Mesothelioma Lawsuit: Seeking Justice against the Firm that Exposed You
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that manifests itself only after it has developed to a stage wherein treatment is no longer possible. The major cause of this deadly and chronic cancer is asbestos, a kind of mineral that became widely used (in the US) from the start of the 20th century until the 1990s. The characteristics of asbestos, which made it a perfect component in the manufacture of so many kinds of products, were its: resistance to damage that can be caused by electricity, chemicals, fire and heat; elasticity; abundance; affordability; and, strength.
Asbestos is used in the manufacture of products, like mats, fabrics, generators, steam pipes, bricks, cement, brakes and clutches, hot water piping, gaskets, turbines, flooring and roofing materials, drywall joint compound, fire retardant coatings, lawn furniture, etc. Workers who used, and were exposed to, it included miners, processing plants workers, electricians, construction site workers, plumbers, machinists, electricians, and workers in shipyards. In the 1940s, during World War II, shipyard workers numbered to about 4.3 million workers, including a great number of enlisted personnel from the US Navy; they were exposed to thousands of tons of asbestos as they worked to build ships and make insulate piping, steam turbines, steam engines, and boilers.
Asbestos, though remarkably useful, causes deadly effects, mesothelioma being one of these. Mesothelioma, however, is not immediately evident, taking decades, about 40 years or more, before its symptoms appear (there are others, however, who suffer the hardship caused by mesothelioma much faster due to their exposure to greater amounts of asbestos).
The dangers caused by asbestos became known in 1964; the first asbestos lawsuit, however, was not filed until 1969. This lawsuit, wherein the plaintiff was Clarence Borel, now serves as a landmark decision in all asbestos-related lawsuits in the US. The lawsuit was decided in 1973 in favor of Borel; however, he did not live long enough to hear the verdict himself.
In 2002, about 730,000 asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuits were filed against 8,400 companies by those seeking compensation from the firm that exposed them to the toxic mineral. The number of firms defending a mesothelioma lawsuit against claimants grew to more than 10,000 in 2013.