February 2012 Archives

February 24, 2012

Alternative Therapies for Mesothelioma Patients

At some point every mesothelioma patient, or their family members, may be tempted to seek out alternative medicinal therapies in search for a cure to the disease. And while it is generally accepted by practitioners of western medicine that complementary and alternative treatments can't cure cancer, as reported by the Mayo Clinic, these treatments can often help provide relief of the symptoms associated with cancer. As a result, mesothelioma patients should discuss any of the below alternative therapies with their treating physicians to determine whether any are appropriate for their condition:

Acupuncture

Acupuncture performed by a certified practitioner can be completely safe. But a patient seeking acupuncture treatment should ask their physician to recommend the acupuncture practitioner who provides the treatments. During an acupuncture session, small needles are inserted into precise points on the patient body. Acupuncture is performed on cancer patients in an effort to attempt to relieve pain and relieve the side effects of chemotherapy. Some patients report that nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth all are effectively relieved by acupuncture. However, there is no evidence that acupuncture has any effect on mesothelioma. Acupuncture is not considered safe for patients with low blood counts or who are taking blood thinners.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is usually performed by a licensed hypnotherapist, counselor or licensed psychologist, who performs a number of relaxation and positive thinking exercises with the mesothelioma patient. For some, hypnosis results in the patient entering a peaceful, relaxing, trance like state. Hypnosis is commonly associated with the reduction of anxiety, pain, and nausea symptoms. Again, mesothelioma patients seeking hypnotherapy should ask their treating physician or oncologist for a referral to an appropriate practitioner

Massage

Licensed massage therapists will use his or her hands to apply pressure to the muscles and skeletal structure of the mesothelioma patient. Massage has been associated with the relief of anxiety, exhaustion, and soreness in cancer patents. Some massage therapists undergo specialized training enabling them to work with people suffering from cancer. Again, as with every alternative therapy, it is necessary to discuss whether massage treatment are appropriate for the cancer patient, and ask them for a referral to the massage therapist they would trust with the patients care. There are also two important things for cancer patients undergoing massage therapy two remember: Massage therapy should never cause pain; A massage therapist should never apply pressure near a tumor or surgical wounds. Mesothelioma patients with low blood counts or who are taking blood thinners should not seek out therapeutic massage as an alternative therapy.

Meditation

Meditation can be performed anywhere. Unless the mediation the mesothelioma patient is contemplating undertaking requires strenuous activity, or unusual breathing patterns, there should not be a limitation on whether one can participate in the activity. But mesothelioma patients still should consult their physician before undertaking any new activity, even meditation. Meditation typically involves a time of stillness and contemplative thought, in which the patient tries to focus their mind on asingular subject, such as a thought, picture or tone. Meditation may reduce stress and improve quality of life in people with cancer. One of the advantages of meditation is that it can be performed when a person is alone. Mesothelioma patients should ask their personal physician for recommendations for a meditation instructor.

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February 23, 2012

Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Recruiting Patients for Research Offered at Sacramento, Northern California Area Medical Center

Clinical trials looking at new ways to treat mesothelioma patients are currently be conducted at the UC Davis Medical Center, near Sacramento, California. Specifically researchers are looking at mesothelioma treatment with the substance Cederanib Maleate. The substance is also sometime referred to as Recentin, or AZD2171 in the literature.

Cederanib Maleate is a type of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It is thought to prevent the spread of cancer by working to slow the growth of vessels supplying the blood that nourishes the cancer cells, and blocking some of the enzymes that aid cancer cell growth. It is theorized that Cederanib Maleate may be effective in actually killing cancer cells in some circumstances.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that forms in cells that make up the mesothelial lining that surrounds the lungs, heart, and stomach. Mesothelioma occurs in individuals decades after they breathed in, or swallowed, asbestos fibers. Presently there is no known cure for pleural mesothelioma. One third of all mesothelioma patients are veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Asbestos was used extensively aboard U.S. Warships throughout the 20th Century. Construction workers, including those who worked in the vicinity of asbestos cement pipe, asbestos cement, asbestos containing roofing materials, and asbestos containing insulation, also are at greater statistical risk for developing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma also has developed in the children and spouses of those who were occupationally exposed to asbestos. In those cases, family members were exposed to asbestos fibers that made there way into the family home, deposited on the clothes of the worker. Mesothelioma has resulted in even brief exposures to asbestos fiber.

