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New York Mesothelioma Rate Among Highest in the Nation

Oct 11, 2007
New York City Awarded $40 million in Asbestos lawsuit

New York Jury Awards $16 million to three railroad workers in mesothelioma lawsuit

Lawyers File Mesothelioma Lawsuit for Third Family Member

These are just a sampling of recent headlines about asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits in the state of New York. The numbers may sound outrageous to those who have never dealt with the realities of watching a loved one die of mesothelioma, or seen the toll that it takes on a family's finances and future. The reality is that the treatments for the deadly disease can easily cost a family hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

The reality is that hundreds of people are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually. The reality is that the enormous industries that used asbestos knowingly exposed workers to a toxic substance - and hid the dangers from them and from the general public for decades. The very sad reality is that if those companies had made public the things that they knew and provided even the simplest of protections for their workers, thousands of husbands, fathers, brothers, wives and sisters would not have died a painful, ugly death from one of the most virulent forms of cancer known.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. It is, overall, a very rare form of cancer, but its incidence rises dramatically among those who work or have worked around asbestos. There have also been cases of mesothelioma among family members of those who worked with asbestos, and among residents of areas where factories and processing plants processed and mined asbestos and turned it into products that were sold nationally and internationally.

What is the basis of mesothelioma lawsuits?

Industry leaders have known since the early 1900s that exposure to asbestos dust often resulted in serious lung diseases. These companies chose to hide the dangers rather than protect their workers and the community from those dangers. Some of the larger companies went so far as to have their employees examined by company doctors and instructed the doctors to withhold diagnoses of lung disease from those who were ill.

Another company rejected a researcher's suggestion that all workers who handled asbestos wear inexpensive paper filter masks because it would be bad for the company image and worry the workers. The history of deliberate neglect to preserve profits is documented in reports, memos, letters and files exchanged among the top executives and decision makers in those companies.

It is this history that is the basis of most mesothelioma lawsuits - that the industry knowingly and willfully ignored the knowledge of danger and put all of their workers at risk so that they could continue to profit from the sale of the dangerous substance. The fact that they knew of the danger and deliberately hid it from the public, their workers and the government makes them liable not only for compensation of medical expenses to those that were harmed, but for punitive damages as well.

Who is affected by mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma has been definitely linked to exposure to asbestos. There is no other known cause, though there are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing mesothelioma. Workers on job sites that handled asbestos in high quantities are most at risk, but there have been cases of mesothelioma traced back to a limited, even single, exposure to asbestos dust. New York has a high concentration of those industries, and many of the companies that manufactured products made with asbestos are located in New York, and for that reason, there is a high concentration of mesothelioma cases in the state.

If you worked at a New York shipyard, power plant or construction site at any time through the 1970s and early 1980s, it's very likely that you were exposed to asbestos dust. If your job involved working with cement pipes, wallboard, insulation, brake shoes, elevator brake shoes, fireproofing materials, fire curtains, adhesive compounds and many other products used in the construction industry, you may have been exposed to asbestos. If a family member worked in any of those industries or with those products, you may have been exposed to asbestos.

What are your rights in a mesothelioma lawsuit?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you can bring a legal claim against those who were responsible for your exposure. Contact a top mesothelioma lawyer in New York today to discuss your case and the options available to you.
About the Author
Nick Johnson is lead counsel with Johnson Law Group. Johnson represents plaintiffs in many states and focuses on injury cases involving Fen-Phen and PPH, Paxil, Mesothelioma and Nursing Home Abuse. Call Nick Johnson at 1-888-311-5522 or visit http://www.johnsonlawgroup.com
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