New Jersey Mesothelioma Attorney
Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, has award-winning mesothelioma lawyers available to passionately represent clients in New Jersey. We know that this rare, aggressive type of cancer comes from a significant source of negligence in America’s history – using dangerous asbestos in construction materials in the 1900s. Each New Jersey mesothelioma attorney at our firm fights hard to protect the rights of those with mesothelioma in the Garden State, getting to the source of the asbestos exposure and negotiating for maximum compensation through all available outlets. Call (833) 726-6326 for your free mesothelioma consultation today.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. It is malignant, deadly, and fast-moving, with no known cure and a poor prognosis for those diagnosed. Available treatments can help mesothelioma sufferers enjoy a better quality of life, improve prognosis, and possibly extend life expectancy, but there is currently no way to completely eradicate mesothelioma. This cancer forms in the mesothelium, or the thin layer of tissue covering the internal organs. Mesothelioma most often occurs in the lungs but can also appear in the abdomen and heart.
Causes of Mesothelioma
One thing causes most mesothelioma cases: exposure to asbestos. Asbestos refers to six microscopic minerals that naturally occur in the ground. Asbestos fibers are heat- and fire-resistant, extremely durable, and resistant to most chemical breakdowns. Because of these properties, many countries widely used asbestos in a variety of industrial, commercial, and manufacturing settings before scientists discovered its connection with cancer-containing tumors. The most common asbestos-containing materials were drywall, insulation, construction materials, ship-building materials, automotive parts (especially brake pads), and cement piping.
Asbestos particles breathed in through the air can lodge in the body’s tissues and remain there, eventually causing mesothelioma. A mesothelioma diagnosis can come 10 to 50 years after original exposure to asbestos, often making it difficult to identify the original source. It may take help from a skilled New Jersey personal injury lawyer to investigate a mesothelioma case and determine who might be liable for the development of these aggressive forms of cancer. You have the right to talk to an attorney and discuss potential legal actions if you or a loved one has mesothelioma.
Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Prognosis for Mesothelioma
The most common form of malignant mesothelioma (accounting for almost 75% of all cases) is pleural, occurring in the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma can develop after someone inhales or breathes in microscopic particles of asbestos. The asbestos clings to the lining of the lungs and can eventually cause symptoms such as painful or dry coughing, pain beneath the ribcage, shortness of breath, unusual lumps under the skin on the chest, or (more rarely) weight loss and fatigue.
Symptoms of other forms of mesothelioma are lesser known since they are rarer. Peritoneum mesothelioma accounts for less than 20% of cases, affecting the abdomen. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Heart-based mesothelioma (accounting for less than 1%) may cause chest pain and difficulty breathing. The rarest form of mesothelioma can affect the testicles, causing possible symptoms such as swelling or a mass of tissue in the area.
Doctors will listen to symptoms and order tests such as PET scans or MRIs to detect signs of mesothelioma cells or tumors. The prognosis for someone with mesothelioma can vary greatly depending on the type of cancer, how far it’s progressed, whether the person smokes, and the age and health of the patient. The current life expectancy for people with mesothelioma after diagnosis is eight months (untreated) for pleural, six months for peritoneal, and six months for pericardial. Peritoneal is the easiest form to treat, resulting in life expectancies about four times as long as those with pleural mesothelioma. With treatment, patients can significantly extend life expectancy. If a doctor recently diagnosed you with mesothelioma and you believe it was caused by asbestos exposure, speak with a New Jersey mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible to learn your available legal options.
New Jersey Mesothelioma Statistics
Although the U.S. banned the use of certain asbestos products in the 1970s, the ban came too late to prevent widespread exposure. Due to major industries using asbestos for decades, hundreds of thousands of people are now facing mesothelioma diagnoses and other related issues, such as asbestosis. Every year, around approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma come to light in the U.S. Despite improved treatment methods, the mortality rate for mesothelioma remains grim. From 1999 to 2015, malignant mesothelioma killed 45,221 people. The number of deaths per year has increased (2,479 in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015).
The annual mesothelioma death rate is higher in New Jersey than the national average. In New Jersey, around 120 new mesothelioma cases arise each year. Data collected in the state from 1990 to 2014 shows that the incidence rates for this type of cancer are consistently higher among men than women, likely because men worked in industries that made use of asbestos more often than women from 1920 to 1970. While the annual percent change (APC) in new mesothelioma cases has decreased for men since 2009, it has slightly increased for women. This points to increased occupational exposure rates for women in later years.
