Mesothelioma And The Law

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Mesothelioma is a rare, yet aggressive, form of cancer that attacks the lining of the body's internal organs. Approximately 2,000-3,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma. This type of cancer has the ability to mask its symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage of development, both doctor and patient very frequently are left helpless in fighting it. Because of the latency period, the average age of patients is 65 year old, and the survival rate is typically one year after diagnoses. Asbestos is the almost exclusive cause of mesothelioma, and in 80 percent of the cases, the exposure took place at work. Everyone deserves a healthy work environment to earn a living, and thankfully the Unites States government agrees and has created laws that regulate asbestos exposure.

It has been discovered that corporate America and the government knew of the dangers that asbestos posed, yet they continued to knowingly neglect the well-being of the workers. Money is most likely the culprit, because the HazMat (hazardous materials) suits that would have been needed were not only expensive, but they were needed for each worker. Sadly, it is believed that the prices of safety equipment outweighed the health of the people.

There are two categories for mesothelioma and the law. First, there are the regulatory statues, which outline the steps industries must now take to protect employees. OSHA (the Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has created laws that regulate the levels of asbestos control that is required of employers. For example, an employee cannot be exposed to more than 0.2 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc) during an 8 hour shift. In addition, employers are now mandated to monitor exposure for workers exposed to more than the 0.7 f/cc, and continuous monitoring must be completed in intervals no longer that six months apart. Also, protective clothing must be provided and required of each employee. The clothing must include a full-body suit, head coverings, gloves, and foot covering. In the case of eye irritation, face shields, or vented goggles should be worn. The type of respirator is dependent on the type of asbestos exposure that occurs. Mesothelioma has brought the dangers to light, and it has become necessary for the government to regulate asbestos exposure.

Secondly, personal injury, otherwise known as tort, allows victims to take legal action against the industries liable for the asbestos exposure, as well as the asbestos manufacturers of asbestos. A person who develops mesothelioma from exposure, may have the right to legally recover damages for their medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Because so many corporations have been taken over by the government, the FAIR Act (Fairness in Asbestos Resolution Act) attempted to create funds to compensate those affected by asbestos exposure. However, the act aimed to only award a fraction of their deserved damages, and eventually the act was rejected by Congress.

If the personal injury route is the one you want to take, then contacting a lawyer immediately is in your best interest. In many current cases around the country, plaintiffs are receiving their just compensation. Keep in mind that every state has a statue of limitations that must be considered. It dictates how long a person has to file legal action. Waiting too long may cause your case to be invalid. The other consideration is causation, which means that you must prove that your mesothelioma is directly linked to the asbestos exposure, and that the exposure was due to the defendant's negligence.

An attorney will be sure to confirm the validity of your case, and help you determine what your options are. You may want to begin thinking about the financial strain on your family, and how the damages you deserve may be needed. Also, consider the moral obligation that you were denied. It may have been your employers negligence that is now costing you your life.


Legal•Info State Mesothelioma Information

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