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Author: Rick Nemeroff

An image of an elderly person’s hand gripping a wheelchair, representing the pain and suffering caused by asbestos-related diseases and the mesothelioma settlement amounts that could be available.

Public knowledge about mesothelioma—the fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure—has dramatically increased in the United States in recent years. Mesothelioma settlement amounts awarded to victims and their families mirror that increase. Individuals exposed to asbestos should be aware of the risks, as well as the recourse available due to exposure to the deadly mineral.

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer or have lost someone you love due to an asbestos-related disease, you might have some questions about asbestos settlements or wrongful death lawsuits and what average mesothelioma settlement amounts are. Here is a quick roadmap for navigating what might seem like an overwhelming undertaking.

What You Need to Know About Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

You might be hearing or seeing the word settlement a lot when it comes to mesothelioma cases and monetary damages. A settlement is a legal agreement reached between both sides of a legal case, the plaintiff and the defendant, instead of going to trial in court before a judge and jury.

The word settlement is troublesome to some people. As a plaintiff, it is your decision to agree or disagree to a settlement with the defendants in your case. Trials can be very time- and energy-consuming. Courts and lawyers recognize this, as well as other factors, like the serious illness of plaintiffs. Settlements can speed up the process of getting the compensation you need. Every case is different, and your lawyer should advise you on the benefits and drawbacks of an asbestos settlement in your situation.

Who Can File a Claim for Damages Related to Asbestos Exposure

The understanding of the ways an individual may be exposed to asbestos has grown, both in the medical community and the general public. Those directly exposed to asbestos in the work environment are not the only ones at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.

Any individual who is exposed to asbestos can carry the fibers on their clothing and then transfer the fibers to family members in their households. This second-hand exposure is just as dangerous as being exposed to the mineral directly.

In fact, exposure within a household can go undetected and continue over many years. If asbestos on clothing is not safely removed before entering the home, airborne toxins can be transferred and pose a risk to anyone who lives there, including women and children. It may also be inhaled and cause disease to those who launder the clothing. Therefore, mesothelioma settlement amounts are available to family members who become ill as a result of exposure as well.

In addition to the potential for second-hand asbestos exposure, many people are surprised to learn that there are non-work-related asbestos hazards that could be hiding in homes. In addition to old building materials, bath products used regularly have also been linked to mesothelioma.

In 2018, Johnson & Johnson was handed a $117 million verdict in favor of an individual who claimed that baby powder caused his asbestos-related cancer. That lawsuit opened the door to further investigation into the Johnson & Johnson product and whether the powder is or ever was contaminated with asbestos.

As a result, more questions should be asked about other potentially hazardous household products. Cases like this could be just the beginning of a rise in awards to those who are ill, as well as average wrongful death settlements for mesothelioma.

Asbestos settlement claims can be filed by individuals who have asbestos-related diseases, or by family members of those individuals, whether exposure to asbestos occurred at work, at home, or elsewhere.

Types of Claims and Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts Vary

Compensation for illnesses caused by asbestos exposure can take many forms, and some people are entitled to payments from multiple sources. For example, some companies that have been found by courts to be responsible for mass exposures have created a mesothelioma trust fund for the purpose of compensating those who become ill. And benefits are available to those who were exposed to asbestos during military service and later developed an illness as a result of that exposure.

If you have lost a spouse, companion, parent, or other loved one to an asbestos-related disease, you might also have a right to compensation. Average wrongful death settlements for mesothelioma and other diseases are based on the specifics of each family’s situation and an experienced attorney can help you understand what benefits are available to you.

Claims can be made against any party responsible for the asbestos exposure, including manufacturers, employers, and property owners. While mesothelioma settlements are probably the most well-known, awards for those suffering from other asbestos-related cancers and asbestosis lawsuit settlements also occur.

What is the Possible Mesothelioma Settlement Amount in my Case?

As with wrongful death cases, the amount of compensation an ailing person is entitled to can vary widely. There are many factors to consider, including:

  • The parties responsible for the exposure that caused the illness, and if they have the funds to compensate you as you deserve
  • The circumstances of the illness in your case and how your quality of life is affected, including and pain and suffering
  • The effects on the victim’s family, including pain and suffering
  • The amount of lost wages and other financial burdens
  • The extent of your medical costs

In some cases, even the point in time when your case is settled can affect your potential settlement amount. If you settle early in the process, the settlement offer might be significantly less than the potential amount you might be awarded if, for example, you go to trial and win. However, your lawyer might charge a higher percentage contingency fee for trial work, thereby reducing the amount you keep.

You’ve probably heard that average mesothelioma settlement amounts are in the millions. Some are. Oftentimes, after contingency fees, outstanding medical bills, and any other miscellaneous costs are deducted, plaintiffs are still left with considerable sums to cover their losses.