Thousands of cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States every year. Many mesothelioma patients also file lawsuits in the hopes of gaining compensation to assist them gain medical treatment and care for their families. The treatment of mesothelioma can be very expensive, requiring multiple hospital procedures, treatments, and surgeries.
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Patients who participate in the Cederanib Maleate mesothelioma clinical trial will receive Cederanib Maleate introduced into the chemotherapy regimine of pemetrexed disodium IV, and Cisplatin. The purpose of the study is to determine the recommended dose of Cederanib Maleate, and compare survival rates of those treated with the drug, to those treated without it. The toxicity levels of the drug will also be measured, and tissue samples from the tumors will be collected for tissue banking and further research.

Attorney Mike Mandelbrot, founder the nationally recognized Asbestos Legal Center, whose firm has given sizeable donations to mesothelioma medical research, spoke of the importance of mesothelioma clinical trials. "Every mesothelioma patient should discuss with their medical provider whether participation in a clinical trial is appropriate in their treatment. Only through medical research, can we one day cure this terrible disease."

If a mesothelioma patient lives outside of the state of California, the Cederanib Maleate clinical trial is also occurring at medical facility locations in other states.

Continue reading "Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Recruiting Patients for Research Offered at Sacramento, Northern California Area Medical Center" »

February 23, 2012

International Mesothelioma Victims File Lawsuits Seeking Same Rights as California Residents For Exposure to Asbestos on Navy Vessels

For decades, Veterans of the United States Navy, and shipyard workers in California, have been able to receive compensation in the legal system for mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos related diseases, stemming from exposure to asbestos that took place aboard U.S. Navy vessels in shipyards over the course of the 20th century. For example, in California, the Asbestos Legal Center is an example of a law firm that has been assisting plaintiffs gain compensation for mesothelioma. Now, the families of shipyard workers in Malta, claiming discrimination because international mesothelioma victims have been barred from gaining compensation for the same exposures, have filed a class action lawsuit in District Court in New York.

The legal case hinges on whether the Johns Mansville trust, that emerged from bankruptcy in 1988, has been wrongly applying a non-standard compensation designation to international mesothelioma victims, by failing to recognize when a shipyard worker stepped onto a U.S. Navy ship, they were stepping onto sovereign United States soil.

According to the National Cancer Institute, Malignant Mesothelioma is a cancer that forms in the mesothelial lining of the lungs, chest, or abdomen. A major risk factor in the development of mesothelioma is inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibers. Symptoms of mesothelioma include pain focused under a person's rib, and shortness of breath. In come cases symptom include a person having lost weight without an apparent explanation. People often believe they may be suffering from pneumonia, or another chest condition, as the onset of mesothelioma may include fluid build up around the lungs, causing the person to cough.

Veterans of the military represent one third of the mesothelioma cases diagnosed in the United States every year. Navy sailors and shipyard workers were often exposed to asbestos located in the boiler and mechanical rooms of Navy vessels, asbestos that insulated the piping that ran throughout the vessel, and asbestos that was located in the internal components of machines, engines, and valves onboard.


Disturbing, the risk for developing mesothelioma is not limited to the shipyard worker, but also extends to the asbestos workers family members. Every year the children and spouses of people who worked with asbestos containing materials are diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by the asbestos fibers that were brought into the family home and vehicle on the clothes of worker. The children and spouses of are also entitled to compensation in the current legal system.

The families of the Maltese shipyard workers claim that their deceased loved ones died as a result of the same exposures, that occurred on vessels docked at the HM Dockyards in Malta. The current action follows a 2010 judgment by the U.S. Court of Appeals, in favor of a plaintiff similarly situated to the Maltese Shipyard workers.

The case may have broader implications, beyond the Johns Mansville trust, as there are numerous other Asbestos Personal Injury Settlment trusts that pay billions of dollars each year to victims of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos related diseases. If the Court opens the gates to international claimants who have been victimized by the asbestos industry, future Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trusts may need to be set up in consideration of a much larger victim pool needing compensation.

Continue reading "International Mesothelioma Victims File Lawsuits Seeking Same Rights as California Residents For Exposure to Asbestos on Navy Vessels " »

February 22, 2012

Bankruptcy Claims: The Alternative Option for Mesothelioma Patients Who Don't Want To Litigate

Traditionally, lawyers representing plaintiffs in mesothelioma personal injury actions have filed both lawsuits, and at some point during litigation, Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust claims as well.

