Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Whenever a plaintiff (or plaintiff’s surviving family members) files a mesothelioma lawsuit in Boston, we are dealing with what is known as a products liability matter. A products liability matter involves a plaintiff who was injured or killed as a result of product manufactured, sold, or distributed by defendant.  In many cases there will be multiple defendants as the law allows plaintiffs to sue anyone in the supply chain of a product as long as they actually had some role in getting the product to the injured plaintiff.  It is possible there must be levels of liability apportioned among the parties, but the courts often leave this job up to defendants as they are in a better position to do so, and it should not matter to plaintiff which company pays which portion of the damages awarded in the event of a successful Boston mesothelioma case.

Theories of Liability in Boston Mesothelioma Cases

asbestos lawsuits BostonAs with any products liability case, there are a variety of legal theories or “causes of action” that may be pleaded in a complaint for damages as dictated by the facts of a case. There can always be the common law claim of negligence, which involves the elements of duty, breach, causation and damages, but there are also claims specific to products liability cases and they are as follows:

  1. Failure to Adequately Warn of a  Known Danger.
  2. Manufacturer or Sale of a Defective Product.

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There are many old buildings in Boston including closed factories, churches, the ubiquitous three-decker homes and many other types of structures that have fallen into a state of disrepair. Instead of demolishing these old buildings, industry trends and historic codes are leading people to purchase the buildings and covert them into alternative use residential dwellings. An old church in South Boston is now a high value condo building, and this is a continually growing trend.

asbestos lawsuits BostonOne of the features of these alternative use residences is that those living there like the vintage feel so developers try to find vintage materials so they can be “repurposed” for use in the condos.   Whether we are talking about old wood from a ship or factory, or an old industrial wire spool as a table, vintage items are a hot commodity. Even homeowners who purchase a three-decker with the intention of rehabilitation like to shop at thrift stores and sellers of reclaimed building materials for inspiration and supplies and some of these supplies contain asbestos.

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Asbestos was used in just about every aspect of the construction process from the 1850s to the late 1970s.  This is true in Boston, and it also true throughout the United States and Western Europe. There are a lot of reasons that asbestos was used so heavily beginning with the Industrial Revolution, but that was not the first time asbestos was used.

Mesothelioma Lawyers What many people may not realize is that humans have used asbestos for thousands of years.  This is because asbestos is not a manmade product, but rather a naturally occurring element.  Yes, it is true that it was often mined and refined into many consumer products, but it was also used in its natural state. Continue reading

While we often hear people talk about how some types are worse than others, it basically doesn’t get much worse than malignant mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma is virtually always caused when a victim is exposed to deadly asbestos fibers.  The fibers become embedded in a layer of protective tissue known as the mesothelium, where they can metastasize into the deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

treatmentThe reason mesothelioma is so horrific is because only 10 percent of patients on average each year are diagnosed before the cancer has fully has metastasized. For the other 90-plus percent of mesothelioma victims, the cancer is already in stages one through four, and there is no cure and are not very many effective treatment options.  To get an idea of how serious malignant mesothelioma is, most patients will be dead within one year of receiving an initial diagnosis. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from Mesothelioma Research News, a new study involving what is known as the WT1 protein has been shown to have promising results in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma using chemotherapy drugs. There is a big focus on improving the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs, because surgical alternatives are very invasive and often result in significant complications for patients who undergo these procedures.

lungsThis study focused on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).  MPM is the type of cancer where the malignant tumors first appear in the lungs as oppose to the patient’s abdomen or chest.  However, it is important to understand that, while the tumor may start in the lungs, the cancer can and often does quickly spread to other areas of the body where it does a tremendous amount of damage. Continue reading

There is a degree of uncertainty over the future of various environmental regulations and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the new Donald Trump administration. Still, the agency recently selected its first 10 chemicals to review under the newly-enacted Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century.  This was the first major change to the nation’s 1976 toxic materials law since the original bill was enacted nearly 40 years ago.

asbestosThe measure allows the EPA to perform a review on a number of chemicals the agency selects to determine if they should be banned.  For the purposes of this act, asbestos is considered a chemical since it is a naturally occurring mineral made up of six different types of silica elements.  According to a recent news article form the Environmental Working Group, the EPA chose asbestos and the other nine chemicals based upon the fact they are all considered highly hazardous to humans.  Other chemicals on the list include PERC (used in dry cleaning) and TCE (featured in the movie and book “A Civil Action). Continue reading

Many people think that asbestos causes lung cancer, and that it is the same as mesothelioma.  While it is true that exposure to asbestos fibers could cause lung cancer, such as the kind experienced by long-term smokers, mesothelioma is much more commonly the result of asbestos exposure, and it is an entirely different form of cancer than lung cancer.

mWd8Wf2Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos fibers becoming trapped in a protective of layer of the tissues inside the human body know as the mesothelium, which is the what the cancer is named after.  While there is a layer of mesothelium in the lungs, and people often get mesothelioma in their lungs (malignant pleural mesothelioma), mesothelioma will often develop in the chest cavity (malignant pericardial mesothelioma) or in the abdomen (malignant peritoneal mesothelioma).  Continue reading

These days, it is pretty safe to say that most people are aware that asbestos fibers are dangerous, and they can lead to a deadly disease known as mesothelioma.  Most people, however, think that mesothelioma is actually lung cancer. While it is true that malignant mesothelioma can occur in the lungs, it is not the same type of cancer we typically associate with years of smoking and refer to as lung cancer.  Lung cancer, while often deadly, is much easier to treat than malignant mesothelioma.

lungsA recent news feature article from the Public Slate takes a closer look the different types of mesothelioma and the different stages of the disease. First, it should be noted that the disease is called mesothelioma because it occurs when deadly asbestos fibers are inhaled by a victim and make their way into a protective layer or membrane of tissue known as the mesothelium.  While just about every organ in the human body is protected by a mesothelium membrane, malignant mesothelioma most often affects the lungs, the chest and the abdomen. Continue reading

If a person is exposed to deadly asbestos fibers, it normally takes between 20 and 50 years for the victim to know they have cancer. Once the cancer has reached a certain level, it will cause the victim to have chest or abdominal pain, in most cases, and cause shortness of breath. Many patents may think they are having a heart attack or some other type of illness and go to the doctor. Once the doctor confirms the patient has mesothelioma, which is easy to do when a lung biopsy is taken and sent to a lab, the patient will usually be told he or she has between six months and two years left to live, depending on how advanced the cancer has become.

surgeon-3-391477-mThis does not mean there are no treatments that can be performed for mesothelioma, but it would hard to consider any of the options anything close to what might be called a cure for malignant mesothelioma. All of the treatments are radical and invasive. Some involve high doses of chemotherapy or radiation, or more likely a combination of both. Many treatments involve major surgery to remove the tumors, along with all or part of the organ to which the tumors are attached. Continue reading

According to a recent news report form NPR, the interview subject was doing well in life. He owned a flooring company that was just awarded a good contract. He was on his way to work one morning when he decided to stop at a fast food restaurant to get something to drink when he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. He described how he collapsed in pain and said it was like he had been stabbed in the stomach with a large knife. At this point, he was being driven to the emergency room by a coworker.

paperworkWhen he woke up, he was in a hospital bed. He saw his wife crying and asked what happened. She told him when doctors looked in his stomach, they found it was full of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma tumors. His doctor told him he did not have very long left to live. He was 39 years old, and this was the first he learned that was his sick, let alone dying of cancer. Continue reading

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