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Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. People who develop this rare from of cancer were most likely exposed to dangerous asbestos fibers while working in various industries to support their families. It is common for the development of mesothelioma to occur 20 or sometimes even 40 years after initial exposure to asbestos.

Update: Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Trial Underway in California

A Pasadena courtroom is the scene of a pivotal trial in which a California woman claims she developed mesothelioma from Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc-containing cosmetic products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The case is unique in that it is the first to allege a mesothelioma injury from J&J talc to reach trial.

Types of Malignant Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that make up the pleura or lining around the outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs, this type of mesothelioma accounts for 75% of diagnosed cases.

  • Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer of mesothelial cells that protect the individual organs of a person’s abdomen. This protective layer of cells is commonly known as the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma makes up about 10-20% of cases. The only known cause in the U.S. of peritoneal mesothelioma is previous exposure to asbestos.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma is the most uncommon from of asbestos related cancer. A person with pericardial mesothelioma has cancerous growths in the tissue around their heart. Strong links between asbestos and the development of pericardial mesothelioma have been made.
  • Sub-types (or cell types) of mesothelioma are epithelial (the most common, and considered the most amenable to treatment), sarcomatous (a much more aggressive form), and biphasic or mixed (a combination of both of the other cell types).

Our Experience – Mesothelioma Litigation

Why You Should Choose Schmidt & Clark, LLP

“Our law firm has substantial expertise in the highly specialized field of occupational Asbestos exposure litigation.”

There are many law firms in the United States that advertise their legal services for Mesothelioma lawsuits, however most of these law firms do not actually litigate them. You can contact our law firm with confidence in knowing that we have earned the nationwide respect and recognition from our peers for the successful representation of Mesothelioma victims and their families.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to Asbestos and developed a form of Asbestos related cancer such as Mesothelioma or other related disease, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation and we can help.

Who is at risk?

Mesothelioma is found in people who are chronically exposed to asbestos material. Those who are at the highest risk of developing mesothelioma are the people who directly handle asbestos material at their job. This group includes:

  • vehicle mechanics
  • construction workers
  • shipyard workers
  • electricians
  • other workers in the building trades

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult because symptoms related to the cancer are shared by more common but less devastating diseases.

A diagnosis of mesothelioma starts with a review of the patient’s medical history and history of exposure to asbestos. A patient will often undergo a series of tests including an MRI or CAT scan. While these tests may lead to a preliminary diagnosis, a biopsy is necessary to confirm the presence of mesothelioma. The location of the cancer will ultimately determine how the doctor performs the biopsy.

Below are some of the more common techniques used to diagnose mesothelioma:

X-Ray – Chest x-rays are useful in that they can show pleural effusion. Pleural effusion is more common in the right lung than in the left lung. X-rays also show signs of prior non-cancerous asbestos disease in the form of pleural plaques, pleural calcification, or scarring related to asbestosis.

Computed Tomography (CT) – CT scans show pleural effusion, pleural thickening, pleural calcification, thickening of interlobular fissures, or possible chest wall invasion. A CT scan can also aid in needle aspiration of pleural masses for diagnosis.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – An MRI is used to determine the extent of tumor prior to treatment. MRI’s are able to provide images in multiple planes and are able to identify tumors rather than normal structures. An MRI can also display enlargement of the lymph nodes that are located between the lungs in addition to the ability to obtain a clear image of the diaphragmatic surface. Depending on the enlargement of the mediastinal lymph nodes and the status of the diaphragmatic surface, the physician can determine the patient’s candidacy for surgery.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – PET is highly useful in the diagnosis of mesothelioma. Although PET scans are not always covered under insurance, they are considered to be the most useful in diagnosing tumor cells. This method of testing is very useful for the physician in determining the stage of cancer.

Once mesothelioma is suspected through imaging tests, it is confirmed by pathological examination. Tissue is removed, put under the microscope, and a pathologist makes a definitive diagnosis, and issues a pathology report. If further examination is warranted, the following tests may be done:

Thoracoscopy – For pleural mesothelioma the doctor may look inside the chest cavity with a special instrument called a thoracoscope. A cut will be made through the chest wall and the thoracoscope will be put into the chest between two ribs. This test is usually done in a hospital with a local anesthetic or painkiller. If fluid has collected in your chest, your doctor may drain the fluid out of your body by putting a needle into your chest and use gentle suction to remove the fluid. This is called thoracentesis.

Peritoneoscopy – For peritoneal mesothelioma the doctor may also look inside the abdomen with a special tool called a peritoneoscope. The peritoneoscope is put into an opening made in the abdomen. This test is usually done in the hospital under a local anesthetic.

If fluid has collected in your abdomen, your doctor may drain the fluid out of your body by putting a needle into your abdomen and using gentle suction to remove the fluid. This process is called paracentesis.

Biopsy – If abnormal tissue is found, the doctor will need to cut out a small piece and have it looked at under a microscope. This is usually done during the thoracoscopy or peritoneoscopy, but can be done during surgery.

California Jury Awards $18M in Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuit

November 8, 2016 – A jury in Los Angeles has returned an $18.07 million verdict against talc supplier Whittaker Clark & Daniels for its role in causing a man’s development of mesothelioma. According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Phillip Depoian was diagnosed with both peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma in May 2015 after years of using a variety of talc-containing cosmetic products including Old Spice, Clubman, King’s Men and Mennen Shave Talc. The verdict is believed to be the largest award on record for a lawsuit alleging mesothelioma from cosmetic talc exposure.

Do I have a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in mesothelioma lawsuits. We are handling individual and group litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in your area.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to Asbestos and developed a form of Asbestos related cancer such as Mesothelioma or other related disease, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation and we can help.

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