Mesothelioma Compensation Lawsuits and Settlements: Seeking Compensation for Asbestos-Related Cancer
A growing number of Americans find themselves seeking a mesothelioma class action lawsuit or mesothelioma settlement after a cancer diagnosis. The plaintiffs allege that they were exposed to asbestos, most commonly at work or through a product containing asbestos, which led to the development of mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive and dangerous form of cancer.
Mesothelioma Settlements and Lawsuits: Types, Compensation, and Defendants
Although some mesothelioma lawsuits end in trial, many end with a mesothelioma settlement.
Types of Mesothelioma Settlement
Essentially, a mesothelioma settlement is a legal agreement made between the plaintiff(s) and the defendant(s) that compensates the plaintiff(s) for their cancer. A settlement is an alternative way to resolve a civil lawsuit without going to trial. Defendants often prefer to settle mesothelioma lawsuits rather than go to trial. Litigating in a mesothelioma lawsuit can be expensive, and if a plaintiff wins their case, the defendant must accept legal responsibility. This legal responsibility can have serious consequences for the continuity of your business. If a defendant ends mesothelioma litigation with a settlement, they incur the cost of the settlement, but avoid the future implications of admitting liability.
In many cases, mesothelioma compensation is paid in personal injury lawsuits, providing the plaintiff with compensation for the injuries caused by asbestos exposure. In other cases, the mesothelioma lawsuit is filed for wrongful death, in which case compensation is paid to the family or estate of the deceased.
Mesothelioma settlements are made between plaintiffs and defendants from a number of industries. Some examples of mesothelioma defendants may be:
Manufacturers of a product that allegedly contains asbestos
Owners of a business that forced their office workers to work in an office that contained asbestos
Employers of transportation or construction companies whose workers are required to handle asbestos
Owners of a renovation company that did not take appropriate measures to protect workers removing asbestos tiles from an old house
Advertisers who falsely advertised that a product or place was free of asbestos
Asbestos was commonly used for many years in a number of industries. Due to incomplete bans on asbestos, people continue to come into contact with it, even though it has been deemed unsafe. The widespread presence of asbestos means that people can encounter it in a number of settings. Consequently, those who have suffered from mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos can bring lawsuits against various defendants.
How much can you get for mesothelioma compensation?
Although a mesothelioma settlement is often less than what the plaintiff could have received from a jury, it is often a significant payment. Median compensation for mesothelioma ranges from $1 million to $1.4 million. With a jury trial, there is no guarantee that the jurors will side with the plaintiff.
Settlement amounts can vary based on a number of factors, including medical bills and lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages, company negligence, number of companies named in the lawsuit, jurisdiction, etc. Mesothelioma has limited treatment options once diagnosed. Mesothelioma compensation benefits can help patients get the best possible care to fight a serious diagnosis. Guidance from an experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you determine the best approach for your case, and give you the strongest possible chance of receiving a valuable settlement.
Mesothelioma Settlement Cases
Mesothelioma settlement amounts are often private, and claimants often sign confidentiality agreements. However, in some cases, the settlement amounts may be made public.
For example, in 2005 in Illinois, US Steel was ordered to pay $250 million to the widow of a former steelworker who had died of asbestos mesothelioma, according to Asbestos.com. Following the verdict, but before it was announced, US Steel settled with the plaintiff. Although the exact figure is not known, it is believed to be significantly less than the verdict award.
After massive asbestos exposure from vermiculite mines rocked Libby, Montana, two major lawsuits resulted in mesothelioma settlements, one in 2011 for $43 million and another in 2017 for $25 million. Mesothelioma victims in Libby Those affected continue to file lawsuits, so future settlements are expected, according to The Guardian.
Why would a company agree to a mesothelioma settlement?
Most mesothelioma diagnoses are due to asbestos exposure. Asbestos was prized for its durability and resistance to heat and fire. It was mined and used in insulation, brakes, tiles, flooring, roofing, shipbuilding, and many other activities.
Asbestos-based materials are not dangerous unless they fall apart. In its decomposing form, a shingle, tile or brake pad can release tiny asbestos fibers into the air. These fibers are so light that they can remain airborne for long periods of time, which means they can be ingested or inhaled. Asbestos fibers reside deep in the lungs or stomach and cause irritation and inflammation that, over the years, can cause malignant mesothelioma tumors to develop, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Mesothelioma can develop anytime between 20 and 60 years after exposure to asbestos. When plaintiffs can directly identify the work environment and/or the materials that led to the exposure at home or at work, it is possible to reach a mesothelioma settlement.
Certain risk factors can influence a person’s chances of developing mesothelioma. The Mayo Clinic advises that anyone with a history of working with asbestos should know that they are at increased risk for mesothelioma.
