What to Know About Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. In the past few years, more than 1,000 people have filed lawsuits against companies that used asbestos for decades in the United States. The lawsuits allege that these companies knew about the dangers of asbestos and failed to warn people about it. This article explains what you need to know about mesothelioma lawsuits.

What to Know About Mesothelioma Lawsuits


What Causes Mesothelioma?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that’s mined and used in many products. It’s known to cause diseases when it’s inhaled, ingested or touched. Mesothelioma is the most common type of cancer linked to asbestos. It often occurs in the lungs, abdomen and/or the lining of the upper digestive tract.


Other types of cancer linked to asbestos include:


  • Lung - The most common type of asbestos-related cancer.
  • Oral cavity - The lining of the mouth, lips, mouth and throat.
  • Abdomen - The organs located along the belly, including the organs that create digestive fluids.
  • Reproductive organs - The testes, ovaries and other parts of the male and female reproductive tracts.


When Is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

As mesothelioma is so rare, in order to be diagnosed you have to have symptoms. Symptoms might not appear for years or even decades after exposure. In order to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, doctors will often run tests like a chest x-ray, CT scan or a biopsy. If a person has been exposed to asbestos, there is no certain way to tell if they have mesothelioma. Doctors can only diagnose mesothelioma based on symptoms combined with the type of cancer and how it grew.


How Is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Doctors will diagnose mesothelioma based on the type and symptoms of the cancer, along with the person’s medical history. Doctors will also do a physical exam to look for other signs of illness.


Doctors will often take a sample of the person’s tumor and send it to a lab. The lab will then look for substances that might have caused the cancer in the sample. For example, some labs look for substances called “markers” that might be found in people with certain types of cancer. If doctors can rule out other cancers, they can then diagnose mesothelioma.


Who Is Eligible for Mesothelioma Lawsuits?

Doctors can diagnose mesothelioma only if you have symptoms and were exposed to asbestos. Signs of exposure include:


  • Lung - Shortness of breath, coughing up blood.
  • Abdomen - Constipation, gas, pain or bloating.
  • Reproductive organs - Irregular or no periods, testicular pain, abnormal discharge from the penis.
  • Urine - Dark or smelly urine, blood in urine.
  • Mouth - Sores, black or blood-tinged tongue, cuts or sores on the lips.
  • Neurology - Neurological symptoms like dizziness, fogginess, numbness, weakness or tingling.
  • Other - Extreme fatigue, weight loss.


How Do Doctors Know If a Person Was Exposed to Asbestos?

Doctors might be able to tell if you were exposed to asbestos by doing a physical exam and looking for certain signs of illness. For example, doctors might notice that your belly is swollen, your lungs are short or your teeth are stained.

Doctors will also run tests to see if you have substances in your body that might be linked to asbestos. These tests are used to find diseases and toxins, including asbestos.

Doctors might also test the air you breathe in and around your home if you have signs of exposure. Testing the air doesn’t tell doctors if you were exposed to asbestos, but it might be a sign that you were exposed.


Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

There are three types of mesothelioma lawsuits:

  • Asbestos products liability - This type of lawsuit alleges that companies whose products contain asbestos engaged in fraud or deceptive conduct.
  • Wrongful death - This type of lawsuit alleges that the companies’ negligence caused a person’s death.
  • Fraud - This type of lawsuit alleges that the companies’ misrepresentations led people to buy products that they knew were defective.


Key takeaway: Mesothelioma is deadly, but you can make a legal claim.

If you’re a person who was exposed to asbestos, you can make a legal claim against companies that made false or deceptive statements about the safety of asbestos. You can also sue companies that used asbestos in their products without disclosing the dangers to the public. You can make a legal claim if you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma, or if you have a family member diagnosed with mesothelioma.

If you have symptoms of asbestos exposure, you should see a doctor. If you have symptoms that show you were exposed to asbestos, you should consider speaking to an attorney about filing a lawsuit against the company that used asbestos in its products.

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