In several posts on this blog, we have discussed the tragic toll that asbestos exposure can take on people's health. Unfortunately, many of the cases we explore and talk about here involve a person who has died as a result of an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma. These illnesses can be devastating because they are often severe and can progress very quickly, leaving victims with few options for effective treatment. Sadly, many people pass away within a matter of months after being diagnosed.
People across North Carolina may be aware of the devastating situation that has taken place across the country in Libby, Montana. To inform people who may not be, the city was essentially a battleground for asbestos-related illnesses caused by a vermiculite mine just outside Libby. Thousands of people who worked in or near the mine and lived nearby ultimately got sick from exposure to asbestos contaminated materials, and 400 people have died as a result of asbestos exposure.
When people are diagnosed with a serious illness, they typically want explanations and information about what factors may have contributed to their condition. With all the advancements in technology and medicine, much of this information can be made available to patients.
One of the most devastating diagnoses that a person can get is cancer. If that cancer is also quite rare, it can be more upsetting because that could mean that it is not well understood and potentially very difficult or impossible to treat. That is typically the case when it comes to mesothelioma.
If you have lost a loved one due to an asbestos-related illness, you may want to strongly consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These claims can help compensate families for death stemming from negligent behaviors, and they can prove to be crucial sources of relief.
People generally understand the dangers of asbestos. Unfortunately, too many parties fail to extend this knowledge to others who could get seriously ill if exposed. Employers fail to tell employees that they will be working with asbestos; product manufacturers fail to inform consumers that their products contain the hazardous fiber; property owners fail to tell tenants or visitors that asbestos is present on site.
Too many people make the mistake of assuming that a person has to work directly with asbestos to be affected by the toxic material. They believe that as long as they don't touch asbestos, there is absolutely no way their health can be put in jeopardy.
The legal process of seeking damages for illnesses or deaths caused by asbestos can be very complicated. It often requires extensive research and gathering of medical and employment records, and that's all before a case even reaches the courtroom.
A recent report released some troubling numbers for miners in the Iron Range. Out of 69,000 people who worked in the mining industry between 1930 and 1982, a total of 101 have since been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
One of the most upsetting lessons people learn if they are diagnosed with an illness caused by asbestos is that it developed as a result of exposure as long as 50 years ago. A unique and tragic characteristic of illnesses like mesothelioma is that sufferers may live for decades without any symptoms that something may be wrong inside their bodies.