The recent mesothelioma death of 18-year-old Pasadena High School student Austin Lacy proves that this aggressive cancer is affecting people of all ages. Although mesothelioma is typically found in adults over the age of 50, a growing number of young people are being diagnosed. Sadly, people who are diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma have a life expectancy of less than two years. There is no cure for the disease, but expensive tests and medical treatments may be required. Many mesothelioma victims and their families have successfully turned to an asbestos lawyer to help them secure compensation to pay medical bills. As the latest mesothelioma death illustrates, even our young children are vulnerable to this deadly disease.
Mesothelioma is commonly associated with hazardous work environments created by negligent companies. Certain industries, such as the automotive, railroad, and mining industries frequently exposed workers to dangerous levels of asbestos. As a result, hundreds of thousands of innocent workers experienced asbestos-related health complications. Many of them lost their lives to mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer. Since companies have a duty to provide safe working environments for employees, a large number of mesothelioma lawsuits have ended in large settlements.
A study by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization recently revealed that the average age of people diagnosed with mesothelioma is steadily dropping. A record number of teens and young adults are being diagnosed. As thePasedena-Star News reports, at just 18 years of age, Austin Lacy lost his live to the incurable cancer. A few weeks before his tragic death, the Mayo Clinic in Arizona discovered that Lacy suffered from mesothelioma. Tumors filled the chest and restricted the blood flow of this standout football star. He complained of feeling fatigued, which is one symptom of mesothelioma cancer. Other symptoms include coughing, fever, and weight loss. Doctors struggled to diagnose Lacy, because mesothelioma symptoms are often mistaken for flu symptoms and can lie dormant in the body for up to 50 years. Even in Lacy’s case, where doctors discovered mesothelioma early on, it was still too late to save the young man’s life.
Children and young adults throughout the country may already have been exposed to dangerous asbestos levels that threaten their lives. Secondary asbestos exposure can occur when a family member breathes in asbestos from their loved one’s clothing. As soon as asbestos particles are inhaled, they can start to infect the cells and turn into cancer. However, since decades usually pass before mesothelioma is diagnosed, many youths may not realize that they are suffering from mesothelioma.
Schools pose a potential asbestos-related health risk to students. An Indiana school building is being demolished this summer because it contained dangerous asbestos fibers. Just like private companies, schools that put students in harm’s way by exposing them to asbestos can be liable for their negligence. Proper renovations can help shield students from the threat of an asbestos-related cancer.
Certain summer jobs may also expose students to the risk of asbestos exposure. Executives in California and Massachusetts have been charged with child endangerment relating to the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos. In both cases, teenage workers removed asbestos without proper training or equipment. Their work put them at risk for serious illnesses, including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and asbestos lung cancer.
Although these teens many have to wait 50 years to find out if they have an asbestos-related disease, they have the law on their side. Negligent companies cannot knowingly expose workers to the dangerous risk of asbestos without being held accountable. Our mesothelioma attorneys will continue to fight for the rights of mesothelioma victims, young and old.