Asbestos Exposure Attorneys Serving Northwest Indiana
As an increasing number of people developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases, asbestos litigation has been on the rise. Asbestos exposure in Indiana has put many people at risk and, through asbestos litigation, those with serious asbestos-related diseases are able to hold at-fault companies accountable and recover compensation. Theodoros & Rooth, P.C., represents clients in asbestos and mesothelioma cases and works diligently to help them recover damages.
Call our firm at 219-733-8633 to talk to a Northwest Indiana asbestos lawyer about your claim.
Manufacturers Knew Of The Dangers Of Asbestos Since The 1930s
Through asbestos litigation, the courts found that manufacturers did more than just expose workers to asbestos. They did so with the knowledge that serious medical conditions and even death could result. Furthermore, evidence emerged showing that companies actively hid the risks from workers. Companies’ internal documents revealed their disregard and served as evidence of negligence. Most asbestos lawsuits arise when individuals who suffered primary exposure from working directly with asbestos take legal actions or their families bring wrongful death litigation. However, people also suffer disease and death from secondary asbestos exposure, which is indirect exposure. Indirect asbestos exposure may occur as a result of workers bringing asbestos particles home on their clothes and transferring them to others. For example:
- An officer who comes into contact with factory workers who work with or around asbestos
- A wife who washes her husband’s asbestos-ridden clothes
- Children who greet their father or mother and come into contact with asbestos fibers on their clothes or shoes
Diseases Caused By Asbestos Exposure
The primary progressive diseases caused by asbestos exposure are:
- Asbestosis – Asbestos fibers become lodged in lung tissue, and the lung slowly scars over and around the fibers, reducing lung capacity and the ability of the body to absorb oxygen through the lungs. Asbestosis is incurable and eventually leads to oxygen starvation throughout the body.
- Mesothelioma – While mesothelioma is a rare cancer, it is commonly associated with asbestos exposure. The mesothelium is the tissue lining the outside of internal organs throughout the body cavity. Common sites for mesothelioma are in the chest, thorax and abdomen. Mesothelioma is a relatively fast-moving, fatal cancer.
Asbestos Exposure And The Statute Of Limitations
The use of asbestos is now strictly regulated, as is removal and transportation. Several decades ago, however, asbestos was widely used as an insulator and fire retardant. In industries such as Indiana steel mills, employees often wore asbestos aprons and clothing as protective gear. Construction workers were exposed during demolition or renovation projects. Sometimes the families of these workers were exposed when they had contact with contaminated clothing. The link between asbestos exposure and serious lung diseases is clearly understood. People diagnosed with these diseases may have the right to sue their employer or the manufacturer for damages under products liability statutes. This can be tricky, however, since Indiana has a strict statute of limitations for bringing such cases:
- You must file within 10 years of your exposure.
- You must file within two years of your diagnosis.
The latency period between the exposure to asbestos and a diagnosis with lung disease or mesothelioma can range from 10 to 40 years. Asbestosis is a progressive disease, and a person might not seek medical attention until scarring of the lung tissue makes breathing problems severe. This condition is a risk factor for developing mesothelioma, so the diagnosis might not fit into the two-year time frame. Given the statute of limitations in Indiana, anyone with an asbestos-related disease should consult a products liability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the best options for moving ahead with a compensation claim. This also applies to families seeking a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Largest And Longest Running Mass Tort Litigation In U.S. History
Asbestos has been the subject of more ongoing mass tort litigation than any other type of personal injury case in U.S. history. The RAND Corporation reports that 730,000 individuals exposed to asbestos brought claims against 8,400 business entities during 2002. The RAND Corporation also predicts as many future claims as those litigated thus far. Asbestos litigation has cost defendants and insurers a total of $70 billion, and more than half of that amount went to claimants and litigation expenses.
Northwest Indiana Mesothelioma Lawyers
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops as a result of asbestos exposure. It is aggressive, life-threatening and will require immediate treatment to improve a patient’s chances of survival. It is also a unique form of cancer in that it may take decades to develop, after initial exposure to asbestos. Theodoros & Rooth, P.C., represents clients across Northwest Indiana who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. We hold manufacturers, employers and other at-fault parties responsible for exposing workers, consumers and residents to asbestos. With over a century of combined experience, our mesothelioma attorneys are well equipped to go up against formidable opponents in cases involving decades past exposure to protect our clients’ rights.
For a free consultation after a mesothelioma diagnosis, call 219-733-8633.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma develops in the lining (called the mesothelium) that covers bodily organs and lines organ cavities. The lungs are the main areas where mesothelioma develops. However, it can also occur in the cavities surrounding the heart and abdomen, but cancer in these areas is far less common. The disease has a latency period of anywhere from 20 to 50 years, which means it takes that long for the first signs of mesothelioma to emerge after asbestos exposure. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, doctors diagnose approximately 2,000 to 3,000 patients with mesothelioma every year. Statistics show that mesothelioma occurs most frequently in individuals over the age of 55, but there is also an increasing number of younger people between ages 20 and 40 being diagnosed today. Mesothelioma occurs in men five times more often than in women. Workplace exposure in fields dominated by male workers is the probable reason for the disease’s greater development in men. A variety of treatments are available, depending on the nature of the individual case and the stage of mesothelioma. Oncologists often use traditional treatments, such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Other approaches may also be possible, such as clinical trials using immunotherapy and gene-targeted therapy.
Covering Treatment Costs And Other Expenses
As with any form of cancer, treatment is costly, which is why after a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is important to consult a Northwest Indiana mesothelioma lawyer who can explain your options for recovering compensation. Even if you have good health insurance, insurance companies generally cover only a portion of the expenses and usually only traditional medical approaches. If you are unable to work, the burden of lost income is another costly factor, which is also damage that we can address in your lawsuit. By recovering compensation on your behalf, we can help you deal with the financial hardships typically associated with mesothelioma.
Our Experience Can Benefit You
It can be hard to be sure if you are suffering from asbestos exposure or if you have a reliable claim for compensation. Consulting with our team of dedicated and passionate attorneys can help you determine what course of action you can take to benefit your needs.
To schedule your initial consultation today and for more information about asbestos litigation and how Theodoros & Rooth, P.C., can help, contact our team by calling 219-733-8633 or by emailing us here.