Millboard and rollboard
- Roofing shingles
- Textured paint and ceiling sprays
- Vinyl floor tiles and their adhesive backing
If any of these items get damaged or disturbed, asbestos particles can become airborne. Breathing in these particles puts anyone nearby at risk of developing mesothelioma. Certain occupations put workers at frequent risk of being exposed to asbestos in Missouri. At-risk workers include firefighters, teachers, HVAC technicians, construction workers, demolition workers, shipbuilders, military members, and auto mechanics.
Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits – Your Legal Rights
Mesothelioma victims may be entitled to financial compensation for several losses associated with their illnesses. A settlement or judgment award could pay a victim for medical bills, the costs of mesothelioma treatment, lost wages and future capacity to earn, pain and suffering, mental anguish, wrongful death damages, and more.
Potential sources of mesothelioma compensation include:
- Individual lawsuit (personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit)
- Product liability claim
- Premises liability claim
- Workers’ compensation claim
- Veterans mesothelioma claim
- Asbestos trust fund claim
The vast majority of mesothelioma claims are resolved with settlements. A settlement is an agreement between the claimant and an insurance company to end a legal dispute for a certain amount of money. However, a complex case or liability dispute may require a mesothelioma trial. Having an experienced litigator by your side from the start of your case can allow you to choose the right route for you and successfully navigate the civil justice system.
Contact Us Today | Call (866) 871-7971 for a Free Case Review
At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, our lawyers help victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure understand their rights and exercise them to the fullest extent of the law. We will stand by you throughout the claims process, answering your questions and keeping you updated about the status of your case. Our mesothelioma lawyers will never leave you in the dark. Start with a free consultation about a potential mesothelioma case. Call (866) 871-7971 or send us a message today.