Mesothelioma compensation averages from $1 million to $2.4 million. Financial compensation for mesothelioma may come from asbestos trust funds, settlements, or jury verdicts. It typically takes less than one year to receive mesothelioma compensation from trust funds and settlements. It may take years to receive compensation from trial verdicts.
Mesothelioma is the rarest cancer type that develops because of exposure to asbestos. Inhaling asbestos materials is a major cause of mesothelioma.
The person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma has a survival rate ranging from 6 to 8 months, but sometimes the symptoms take years to appear.
Every year there is an increased rate of mesothelioma occurrences.
The person who has developed mesothelioma can seek legal assistance for getting compensation. The disease could have been easily prevented by the firms which expose to asbestos by offering the necessary protection for their workers.
The infected person can claim the compensation amount from those irresponsible firms that expose asbestos. The Code of Federal Regulations states that asbestos is to be considered a most hazardous toxic substance and you can immediately claim the legal compensation.
A mesothelioma lawsuit offers a person who has developed mesothelioma huge payouts around millions of dollars. The compensation that is paid to the person depends on various factors related to the disease and the firms which expose asbestos.
Once the person is confirmed to have mesothelioma, it is recommended to seek immediate legal assistance.
There are several law firms that can help you in claiming the compensation amount from the firm.
A good lawyer who is well specialized in dealing with mesothelioma cases can help you in claiming the maximum compensation.
The claim can either be done by the person who has developed mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos as a personal injury case or it can be filed by any of the family members when the person who developed mesothelioma has already passed away.
The lawsuit states a person who has developed mesothelioma through the exposure of asbestos should seek immediate legal assistance to claim the compensation.
The claim should be done in a specific time that ranges from one to three years. This varies according to the law in each state.
The top law firms provide you the best services by providing you fair compensation by recovering the lost damages for your families caused by someone else’s negligence.
Law firms like Estey and Bomberger, Hanley and Harley LLP, and many more top firms offer you some of the best services by knowing the worth of your case, and they provide the maximum compensation for the treatment expenses and your future family needs.
Let’s take look at this
Want To Get Cancer? Then Inhale This: a blog about mesothelioma and its potentially deadly effects.
Five Things Everyone Dislikes About Mesothelioma: A blog examining the pros and cons of mesothelioma.
Take A Hit Of This And Pass On Asbestos: How To Survive In The Age Of Mesothelioma: a blog on how to survive through this tough time
Fighting Mesothelioma can be Boring… Unless you’ve Got a Fantastic Lawyer on your side: A blog around the latest developments in asbestos-related disease and how you can help.
How I Found My Asbestos Exposure: A blog about a man suffering from mesothelioma and his asbestos exposure.
8 Responses When Someone Says ‘Asbestos Isn’t that Bad’ : a blog about the dangers of asbestos along with recourses.
Choosing an asbestos removal company for your home or place of work: a blog about choosing between local and national asbestos removal companies.
Dating is Hard… Finding the Right Lawyer is Even Harder: a blog around finding a personal injury attorney because of an accident
Venting About Asbestos: A blog about asbestos and how it is still affecting people today.
The 5 Deadliest Asbestos Products: A blog about common asbestos products and how they are dangerous.
How Clean Dusting Made Me A Superhero: A blog where I wrote in a light tone about how cleaning made me a superhero.
The Red Carpet Treatment
Asbestos litigation is the longest, most expensive mass tort in U.S. history, involving more than 8,000 defendants and 700,000 claimants. By the early 1990s, “more than half of the 25 largest asbestos manufacturers in the US, including Amex, Carey-Canada, Celotex, Eagle-Picher, Forty-Eight Insulations, Manville Corporation, National Gypsum, Standard Insulation, Unarco, and UNR Industries had declared bankruptcy. Analysts have estimated that the total costs of asbestos litigation in the U.S. alone will eventually reach $200 to $275 billion.” The amounts and method of allocating compensation have been the source of many court cases, and government attempts at resolution of existing and future cases.
Claims made against employers by injured workers will typically be in the form of a workers’ compensation claim, although the long onset for diseases such as mesothelioma may make it impossible for a worker to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. However, it is possible for an injured worker to also bring a product liability claim against a third party that is responsible for introducing asbestos into the workplace. Plaintiffs’ attorneys have attempted to offer “every exposure” or “substantial factor” liability theories under which they do not need to prove the defendants were the proximate cause of plaintiffs’ injuries because no level of asbestos exposure is safe. This approach has been rejected by U.S. District Judge David C. Norton.
