Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers and protects certain internal organs in the body. The most common form of mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), but it can also affect the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), the lining around the heart (pericardial mesothelioma), and the testicles (testicular mesothelioma). Mesothelioma is generally considered to be a terminal illness, and treatment options are limited. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help to extend life expectancy and improve quality of life.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Epidemiologists consider mesothelioma a sentinel tumor – in other words, when a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, it means that person was almost certainly exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in building materials and other products for its fire-resistant and insulation properties. Asbestos was intentionally added to thousands of products, almost all of which were sold without adequate warning labels to apprise the consumers of the deadly nature of the products. Even more insidiously, asbestos has historically been present in most talcum powders – including even Johnson & Johnson baby powder – causing countless millions of unsuspecting consumers to be exposed to this potentially deadly fiber. Medical science has not been able to identify a safe level of exposure to asbestos fiber.
Compensation for Mesothelioma
Troves of documents and testimony discovered through extensive litigation has established that the asbestos industry, and the companies that incorporated asbestos into their own products, recognized the fatal risks of asbestos exposure nearly 100 years ago but failed to protect workers and consumers from these hazards. Many of these companies have established trusts to compensate people exposed to asbestos from their products, while others continue to deny responsibility for the harms they’ve caused. The Stuemke Law Firm has extensive experience helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible through both systems.