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Many companies that manufactured and/or distributed asbestos containing materials have gone bankrupt. During the bankruptcy reorganization process, a large number of those companies set up Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trusts, which provide compensation to individuals who were exposed to material for which the bankrupt trust is responsible.

But a trend has emerged wherein some mesothelioma patients are opting to forgo litigation, and pursue filing bankruptcy claims only. Their reasons are varied:

Many individuals believed previously to becoming ill they would never file a lawsuit if they or loved one were injured. Unfortunately, for some, there is a stigma attached to being a plaintiff in a lawsuit. They have assumed for years that most plaintiffs in lawsuits were simply litigious in a "blame someone else" society, and simply weren't aware how often people just like themselves were victimized by corporate greed, every day.

For others, they can't imagine filing a lawsuit simply because they have never wanted to the deal with the stress they believe is associated with litigation. And to be fair, many plaintiffs do feel stress during the lengthy deposition (testimony recording process) associated with a mesothelioma lawsuit. Let's face it, it's not fun to be cross examined by a pack of lawyers, after you have told the truth about your occupational history, when you are: extremely exhausted and ill; trying to plan your future medical treatment; and trying figuring out how to provide care for your spouse and your family in the event of your death.

Mesothelioma patients who find themselves in this circumstance should consider that an alternative option for gaining compensation for their injuries does exist, other than filing a third party lawsuit. A person suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, or another asbestos related disease, can decide to file bankruptcy claims alone, to obtain financial compensation for their injuries.

According to a recent study, "over the past 30 years, 56 asbestos personal injury trusts have been set up on behalf of companies that have filed for reorganization. The largest 26 trusts paid $10.9 billion on 2.4 million claims through 2008." Moreover, in 2011, there were forty other companies with asbestos liabilities that had previously filed for reorganization, who were waiting to emerge from bankruptcy.

The downside for patients filing bankruptcy claims only, is that the financial recovery for mesothelioma patients can be much less than if they pursued full litigation. Most trusts will pay claimants a predetermined percentage of what their claim is worth had it been litigated. According the same study, the median payment percentage offered to claimants by a settlement trust is twenty-five percent. Some trusts have a payment percentage as low as two percent. But the amount of compensation is not insignificant. The study also determined, as a result, that the median amount paid by an Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust per mesothelioma claim is $41,000. Of course, ever case is different.

There are circumstances where a plaintiff will not be able to file a claim with an Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust, as they simply weren't exposed to products for which any trust is responsible.

But for others, the amount of compensation through the trust system can be substantial, in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It is useful for plaintiffs to know that their attorney's should be investigating whether or not they qualify to have their claims filed.

Continue reading "Bankruptcy Claims: The Alternative Option for Mesothelioma Patients Who Don't Want To Litigate" »

February 20, 2012

BAKERSFIELD CONTAMINATION EXAMPLE OF WIDESPREAD AND AT TIMES UNDOCUMENTED USE OF ASBESTOS IN CALIFORNIA CONTRIBUTING TO MESOTHELIOMA RISK

In an effort to frustrate the legal claims of patients suffering from mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by asbestos, and their families, often times defendants in asbestos related lawsuits attempt to claim that there is no record of asbestos being used at their industrial facility. The tactic is employed when a defendant tries to assert that any records documenting the use of asbestos at the site were destroyed decades ago and long time employees have no knowledge related to the use of the fiber. Thus without any documentary evidence of asbestos use at the site, the defendant asserts the plaintiff cannot prove that the defendant's negligence caused the plaintiff's mesothelioma. The corporate lack of knowledge strategy can be very effective in an asbestos case, as the latency period between asbestos exposure and occurrence of mesothelioma can be decades.
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But recent events near Bakersfield, California, highlight perhaps one of the best arrows in the plaintiff's quiver, who is seeking to pierce the corporate lack of knowledge defense strategy: the site inspection.

When structures and facilities are still in existence, where an individual claims to have been exposed to asbestos in the past, having an expert inspect the site can lead to the discovery of exact locations, and the types of asbestos fiber present at the facility.