Asbestos lawsuits in the U.S. have included the following as defendants:
manufacturers of machinery that are alleged to have utilized asbestos-containing parts;
owners of premises at which asbestos-containing products were installed;
retailers of asbestos-containing products, including hardware, home improvement and automotive parts stores;
corporations that allegedly conspired with asbestos manufacturers to deliberately conceal the dangers of asbestos;
manufacturers of tools that were used to cut or shape asbestos-containing parts; and
manufacturers of respiratory protective equipment that allegedly failed to protect workers from asbestos exposure. Common defenses
Manufacturers of machinery in which asbestos-containing parts were used have contested liability on the grounds that nearly all of them either did not ship asbestos-containing parts with their products at all (that is, asbestos was installed only by end-users) or did not sell replacement parts for their own products (in cases where the plaintiff was allegedly exposed well after any factory-original asbestos-containing parts would have been replaced), and either way cannot be responsible for toxic third-party parts that they did not manufacture, distribute, or sell. In 2008, the Washington Supreme Court, the first state supreme court to reach the issue, decided in favor of the defense. On January 12, 2012, the Supreme Court of California also decided in favor of the defense in O’Neil v. Crane Co.
Chrysotile vs. amphibole
Another area of the dispute remains the so-called chrysotile defense. Manufacturers of some products containing only chrysotile fibers claim that these are not as harmful as amphibole-containing products. As 95% of the products used in the United States historically were mostly chrysotile, this claim is widely disputed by health officials and medical professionals. The World Health Organization recognizes that exposure to all types of asbestos fibers, including chrysotile, can cause cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovary, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Defendants in asbestos litigation have accused the lawyers who represent plaintiffs of unethical conduct, but those allegations have not been successful in stopping the litigation, nor have courts been sufficiently convinced by the allegations to sanction the law firms against whom the allegations have been raised.
Screening and solicitation: Defense firms allege that most lawsuits involving claims for non-malignant asbestos injuries are generated by asbestos screening companies, firms that are generally closely connected to trial lawyers but are run by people with no medical training. Some legal scholars suggest that because lawyers often find screening companies using union locals as intermediaries the rule is not violated. Defendants also allege that plaintiffs’ obtain diagnoses from physicians who do not follow proper standards when testing patients.
Excessive legal fees: Defendants have attempted to claim that contingency fees in asbestos cases are unreasonable, because the cases may not involve much risk or effort on the part of the plaintiff’s lawyer. However, these claims have proved unsuccessful.
Product identification: As product identification is the most important part of preparing witnesses in asbestos cases, plaintiffs must demonstrate that they were exposed to enough asbestos for a long enough time derived from the product of a particular defendant in order to win their claim. Defendants have claimed that plaintiffs’ lawyers manipulate their clients to identify solvent companies as suppliers instead of those that have filed for bankruptcy. No court has accepted this allegation.
Asbestos bankruptcy trusts
Main article: Asbestos bankruptcy trusts
Since the bankruptcy filing of Johns-Manville in 1984, many U.S. and U.K. asbestos manufacturers have avoided litigation by filing bankruptcy. Asbestos bankruptcy trusts are personal injury trusts established by firms that have filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to pay personal injury claims caused by exposure to asbestos. At least fifty-six trusts were established from the mid-1970s through 2011. The largest 26 of these trusts paid about 2.4 million claims totaling about $10.9 billion up to 2008. The trusts are governed by trust advisory committees that are generally controlled by lawyers from a few prominent law firms such as Baron & Budd, P.C. and Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.
Bankruptcy trusts may pay pennies on the dollar to people injured as a result of asbestos exposure. At the same time, these trusts may permit larger numbers of claimants to receive some kind of compensation, even if greatly reduced from potential recoveries in the tort system.
Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement
The federal Medicare Secondary Payer law imposes penalties for paying settlements directly to claimants without repaying the government for medical costs covered under the same programs under the legal doctrine of subrogation. In late 2016, attorneys general from 13 states sent demand letters to bankruptcy trusts for Armstrong World Industries, Babcock & Wilcox, DII, and Owens Corning. The purpose of the demand letters was to determine if the funds are reimbursing states for medical treatment received under Medicaid and Medicare.
Bankruptcy trusts and litigated claims
The pursuit of compensation for asbestos injuries often involves both litigation against solvent defendants and filing claims against asbestos bankruptcy trusts.
The amount of compensation recovered by an injured plaintiff may depend on whether evidence of exposure to products from bankrupt firms is introduced at trial. If no evidence of exposure from bankrupt firms is presented then increased financial responsibility is likely to be assigned to solvent defendants. Researchers from RAND Corporation found that if a company filed for bankruptcy plaintiffs claimed exposure to their products in interrogatories and depositions at significantly reduced rates.
When a plaintiff claiming an asbestos injury has filed a claim against a solvent defendant, courts may extend or reopen discovery when it is discovered that the plaintiff failed to disclose a trust claim. For example, in the 2008 case of Edwards v. John Crane-Houdaille, Inc production of claim forms was delayed until two weeks before the trial. In the 2004 case of Stoeckler v.
American Oil Co. the defendants discovered that the plaintiff did not disclose trust claims only three days after the start of the trial, resulting in the re-opening of discovery. To help avoid this type of issue, Judges will often adopt mandatory disclosure obligations for bankruptcy trust claims.