If you have lived with someone who has worked with asbestos, you may have been inadvertently exposed to asbestos fibers brought home on your skin and clothing. Once home, the person may have spread the fibers by changing clothes or even bringing home a lunch box covered in asbestos dust. These fibers can become airborne and be ingested or breathed in by other people residing in the home.
If a parent, sibling, or child has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be at increased risk of developing the disease due to your genetic susceptibility.
In addition to mesothelioma caused by occupational exposure to asbestos, many claim to have been exposed to the dangerous material through common household products. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson and Johnson and other manufacturers of baby powder by people who claim that these products may be contaminated with asbestos.
Since talc and asbestos are mined nearby, it is possible for asbestos fibers to find their way into the talc. When talc is made into cosmetic products such as eye shadow, blush or lipstick, or used as a key ingredient in baby powder, consumers may be unknowingly exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, many of the cosmetic products contaminated with asbestos – including makeup sets and baby powder – are marketed to children. Several children’s makeup sets sold at a popular Claire’s tween store have been recalled for being contaminated with asbestos.
Some baby powders have also been recalled. Although Johnson & Johnson claims that its baby powders are safe and do not contain asbestos, the company announced that it would withdraw its talc-based baby powders from the North American market in early 2020, according to CNN. Talc-free versions of the baby powder are still available in North America, and the talc-containing version is available in the rest of the world. At the time of the announcement, nearly 20,000 lawsuits had been filed against Johnson & Johnson relating to its potentially dangerous product. In addition to plaintiffs seeking mesothelioma compensation, many lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs alleging that the allegedly contaminated baby powder caused ovarian cancer.
In cases where consumers have accused a company of manufacturing a product that caused mesothelioma, settling lawsuits may be the most prudent option for the company. Companies found to be responsible for manufacturing a dangerous product may be exposed not only to current legal penalties, but to future lawsuits, government fines, product recalls, and even bankruptcy. In many cases, companies agree to a mesothelioma settlement to avoid more serious legal consequences for manufacturing an allegedly dangerous product.
Teacher Receives $850,000 Settlement for Mesothelioma
A teacher diagnosed with mesothelioma will receive an $850,000 settlement from the Philadelphia School District, where she worked for 28 years, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Lea DiRusso was a special education teacher at two South Philadelphia elementary schools for nearly three decades. Both schools had documented problems with asbestos, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
DiRusso said she had to sweep up white dust from the asbestos-covered heating pipes in her classroom. He told The Inquirer that the school provided him with a broom to sweep up dust, which he did not know contained dangerous asbestos particles.
He had even used the pipes with the crumbling asbestos casings to hang the pictures drawn and painted by his students. He said that he never would have done it if he had known that he was disturbing asbestos every time.
The school buildings were nearly 100 years old, and DiRusso claimed the district never warned him of the asbestos dangers ahead.
DiRusso told the Inquirer that she began feeling unwell in the spring of 2019. She had developed a large, hard abdomen, which doctors thought could be a sign of menopause or a stomach ailment.
He was eventually diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the abdomen caused by ingesting asbestos fibers.
Last winter, DiRusso underwent an hour-long operation to remove her ovaries, uterus and diseased areas of her abdominal lining, The Inquirer reported. Doctors also cut or burned cancerous tumors found on his abdomen.
Are you eligible?
There are a number of factors that can determine whether you are eligible to settle a mesothelioma lawsuit. The strength of a mesothelioma lawsuit rests largely on things like the plaintiff’s diagnosis, his employment, his medical history, and proof of the defendants’ negligence.
Agreeing to a settlement instead of going to a jury trial can save time: litigation can drag on for years, while a settlement agreement could end the litigation in a matter of months.
You can also file a claim with an asbestos trust to obtain compensation for the victims. Many companies have filed for bankruptcy after being criticized for making products containing asbestos and have since been ordered to set up funds to compensate asbestos victims. Claims to these funds typically take months to process and involve going through the bankrupt company’s trust fund, allowing claimants to bypass the court system entirely. Claims often settle in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Filing an Asbestos Lawsuit
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another type of cancer after exposure to asbestos, you may be able to file an asbestos cancer lawsuit. Of course, filing a lawsuit can’t eliminate the pain and suffering caused by a cancer diagnosis, nor can it bring a loved one back to life, but it can at least help ease the financial burden of medical bills, wages lost and more
Filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation for mesothelioma can be a daunting prospect, especially after a cancer diagnosis, so Top Class Actions has laid the groundwork by connecting you with an experienced lawyer. Consulting an attorney can help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the complexities of litigation, and maximize your potential compensation.
Join a Free Asbestos Mesothelioma Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
Do YOU have a legal claim? Fill out the form on this page now for a free, immediate, and confidential case evaluation. The attorneys working with Top Class Actions will contact you if you qualify to inform you whether an individual asbestos lawsuit or an asbestos class action lawsuit is best for you. [In general, asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits are filed individually by each plaintiff and are not class actions.] Hurry – statute of limitations may apply.