Inspections for asbestos containing materials can even lead to the identification of asbestos used at locations where for whatever reason, it was unknown to current employees that asbestos was present at the facility. Two such examples of this circumstance occurred recently within the last few weeks in the Bakersfield area.

Last week, during a routine facility maintenance inspection, asbestos containing materials were discovered at Ira J. Chrisman Wind Gas Pumping Plant. Officials alerted the press, as the asbestos containing materials unfortunately were discovered after being disturbed at the water handling facility.

When asbestos fibers are disturbed, and become free in the air, they become a dangerous public health threat. Experts indicate if you can see asbestos dust, you are more than likely breathing a dose of asbestos that is considered unsafe by Environmental Protection Agency standards, and can be cancer causing.

The release of asbestos fibers the Chrisman plant followed the identification of asbestos containing materials at the John R. Teernick Wheeler Pumping Plant in Bakersfield. Inspectors went to the Chrisman plant as a result of finding the asbestos containing materials at the Wheeler plant.

Now investigators are planning a much more thorough inspection at both facilities to determine the extent of the contamination, and to construct a plan as to how to remove the deadly fiber.

The examples of the Chrisman and Wheeler plant highlight the importance of performing site inspections in an asbestos related lawsuit, when a client suffering from mesothelioma is certain that they used an asbestos containing product at a site, even when the defendant claims that have no records or knowledge of such facts. Further, there may be circumstances when a client is uncertain whether or not the material they used at a facility contained asbestos, but the physical description of the material makes it reasonable for a site inspection to occur, so the material can be sampled and tested.

If you are a person suffering from mesothelioma, or an asbestos related disease, you should not be discouraged from seeking justice for your injuries in the legal system, because you fear the individual or entity at fault for your exposure to asbestos will claim otherwise. There are many ways that skilled plaintiff's attorneys will be able to obtain the evidence you need to prove your claim.

Continue reading "BAKERSFIELD CONTAMINATION EXAMPLE OF WIDESPREAD AND AT TIMES UNDOCUMENTED USE OF ASBESTOS IN CALIFORNIA CONTRIBUTING TO MESOTHELIOMA RISK" »

February 16, 2012

Cutting Edge Clinical Trial Recruiting Mesothelioma Patients for Research and Treatment Offered at Four California Medical Centers

Mesothelioma patients are currently being recruited from all over the state of California to participate in a clinical trial studying the four month progression-free survival in patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma, after treatment with the drug Everolimus.
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Everolimus, also known by the brand name Afinitor, is a relatively new drug that has been used by cancer doctors since 2009 to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (cancer of the kidney). Typically, the drug Everolimus has been prescribed in circumstances when other medications have proven to be unsuccessful in treating the cancer cells.

Similar to the conditions present in the mesothelioma clinical trial that is now occurring in California, Everolimus is also used to treat inoperable brain tumors that cannot be treated with surgery, in patients with a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow in many organs.

Everolimus treats cancer by inhibiting the reproduction of cancer cells and by decreasing their blood supply. It is the type of drug known as kinase inhibitor.

Patients who are accepted into the mesothelioma clinical trial will receive oral Everolimus once every day for 28 days. This course of medication will repeat every twenty eight days in the absence of disease progression or any evidence of unacceptable toxicity in the patients. After completion of the treatment, the patient's health will be monitored and followed by the oncologists conducting the study for three years.

Attorney Mike Mandelbrot, founder of the Asbestos Legal Center in San Francisco, who has pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars to mesothelioma medical research, hailed the study. "In the fight against mesothelioma, cutting edge research is vital in the effort to defeat the disease."

Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Individuals, such as those whom served in the United States Navy, or whom were employed in the construction industry, later develop mesothelioma decades after their exposures to asbestos have occurred. There are thousands of new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed every year in the United States. Litigation resulting from asbestos caused disease, such as mesothelioma, has both curbed the use of asbestos domestically in the United States, and provided compensation to thousands of victims and their families. Often times that compensation is used for medical bills resulting from the disease, such as surgery, overnight hospital stays, and other medical treatments.

And in somes cases the costs of treatments provided in clinical trials are covered by the oncology treatment center conducting the research, by a grant from the government, or by the pharmaceutical company associated with the drug that is being researched.

Individuals with mesothelioma over the age of 18, of either sex, are encouraged to discuss whether or not to apply for acceptance into the clinical trial with their treating physicians.