According to September 2004 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, asbestos is still a hazard for 1.3 million US workers in the construction industry and for workers involved in the maintenance of buildings and equipment.
Asbestos is not part of an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) E 1527-05 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). A building survey for asbestos is considered an out-of-scope consideration under the industry standard ASTM 1527-05 Phase I ESA (see ASTM E 1527-05). ASTM Standard E 2356-04 should be consulted by the owner or owner’s agent to determine which type of asbestos building survey is appropriate, typically either a baseline survey or a design survey of functional areas. Both types of surveys are explained in detail under ASTM Standard E 2356-04. Typically, a baseline survey is performed by an EPA (or state) licensed asbestos inspector.
The baseline survey provides the buyer with sufficient information on presumed asbestos at the facility, often which leads to a reduction in the assessed value of the building (due primarily to forthcoming abatement costs).
Note: EPA NESHAP (National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Regulations must be consulted in addition to ASTM Standard E 2356-04 to ensure all statutory requirements are satisfied, ex. notification requirements for renovation/demolition. Asbestos is not a material covered under CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ) innocent purchaser defense.
In some instances, the U.S. EPA includes asbestos-contaminated facilities on the NPL (Superfund). Buyers should be careful not to purchase facilities, even with an ASTM E 1527-05 Phase I ESA completed, without a full understanding of all the hazards in a building or at a property, without evaluating non-scope ASTM E 1527-05 materials, such as asbestos, lead, PCBs, mercury, radon, et al. A standard ASTM E 1527-05 does not include asbestos surveys as standard practice.
In 1988, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued regulations requiring certain U.S. companies to report the asbestos used in their products.
A Senate subcommittee of the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee heard testimony on July 31, 2001, regarding the health effects of asbestos. Members of the public, doctors, and scientists called for the United States to join other countries in a ban on the product.
Several legislative remedies have been considered by the U.S. Congress but each time rejected for a variety of reasons. In 2005, Congress considered but did not pass legislation entitled the “Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005”.
The act would have established a $140 billion trust fund in lieu of litigation, but as it would have proactively taken funds held in reserve by bankruptcy trusts, manufacturers, and insurance companies, it was not widely supported either by victims or corporations.
On April 26, 2005, Philip J. Landrigan, professor, and chair of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, testified before the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary against this proposed legislation.
He testified that many of the bill’s provisions were unsupported by medicine and would unfairly exclude a large number of people who had become ill or died from asbestos:
“The approach to the diagnosis of disease caused by asbestos that is set forth in this bill is not consistent with the diagnostic criteria established by the American Thoracic Society.
If the bill is to deliver on its promise of fairness, these criteria will need to be revised.” Also opposing the bill were the American Public Health Association and the Asbestos Workers’ Union.
On June 14, 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment to the act which would have allowed victims of mesothelioma $1.1M within 30 days of their claim’s approval.
This version would have also expanded eligible claimants to people exposed to asbestos from the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and to construction debris in hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Ultimately, the bill’s reliance on funding from private entities large and small, as well as debate over a sunset provision and the impact on the U.S. budgetary process caused the bill to fail to leave the committee.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no general ban on the use of asbestos. However, asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act of 1970, and many applications have been forbidden by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
In 2010, Washington passed a ban on hazardous materials in automotive brakes, phasing out asbestos in vehicle brakes, starting in 2014.
In 2013, Ohio passed became the first state to pass a law requiring transparency in asbestos bankruptcy trust claims. The same year Oklahoma passed a similar law called The Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act. This law applies to all personal injury trusts. It requires plaintiffs to disclose all previously filed and anticipated trust claims for personal injuries within 90 days of filing a personal injury tort but not until at least 180 days before the assigned court date. If the plaintiff anticipates filing a trust claim all proceedings have stayed until their filing is complete. Filing new claims or amending claims after the initial disclosure triggers a new disclosure requirement. The law also allows defendants to stay proceedings by showing that the plaintiff could make a good faith filing with a trust. The law gives plaintiffs ten days to either file such a claim or show that it would probably be unsuccessful.
In South Carolina in 2015, State Senator Shane Massey introduced Senate Bill 281, “The Court Transparency Act.” S.281 would prohibit the state of South Carolina from hiring outside lawyers. Similar bills have been passed into law by 18 states. The bill would also prevent juries from awarding damages that exceed actual out of pocket costs incurred by plaintiffs.
In June 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas House Bill 1492 into law. The law was written to end so-called asbestos “double-dipping” in Texas. This law requires asbestos victims to perform more actions before proceeding to trial and lowers the standard of proof of asbestos exposure for manufacturers to shift the blame onto other bankrupt companies. A year earlier, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a similar bill into law.
In June 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2576). It serves to reform the TSCA of 1976 and aims to make federal safety regulations on toxic substances and chemicals effective.
In 2017, Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota all passed asbestos trust claims transparency laws.