Before 1950, few people had ever even heard of mesothelioma. With genetic and spontaneous instances of the disease making up a small percentage of total cases, few doctors had diagnosed it. Over the next couple of decades, many industries throughout the country continued to mine asbestos, a naturally occurring fiber that causes scarring in the lungs when inhaled and used it in thousands of products. When researchers started to question a potential connection between asbestos and the rise of mesothelioma cases in the 1970s, corporations began hiding evidence that proved their theory.
The manufacturing of products with asbestos began to taper off during this time, and the United States gradually began imposing restrictions on its use and exposure. However, while the European Union banned the substance in 2005, the United States has yet to do so.
According to Cancer.Net, doctors diagnose approximately 3,000 people with mesothelioma each year, primarily men who worked in industries that exposed them to asbestos. If you or a loved one received an asbestos-related mesothelioma diagnosis in Massachusetts, a lawyer can help you pursue financial awards. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a team member about your case.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Asbestos exposure accounts for the primary cause of mesothelioma. While not everyone who had exposure to asbestos will develop mesothelioma, the researchers can attribute the large majority of mesothelioma cases with asbestos. An article in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (OJRD) notes that mesothelioma has a long latency period, meaning it takes years or often decades for the first symptoms to appear. As a result, many people who have not had exposure to asbestos for an extended period of time still develop the disease. Other risk factors for mesothelioma may include:
- Smoking: While it does not cause mesothelioma on its own, it can create an increased risk when combined with other risk factors.
- Radiation: Exposure to radiation, either for other medical conditions or as an occupational hazard, may contribute to instances of mesothelioma.
- Genetics: While rare, 1% of mesothelioma patients acquire the disease due to a mutation in the BAP1 gene.
If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma after prolonged exposure in the workplace, a Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer can help you determine if you have a valid case.
Industries With High Levels of Asbestos Exposure
Those who have worked directly with asbestos or in environments in which the substance did not remain contained within a product have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. The Cleveland Clinic lists some of the primary industries associated with asbestos exposure, which include:
The longer a person has exposure to asbestos, the higher their risk of developing mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), symptoms of mesothelioma vary based on the part of the body the disease affects. Most commonly, mesothelioma occurs in the lungs. However, it can affect other mesothelium, or lining surrounding an organ.
The most common type, pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and accounts for approximately 85% of all diagnoses. Doctors sometimes have difficulty diagnosing this type of the disease because it often mimics other respiratory conditions. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lumps under the surface of the skin on the chest
Making up approximately 1 in 10 mesothelioma cases, peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen. Patients with this type of the disease may experience:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Accumulation of fluid between the abdominal membranes
Other Types of Mesothelioma
In rare instances, pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the heart, and testicular mesothelioma can occur. Regardless of the type of mesothelioma they have, patients may experience general symptoms such as fatigue, malaise, and night sweats.
If you or a family member developed any form of mesothelioma as a result of your occupational exposure to asbestos or radiation, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you build your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
A Massachusetts Mesothelioma Lawyer Can Help You Seek Financial Awards
In the 1980s, scores of victims came forward to pursue legal action against the employers that exposed them to asbestos, which led to their diagnosis with mesothelioma. As a result, over 100 companies filed bankruptcy. Instead of closing their doors, many chose to establish asbestos trusts to provide compensation for victims who filed claims. The government established over 60 trusts with over $30 billion in assets as a result, and some victims and their families still have access to available funds.
If your former employer did not contribute to an asbestos trust or you prefer to take a different approach, a Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to seek financial awards for your own medical injuries or the loss of your loved one.
Massachusetts Statute of Limitations
Each state has its own statute of limitations, which determines how long victims have to file their claim for compensation from the start of accrual. In Massachusetts, victims have three years from the date of their mesothelioma diagnosis to file their personal injury claim or three years from the death of a loved one from the disease to pursue wrongful death litigation.
The time limits for asbestos trust claims vary by trust, but an attorney can help you determine how long you have to seek compensation for your case.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
A 2013 study published the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that, despite its known effects on human health, 1.3 million workers in the United States experienced regular exposure to asbestos from 2003 through 2008. Meanwhile, doctors continue to diagnose patients with mesothelioma each year.
If you received an asbestos-related mesothelioma diagnosis or lost a loved one to the disease, you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of pursuing a case. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm we make sure you do not have to navigate your claims process alone. We will manage your case every step of the way, and you do not owe us any fees unless we achieve compensation for you. Call our legal team today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case.