The Callifornia locations where the Everolimus clinical trial is occurring include: Marysville, California; Orange, California; Pleasanton, California; and Davis, California. The Everolimus Mesothelioma clinical trial is also occurring at locations outside of the state of California.

Continue reading "Cutting Edge Clinical Trial Recruiting Mesothelioma Patients for Research and Treatment Offered at Four California Medical Centers " »

February 15, 2012

California Mesothelioma Attorney Warns of Public Health Threat Posed By Asbestos Found in Buildings of Los Angeles Area College Campus

College students in the Los Angeles, California area this year, are now being asked to keep track of more than just their studies as they attend classes at California State University Northridge. They are also being expected to know how to identify and avoid toxic asbestos containing materials recently located on campus, which could cause their death many years after they have graduated. A report released in January by the California State University Northridge environmental health & safety department indicates that there are still eighteen buildings on campus contaminated with asbestos-containing construction materials. The report was released in satisfaction of the University's requirement to notify the public annually of locations of asbestos under the California Health and Safety Code.
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The California State Legislature adopted the public notification requirement in the California Health and Safety Code in response to the public health threat posed by asbestos. Every year thousands of people are diagnosed in the United States with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers released from asbestos containing insulation and construction products. A majority of these products were manufactured, sold, and distributed prior to the 1980's, however asbestos use is still not banned in the United States. In fact, in 2010, the use of asbestos in the United States increased, as compared to 2009 figures. Disturbingly, mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases do not appear in patients until decades after the victims inhaled the asbestos fibers.

Alarmingly though, despite the fact that University California State Northridge has identified locations of the asbestos containing materials, in proximity to its student body, it currently has no plans to abate the asbestos and remove it. Rather, California State University Northridge is taking the position that as long as the asbestos is not disturbed or removed in an improper manner, it does not pose a hazard to the student population.

The University is advising the teachers and students to try to avoid drilling or punching holes, affixing objects to ceilings or walls, in locations identified in the report where asbestos is present.

According to California Mesothelioma Attorney, Mike Mandelbrot, of the Asbestos Legal Center in San Francisco, that's not realistic, and not enough.

"California State Northridge is playing Russian Roulette with the innocent lives of their students.", said Mr. Mandelbrot. "The University knows full well it cannot control whether any person who enters those contaminated building might disturb the asbestos containing materials and expose others who are present. Moreover, another earthquake certainly could dislodge the material. The health risk to the public far outweighs the cost of removing the asbestos containing materials. The University should start removing the material without delay."

According to California State University Northridge staff, after the Northridge earthquake of 1994, asbestos was identified and removed from some of the buildings on campus during the renovation projects.

The current study identified the asbestos containing materials during building inspections wherein material samples were collected. Later a laboratory analysis of the material were performed meeting testing standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health and Environmental Protection Agency.

Specifically, the asbestos containing material found on campus included floor and ceiling tiles, thermal pipe insulation, weather stripping, putty, and asbestos containing pipes commonly referred to as transite.

Continue reading " California Mesothelioma Attorney Warns of Public Health Threat Posed By Asbestos Found in Buildings of Los Angeles Area College Campus" »

February 10, 2012

Company Attempts to Escape Responsibility to Mesothelioma Patients By Lobbying State Legislature to Change Laws Regarding Asbestos Exposure

Philadelphia based Crown Holdings, Inc., a company with three manufacturing plants in the state of Minnesota, is presently paying lobbyists to lobby the Minnesota State Legislature to make changes to product liability laws in the state. They hope to escape future liability from lawsuits brought by Mesothelioma patients for exposures to asbestos caused by the company.

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Asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, and Mesothelioma, an incurable disease the claims the lives of thousands of Americans every year. Often symptoms from the disease do not result for decades after the exposure to asbestos fibers has occurred. Veterans of the United States Navy and of the other U.S. Armed Forces, as well as those who worked in the construction industry, are particularly at risk for Mesothelioma, as compared to the rest of the population. This is due to the fact the asbestos was used extensively as in insulator aboard naval vessels, and as a durable heat resistant binder in construction materials.