Today, more and more people are receiving mesothelioma diagnoses and wondering about their legal rights. That’s where Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, comes in, representing mesothelioma victims in lawsuits against employers, manufacturers, and other parties for asbestos exposure. We can help people with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related injuries seek compensation for their losses. It’s important to speak to a New Jersey mesothelioma attorney soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. The sooner you start the legal process, the sooner you could receive financial assistance.
High-Risk Industries and Jobs for Mesothelioma
You might be at risk of developing mesothelioma if you lived or worked near asbestos-containing materials, buildings, job sites, or mines. There is no “safe” level of asbestos to be around. Asbestos exposure does not guarantee the development of mesothelioma, but direct and indirect contact with asbestos can result in mesothelioma. If a worker covered in construction dust particles came home, for example, his or her family could suffer asbestos exposure from microscopic particles clinging to clothing. The following are the jobs with the highest risk for mesothelioma:
- Aircraft mechanics
- Asbestos miners
- Auto mechanics
- Construction workers
- Factory and industrial workers
- HVAC workers
- Insulation manufacturers
- Ship builders
Firefighters and first responders who helped save victims and pick up debris after the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack are at risk of mesothelioma, as are residents who lived in the area at the time. The collapse of the twin towers released a toxic cloud containing hundreds of tons of asbestos particles into the air. Scientists predict a surge in mesothelioma cases in the coming years as the 20-year anniversary of the attack approaches in 2021. If you or a loved one lived in New Jersey at the time of the attack or responded to the emergency, contact a New Jersey mesothelioma attorney at our firm.
New Jersey Asbestos Sites
Experts estimate that around 3,000 different commercial products contained asbestos at the height of production. Any buildings or homes in New Jersey built prior to 1978 are at risk of containing asbestos. While particles in building materials might not harm residents, it can be a risk during construction projects on older houses. Construction can stir asbestos into the air, exposing workers and residents to the risk of inhalation. Workers require high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter respirators to prevent inhaling asbestos during construction work in New Jersey.
New Jersey has 38 cataloged asbestos mines in the state. The state’s long history in industrial applications, especially the chemical and plastics sector, may have put workers at greater risk of asbestos exposure than residents of other states. New Jersey’s East Coast shipyards could also be a significant source of asbestos exposure. The following are employers and companies with high odds of exposing their workers to asbestos in the state:
- DuPont Chemical
- Toms River Chemical Corporation
- Heyden Chemical Corporation
- Tennaco Chemical Company
- Mutual Chemical Company
- Celanese Plastics
- M. Plastics Molding Company
- Union Plastics Corporation
- Wheaton Plastics Company
- New Jersey Shipbuilding yards in Newark and Camden
- Todd Shipyard in Hoboken
- Johns Manville
Many other prominent businesses have also made the list of possible exposure sites in the state of New Jersey, including oil refineries, power plants, and construction companies. If you worked in one of the high-risk industries for asbestos exposure prior to 1978, or lived near an asbestos mine, and are experiencing any symptoms of mesothelioma, talk to a doctor right away. Asbestos exposure is still a risk today, especially for those in the construction industry. Always obey safety rules and regulations to prevent inhaling asbestos particles at a job site in New Jersey.
Compensation for Mesothelioma Victims in New Jersey
Mesothelioma is a life-changing condition that could result in significant financial, physical, and personal damages. Luckily, several types of compensation are available for mesothelioma victims in New Jersey. National trust funds exist to compensate victims if the business that originally exposed the victim to asbestos has dissolved or gone bankrupt. If the company does still exist, it may be possible to file a lawsuit or join a mesothelioma class action suit against it for negligently exposing workers to asbestos. The Veterans Association also offers benefits to military veterans who meet the eligibility requirements.
Through trusts funds, settlements, verdicts, and benefit programs, mesothelioma sufferers can recover financial awards for their illness-related damages. In New Jersey, these can include past and future medical costs, physical pain, emotional suffering or distress, mental anguish, lost wages, lost earning capacity, lost quality or enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and funeral/burial costs. Knowing how much your case could be worth requires a consultation with a knowledgeable New Jersey asbestos attorney. Some mesothelioma cases result in millions of dollars in damages.
Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP | Trusted Mesothelioma Lawyers in New Jersey
If a doctor has diagnosed you or a loved one with mesothelioma, contact Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, today. You and your family could be eligible for significant compensation. Our attorneys will assess your case during a complimentary, no-risk consultation. Call (833) 726-6326 to schedule your evaluation today.