FAQ: Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure
New Jersey Asbestos Exposure Lawyers
FAQ: Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. When inhaled or ingested, asbestos can cause permanent damage. Asbestos fibers or particles attach to the tissue lining the lungs or other major organs, causing irritation and scarring. Over time, tumors can develop in the tissue surrounding the organ causing the lining to become thick (pleural thickening) and filled with fluid (pleural effusion) and reducing capacity for normal function of the organ. Asbestos exposure can also lead to other cancers, such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, laryngeal cancer, stomach cancer, and other diseases, such as asbestosis.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
The most common form of malignant mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma occurs when tumors develop in the lining surrounding the lung. Other forms of mesothelioma include peritoneal mesothelioma (affecting the lining of the abdominal cavity) and pericardial mesothelioma (affecting the lining surrounding the heart). There are also extremely rare cases of benign mesothelioma and testicular mesothelioma.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Individuals suffering from mesothelioma do not usually begin to experience symptoms of mesothelioma until approximately 20 to 50 years following their exposure to asbestos. Even then, the symptoms are generally minor at first, and are often confused with other more common health conditions. Some of the more common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and persistent dry cough. However, individuals suffering from mesothelioma may also experience fever, weight loss and other symptoms.
I wasn’t exposed to asbestos. How did I develop mesothelioma?
Many people were exposed to asbestos without knowing it when working in factories, chemical plants, shipyards, refineries and even in some home construction products, such as roofing materials, siding, tiles and insulation. Asbestos particles may have been brought home on your spouse’s clothing or hair. This type of secondary asbestos exposure can also lead to mesothelioma diagnosis.
What type of workers were at risk of asbestos exposure?
Asbestos was used significantly throughout the twentieth century, particularly in the years during and after World War II. Veterans who worked on Naval ships or in shipyards (New York Shipyard in Camden), refinery workers (Mobil Oil, Texaco and other petroleum and chemical processing facilities in the area), chemical plant workers (South Jersey DuPont plant/Chamber Works facilities), automobile manufacturers, auto mechanics, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, construction workers and other workers likely experienced significant asbestos exposure during this time.
I was exposed to asbestos 50 years ago. Can I still bring a case for my lung disease?
Yes. The lawyers at Shivers, Gosnay & Greatrex, LLC have decades of experience in asbestos litigation as well as an extensive library of resources concerning asbestos exposure throughout southern New Jersey over the past 50 years. As a result, we continue to bring successful claims on behalf of clients who were exposed to asbestos many years ago. We also have a network of resources throughout the country that help us to identify the source of a client’s exposure outside of the South Jersey area. A claim must be brought within two years of when you are diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, which is often many years or even decades after your exposure to asbestos.
I thought all the asbestos product manufacturers went bankrupt. Is there still money to be recovered?
Yes. Not only are many of the bankrupt defendants still paying claims out of funds put aside for asbestos victims by the bankruptcy court, there are also many viable defendants still being successfully sued for their role in causing asbestos related injuries to our clients. Shivers, Gosnay & Greatrex has also been aggressive in pursuing claims against property owners like refineries and chemical plants whose owners allowed contractors and their employees to work onsite without warning them of the dangers of asbestos. Our lawyers have significant proof that many of those property owners were well aware of the dangers of asbestos on their properties but intentionally or negligently failed to protect contractors and workers who were brought in to perform various types of work including pipefitting, lagging, electrical work, carpentry and other trades.
For more information, or to discuss your situation with an experienced mesothelioma litigation attorney, contact Shivers, Gosnay & Greatrex, LLC, in South New Jersey.