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Mesothelioma Recovery
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73-year-old deceased mesothelioma victim (Texas resident) who was exposed through his work as a mechanic doing maintenance and repair on ground equipment at a major airport

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Nationwide Asbestos Exposure Attorneys

Asbestos: A History of Cover-Ups, Carelessness & Tragedy

Asbestos was banned in most products by 1989, but corporations knew the risks of the substance at least as early as the 1930s. Asbestos is a silicate material comprised of microscopic fibers that, when inhaled, can develop into mesothelioma. It was widely used in the industrial era, and even as late as the 1980s. Characteristics such as resistance to heat, insulation, and strength made asbestos a sought-after manufacturing material. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and has been the cause of millions of deaths in the United States.

Helping Victims of Asbestos Exposure

Our team at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC is passionate about representing the victims of asbestos exposure. We have many years of experience and have helped thousands of clients who were affected by asbestos exposure since we first opened our doors. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a condition such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung scarring, or lung cancer, resulting from asbestos exposure, you could be entitled to compensation. You should not hesitate to speak with us about your case; we are here to provide answers.

The Cover-Up

The cover-up of the risks of asbestos to humans will go down as one of the most tragic events in U.S. history. Countless documents show that corporations and manufacturers knew the risks of asbestos, yet continued to use it anyway. The liable parties acted negligently and recklessly placing millions of people at risk. The asbestos industry valued profit over people, and became a multi-billion-dollar industry at the expense of countless victims.

Profit Over People

The overt lack of care for human life allowed the asbestos industry to seek profit over people’s well-being. Many times, our clients initially approach us having never contacted an attorney before. When we show them the documents, evidence, and industry knowledge of asbestos as a known carcinogen, they are shocked. Companies knew that their products were harming people, causing disease, and even killing people, and did literally nothing to stop it.

The Asbestos Tragedy

Statistics vary, but many sources state that approximately 2,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. Millions of individuals were exposed to this cancer-causing substance between the 1940s and 1980s. The latency period for mesothelioma is very long, meaning individuals may not be diagnosed with the cancer until 20 to even 50 years after their initial exposure. By this point, the cancer is usually in its later stages.

The Phase-Out

Finally, around the late 1970s, companies stopped using asbestos in production. For example, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned asbestos’ use in wallboard patching and gas fireplaces because of the risk of asbestos fibers being released into the environment. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency banned all new uses of asbestos outright.

How People Are Exposed to Asbestos

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have all ruled asbestos a human carcinogen – meaning it causes cancer. Asbestos can cause cancer when asbestos fibers are disturbed (broken, moved, crushed, etc.) and the fibers are breathed in. Breathing in these fibers can cause them to become lodged inside the lungs, and over time, cause scarring and inflammation, possibly leading to asbestos-related cancer, known as mesothelioma.

According to the managing director of the Environmental Information Association Brent Kynoch:

“The average homeowner believes that asbestos has been completely banned in the U.S. and would be surprised to know that they still can be contaminated and expose their families to these deadly fibers. You’re not going to know that asbestos is present, because there’s no labeling requirements.”

Types of Asbestos-Related Cancer

There are four recognized types of mesothelioma: pleural (which is the most common), peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular. The rarest forms of asbestos cancer are pericardial (affecting the heart) and testicular. Approximately 75% of all asbestos cancer patients have pleural mesothelioma, the type of mesothelioma that affects the lining of the lungs.

Where Is Asbestos Most Commonly Found?

Asbestos can be found in many, many products, including but not limited to:

  • Asphalt products
  • Caulking compounds / coatings
  • Ceramic / paint fillers
  • Cigarette filters
  • Acoustical products
  • Spackling compounds
  • Aircraft products and parts
  • Marine products and parts
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Household products including oven mitts and hair dryers
  • Paint products and textured paints, as well as floor / roof coatings
  • Components and parts of commercial / industrial equipment and machines
  • Protective, heat resistant gear, helmets, and clothing, including those worn by firefighters and racecar drivers
  • Thermal insulating blankets, clothes, textiles, and products including pipe insulation, spray insulation, and block insulation
  • Adhesives / cements, as well as cement products such as corrugated sheets, siding, stucco, boards, flooring, panels, shingles, and pipes
  • Automobile products including brake linings, brake pads, clutch pads, gasket materials, transmission parts, and shock absorbers
  • Drywall and drywall joint treatment products such as joint compound, joint cement, and caulking compounds

What Can I Do To Find Out If My Home Has Asbestos?

Your best course of action is to hire a special asbestos inspector to check your home, or a home you plan on buying, for asbestos. While asbestos used to be included in a home inspector’s checklist, it’s become far less common over the years.

If they discover the presence of asbestos, they will proceed following these steps:

  • Enclose: Step one is to isolate the carcinogenic materials in an airtight barrier to prevent the risk of inhaling the poisonous particles.
  • Encapsulate: Step two is to spray down the asbestos with a sealant that will further prevent particles from becoming airborne.
  • Repair: Step three is to repair any areas that are damaged, including any tears in the insulation.
  • Remove: Step four is to completely remove the asbestos from your home. The professionals will make sure that any vents or ducts are completely sealed off and that the asbestos remains damp in order to minimize any airborne particles before using a specialized vacuum to attack the problem areas. The hazardous waste will then be disposed of in an approved landfill that follows all local, state, and Environmental Protection Agency (EAP) regulations.

If you suspect that there’s asbestos present in your home, make sure to avoid any activities in the area and refrain from vacuuming, sweeping, or dusting in the area.

How much money can you get from an asbestos lawsuit?

Victims of asbestos exposure can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their damages. However, the amount of money that is available to victims through these lawsuits varies depending on a number of factors. For example, the severity of the damages and the amount of money that has been spent on medical treatment are both important considerations. In addition, the victim's age, employment history, and income are also taken into account. As a result, it is difficult to estimate how much money an asbestos lawsuit is worth without knowing all the details of the case. However, speaking to an asbestos lawyer near you is the best way to determine the potential of your case.

Bailey Cowan & Heckaman have an impressive track record as mesothelioma lawyers. Below are just a few examples of the compensation we have won for clients:

  • $3,085,137 for a deceased mesothelioma victim who was exposed while working on ground equipment at an airport.
  • $2,982,563 for a deceased mesothelioma victim who worked at various plants, paper mills, and refineries across multiple states.
  • $2,098,989 for a deceased mesothelioma victim who was exposed as a ship repair worker in a naval shipyard.

Read more about BCH's mesothelioma recovery stories on our Record of Success page.

Contact BCH for Trusted Representation for Victims of Asbestos Exposure

Many workers were exposed to asbestos in a variety of industries. Their families were also put at risk by take-home exposure. The companies responsible for your illness should be held accountable. Call BCH for a free consultation with our experienced asbestos attorneys.

Our asbestos exposure attorneys exist to help cancer patients and their families recover the compensation they deserve. Get in touch with us for a free evaluation.

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