At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, we understand how devastating a mesothelioma diagnosis in New Jersey is for patients and their families. We are committed to connecting clients to vital mesothelioma legal resources and providing professional assistance during this difficult time. We can help you and your family secure the financial compensation that you need to move forward after receiving this life-changing diagnosis. Discuss your case in detail with one of our case intake specialists today. Call us at (856) 324-8219.
We Are Experienced Mesothelioma Attorneys in New Jersey
- Bailey & Glasser, LLP is a full-service law firm that was founded in 1999 and has offices across the country. We can handle even the most complicated mesothelioma cases. Most asbestos cases reach settlements, but we can go to trial on your behalf, if necessary.
- Our attorneys have years of experience handling asbestos and mesothelioma claims. We have acquired successful case results for many clients, including a $50 million verdict for a steel mill worker who died from mesothelioma.
- Your lawyer will put you first during your mesothelioma case. Our attorneys dedicate individual time and attention to each client for an optimal legal experience. At our law firm, you aren’t just a number or case file, we know you name, case details, and your story.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a terminal type of cancer that arises when a person is exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is a group of six minerals that were all established as known carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1987. Until that time, however, asbestos was widely used in manufacturing enterprises due to its fire-resistant properties and durability. Today, asbestos still exists in millions of buildings around the United States, including many in New Jersey.
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare kind of cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999 to 2018, an average of 3,128 new cases of mesothelioma were diagnosed per year. There is no known cure for mesothelioma. The average life expectancy of a patient who is diagnosed with mesothelioma, according to the National Library of Medicine, is approximately 12 to 21 months.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Pleural mesothelioma, or cancer of the pleura (the thin membrane that surrounds the lungs) is the most common type of mesothelioma. It accounted for 82.1 percent of all new mesothelioma cases diagnosed from 1999 to 2018 in the U.S., according to the CDC. Pleural mesothelioma is caused by breathing microscopic asbestos fibers into the lungs.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with pleural mesothelioma are:
- Dry, persistent cough
- Respiratory issues
- Trouble breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Blood in the sputum
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lumps on the skin of the chest
- Swelling of the face or arms
- Unexplained weight loss
The second most common type of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum). Approximately 9.9 percent of mesothelioma cases diagnosed in the U.S. from 1999 to 2018 were peritoneal.
Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
- Swelling or distention of the abdomen
- Bloating or fluid build-up in the abdomen
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Bowel obstruction or constipation
- Diarrhea or altered bowel movements
- Nausea or loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fever or night sweats
The other two types of mesothelioma, pericardial and testicular mesothelioma, are exceedingly rare. They account for less than 1 percent of all malignant mesotheliomas. Many patients do not experience symptoms of mesothelioma until many years after being exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, or the interval between the date of exposure and the development of malignant tumors. Exposure to asbestos typically does not result in cancerous tumors until approximately 20-60+ years after the date of exposure.
New Jersey Mesothelioma Facts and Figures
New Jersey is eighth in the country for the number of new cases of mesothelioma reported each year, according to data collected by the CDC on mesothelioma diagnoses from 2015 to 2019. New Jersey had 575 new cases of mesothelioma during this time period, averaging about 115 new cases per year. New Jersey’s age-adjusted rate of new cases was 1.1 per 100,000 people (95 percent confidence interval: 1.0-1.2). The five-year relative survival rate for New Jersey patients who were diagnosed with mesothelioma was 12.9 percent.
Countywide Statistics for Mesothelioma in New Jersey, 2015-2019
|County||Age-Adjusted Rate||New Cases||Deaths||Population|
|Essex County||0.8||32||Data Suppressed||3,983,533|
|Passaic County||0.9||24||Data Suppressed||2,517,990|
|Atlantic County||1.1||19||Data Suppressed||1,330,511|
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mesothelioma Prevention – Asbestos Laws in New Jersey
Malignant mesothelioma can be prevented by avoiding and preventing exposure to asbestos. Minimizing your exposure in your residence, workplace and public buildings is the best way to protect yourself from this type of cancer. In New Jersey, both state and federal laws are in place to protect citizens from asbestos exposure. It is the responsibility of every property owner, business owner and employer to follow applicable asbestos laws to protect others from exposure.
Some of the laws preventing asbestos exposure in New Jersey are:
- N.J.A.C. 7:26-1.1: this environmental protection law includes rules and regulations for removing and disposing of asbestos-containing waste materials.
- The New Jersey Department of Health has guidelines for asbestos workers and supervisors (including supervisors of housing developments and public buildings) for the safe removal of asbestos from buildings.
- The State Department of Community Affairs regulates asbestos abatement in all public buildings and educational facilities. It also monitors asbestos safety technicians and inspections.
- The Department of Labor and Workforce Development handles the licensing of asbestos abatement technicians, contractors and supervisors in New Jersey.
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): a federal law that initiated an asbestos technical assistance program to safely inspect buildings and handle asbestos abatement.
- Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910: a federal law that specifically addresses asbestos exposure risks in the workplace in all industries covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Unfortunately, not all employers and building owners in New Jersey obey the asbestos laws and regulations that apply to them. This can lead to harmful and preventable asbestos exposure that impacts students, workers and the general public. If you believe that you developed mesothelioma that could have been prevented with an appropriate level of care by an employer, building supervisor, product manufacturer or another party, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Occupational Asbestos Hazards in New Jersey – Who Is Most at Risk?
The National Cancer Institute states that malignant mesothelioma arises most often in individuals who are exposed to asbestos regularly, such as those who work directly with asbestos or experience substantial environmental contact with this carcinogen. However, evidence suggests that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.
The occupations in New Jersey that put workers most at risk of asbestos exposure and related illnesses are:
- Construction workers
- Building trades
- Demolition workers
- HVAC workers and electricians
- Drywall removers
- Asbestos miners
- Those in manufacturing and industrial jobs
- Power plant workers
- Workers in steel and paper mills
- Automobile workers and mechanics
- Firefighters and first responders
- Asbestos abatement technicians
Companies and corporations in industries that put workers at risk of exposure have a legal responsibility to protect their employees. They must follow OSHA’s asbestos regulations, for example, and protect workers from occupational exposure with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). The negligent failure to protect workers from asbestos exposure can make the employer financially responsible, or liable, for related cases of mesothelioma.
Known Asbestos Exposure Sites in New Jersey
People who work with or near asbestos are not the only individuals at risk of mesothelioma in New Jersey. Living or frequenting any location that is contaminated with asbestos could eventually cause mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses, such as asbestosis, lung cancer and pleural thickening. In these cases, the owner of the property or company may be held liable for a plaintiff’s development of malignant mesothelioma.
Sites where there has been confirmed asbestos contamination and associated health risks in New Jersey include:
- Childcare centers
- Residential buildings
- Industrial settings
- Military bases
- Auto shops
- Buildings constructed before the 1980s
If you were exposed to asbestos in any location, the owner of the property may be held responsible. The most common types of defendants named in asbestos lawsuits according to the New Jersey courts are the manufacturer, seller or distributor of an asbestos product; the owner of a worksite where a plaintiff was exposed to asbestos while employed; the insurance company in charge of inspecting the plaintiff’s workplace; a miner of asbestos; and an employer.
Products That Contain Asbestos in New Jersey
A study published in the National Library of Medicine states that over 20 million people in the United States currently face exposure to asbestos. Millions of products and materials found in the country are contaminated with asbestos, putting consumers at risk of mesothelioma. This includes both products that were manufactured prior to bans on asbestos and products that continue to be manufactured with asbestos today under the rules of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Coming into frequent and continuing contact with any of the following products in New Jersey could put you at risk of mesothelioma:
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Ceiling tiles
- Textured ceiling sprays
- Glues and adhesives
- Roofing materials
- Fireproofing materials
- HVAC materials
- Reinforced plastics
- Cement and plaster
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Boilers and hot water pipes
- Vehicle brakes and clutches
Deposits of asbestos fibers that exist in old buildings and materials may be disturbed and emitted into the air during renovation or demolition projects. This is why those in construction and building trades are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma in New Jersey. If any product exposes you to asbestos and results in mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the item.
Pursuing Financial Compensation for Mesothelioma in New Jersey
Your attorney may be able to secure financial compensation on your behalf for a case of mesothelioma through one or multiple sources in New Jersey. The traditional method is to file a lawsuit, which most often results in a settlement but may go to trial and end in a jury verdict, depending on the case. There are currently over 1,300 asbestos claims pending in Middlesex County, New Jersey. However, a lawsuit may not be your only option.
Types of mesothelioma compensation include:
- Settlement – an amount of money agreed upon by both parties to prevent a lawsuit or stop a lawsuit from progressing. This is the most common resolution for a mesothelioma claim, as it is often cheaper for an insurance company than a lawsuit.
- Verdict – an order given by a judge or jury that requires a defendant to pay a certain amount of money to the plaintiff after a trial has been conducted. It is less common for a mesothelioma lawsuit to go to trial.
- Asbestos trust fund – a special fund set up by companies that have gone bankrupt in recent years, such as manufacturing corporations, to continue to pay mesothelioma victims. Collecting compensation from an asbestos trust fund does not require filing a lawsuit.
Depending on the circumstances, you may also be eligible for compensation through a workers’ compensation claim, veterans’ claim, multidistrict litigation or class action lawsuit in New Jersey.
You can discuss all of your financial recovery options with an asbestos attorney at Bailey & Glasser, LLP for more information.
Contact a New Jersey Mesothelioma Attorney Today
At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, we believe that you deserve financial compensation as someone who has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. If you or a loved one is sick due to preventable exposure to asbestos at the hands of an employer, product manufacturer or corporation, you may be entitled to compensation from this party.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping patients with mesothelioma secure the case results that they need. Contact us to learn more about your legal rights as a mesothelioma victim. Our New Jersey office location is conveniently located at 923 Haddonfield Road, Suite 300, Cherry Hill, New Jersey. You can reach us by calling (618) 693-2462 or by giving us a brief description of your situation through our online contact form anytime. We are ready to assist you and your family.