Crown claims that it actually never manufactured any asbestos containing products itself, but rather merged with a separate company in 1963, that had manufactured the asbestos containing products. Thus, the company believes it is being wrongly punished for the acts that a separate company committed against the public. However, advocates for victims of asbestos related disease believe Crown is playing a word game, and are critical of Crown's claims.

California attorney Mike Mandelbrot, of the Asbestos Legal Center in San Francisco, whose firm has filed thousands claims on behalf of individuals suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, believes Crown's claims to be meritless, "Crown is today worth over eight billion dollars, in part, as a result of it's merger with a company that exposed thousands of people needlessly to asbestos. Where it has profited from the merger, it also must accept responsibility for it, to those many families who now suffer from profits made at the expense of the public's health."

Crown claims that it has been involved in approximately one hundred and fifty asbestos related lawsuits in Minnesota in the last fifteen years, resulting in over seven hundred million dollars in litigation expenses and damages. That the lawsuits be allowed to continue Crown believes is inequitable.

"The fact that there are still lawsuits being filed against Crown, is because people are still dying from mesothelioma and asbestos exposure caused by the company's bad acts. Every victim and their family deserve justice.", according to Mr. Mandelbrot. "Crown's efforts highlight the disturbing trend of money influencing politics at the expense of those who have been injured by unchecked corporate greed."

The Minnesota State Legislature is not the first state legislature that Crown has lobbied for changes in product liability law. With the help of The American Legislative Exchange Council, Crown has successfully lobbied for changes in the product liability law of fifteen other states. Those who oppose Crown's efforts point out that workers compensation claims related to asbestos exposure were being filed against the company Crown merged with prior to 1963, thus Crown was on notice of the asbestos liability issue prior to merging with the company.

Continue reading "Company Attempts to Escape Responsibility to Mesothelioma Patients By Lobbying State Legislature to Change Laws Regarding Asbestos Exposure" »

February 4, 2012

Remembering California Mesothelioma Victims on World Cancer Day

Today, Saturday, February 4th, 2012, the Asbestos Legal Center encourages members of the public to join us in celebrating World Cancer Day. In particular we honor the memory of those we have lost to mesothelioma and lung cancer, two cancers caused by exposure to asbestos.

Due to it's numerous United States Navy Bases, Ports, and Industrial Shipyards, California is a state whose residents are particularly affected by asbestos related cancers. Asbestos was used extensively in shipyards in California, including the cities of San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Stockton, Oakland, Alameda, San Francisco, and at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, throughout much of the latter half of the 1900's. Used for it's fire retardant and heat insulating properties, asbestos was used to insulate the interior of ship hulls, as well as steam piping and equipment found in boiler and mechanical rooms. Unfortunately, many of our Veterans were exposed to asbestos while serving in the United States Navy.
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Exposure to asbestos is problematic, as the fiber, when inhaled, can cause lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a cancer found in the mesothelium lining of the lung. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma claims the lives of 2000 to 3000 people in the United States every year.

Despite the public health threat, asbestos is not banned in the United States. For decades the use of asbestos has been curtailed arguably, by the courage of mesothelioma and lung cancer patients, who have brought lawsuits against the asbestos industry. Often times lawyers for the victims argue the company who sold the asbestos-containing product, is strictly liable for the harm caused by it, because the benefit of the asbestos-containing product is outweighed by the harm of the cancer it caused in the person who used it. This is known in legal acumen in California, as the "Strict Liability Test". Additionally in California, a person who sick with mesothelioma often can have their case fast tracked, so that they are afforded an opportunity for a jury to hear the case, before the victim dies.

Many of the companies who sold asbestos containing products in the 1960's and 1970's have gone bankrupt, leaving behind asbestos settlement trusts to compensate victims. However, disturbingly, asbestos use is again on the rise. Recently, a U.S. government report showed an increase of over 25% in the use of asbestos, from 2009 to 2010, alarming lawyers representing the victims. "Every year, cancers caused by asbestos exposure claim the lives of thousands of Americans, whose deaths were entirely preventable. It is our firm's mission to fight on the memory of those we have lost, seeking justice and compensation on behalf of our clients.", said Asbestos Legal Center founder Michael Mandelbrot.

The Absestos Legal Center made news in August, 2011, when it committed $500,000 over the next 3 years to a mesothelioma medical research, relating to the treatment of veteran within the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System.

Continue reading "Remembering California Mesothelioma Victims on World Cancer Day" »