It’s Worth Making the Call

A discussion with a lawyer skilled in asbestos settlement law can be extremely helpful. The experienced, caring attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm will go over the specific circumstances of your situation, discuss possible next steps, and help you identify the best ways to get the benefits you deserve.

Get in touch to discuss your case and potential mesothelioma settlement amounts today. Visit our website for a live chat or call 214-774-2258.

An image of the USS Barton DD 722, a ship of the U.S. Navy upon which service members and shipbuilders were exposed to asbestos that can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Did you or a family member serve aboard the USS Barton DD 722? Any service member on this or any similar Navy vessel commissioned before 1978 was likely exposed to asbestos. Sadly, this means there is a connection between mesothelioma and the USS Barton. When exposure to asbestos results in a serious illness, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer, service members and families are entitled to financial compensation.

USS Barton DD 722 and Asbestos

The USS Barton DD 722 was built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine and commissioned in 1943. The vessel and the service members aboard her fought in World War II (from Normandy to the Pacific), the Korean War, and took part in various military exercises until the ship was decommissioned in 1968.

Unfortunately, the brave service members faced an unknown danger from the Barton itself. This hidden danger was asbestos contained in various parts of the ship, and the effects of exposure may just be coming to light.

The History of USS Barton DD 722 and Asbestos

At the time the USS Barton was built and active, thousands of industrial and construction products used or contained asbestos. Service members working in the boiler room or engine room were likely exposed to the highest levels of airborne asbestos on the USS Barton. But asbestos was also present in the common areas, mess hall, sleeping quarters, and other parts of the ship. Any service member who stepped foot on the Barton likely had some exposure to asbestos.

Effects of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. Asbestos is extremely dangerous when it is airborne because it can be inhaled and enter the lungs. There, it can lie dormant for decades before causing a debilitating condition known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is often fatal within five years of diagnosis.

Symptoms often connected with mesothelioma of the chest (pleural mesothelioma) are:

  • Cough
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Lower back or chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the face and arms
  • Trouble swallowing (feeling like food gets stuck)
  • Weight loss (without trying)

Another form of mesothelioma is called peritoneal mesothelioma. This is caused by ingesting asbestos fibers. Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:

  • Abdominal (belly) pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling or fluid in the abdomen
  • Weight loss (without trying)

If you or a loved one has experienced any of these symptoms, or you suffer from other asbestos-related cancers or asbestosis, it is important to seek medical attention.

There is a significant financial burden in dealing with mesothelioma, and the USS Barton is only one of many ships upon which workers and service members may have been exposed to asbestos. Nemeroff Law Firm is specially equipped to protect your legal rights to compensation for injury caused by asbestos exposure.

Status After Discharge From Service on the USS Barton DD 722

It is important to note that your military discharge status and other factors may affect your ability to collect benefits from the government. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to be eligible for this form of compensation, you must be a Veteran who:

  • Was not dishonorably discharged
  • Was exposed to asbestos during military service
  • Has an asbestos-related disease as a result of exposure during military service

Specific evidence is required to apply and qualify for benefits through the VA. An attorney with experience in asbestos and mesothelioma cases can help those exposed to asbestos on the USS Barton and others navigate these requirements and identify other potential sources of compensation.

Our Expert Attorneys and Staff Can Help You

Nemeroff Law Firm has the skills and expertise to ensure you or your loved one get the compensation you need and deserve from all parties involved in your asbestos exposure.

If you served on the USS Barton DD 722 or another Navy ship and were exposed to asbestos, and you are experiencing any of the conditions above, contact us immediately so we can help you recover the benefits to which you are entitled. Please call us at 214-774-2258, visit our website to chat today.

An image of a chemical plant in the distance with smog, representing the toxic exposures that can occur at plants like the Allied Chemical plant in Louisiana.

Many people know that mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer are associated with asbestos exposure. What may be less clear is that they continue to be real concerns in the daily lives of industrial workers today. This is particularly true for Louisiana chemical-industry workers, including those employed by Allied Chemical.

Allied Chemical in the Chemical Corridor

The Allied Chemical Corporation history in the Geismar/Carville, Louisiana area can be traced back to 1965, when construction began on a chemical and fertilizer production center. The plant was located in a 150-mile stretch of the Lower Mississippi River, now known as Louisiana’s “Chemical Corridor,” and began operating in 1967.  Over the years, the Carville location has gone through a number of name changes, often referred to as the Geismar Plant and more recently the Honeywell Speciality Materials Plant. These name changes mirror the dynamic history of what is known today as the Honeywell Corporation.

Allied Chemical Plant in Geismar Has a Long History of Employment in the Area but at What Cost?

The Geismar plant has provided good jobs for many along the Mississippi River. As of 2006, Allied Chemical in Geismar employed around 400 workers. But a dark side came with that steady paycheck—exposure to a toxic substance called asbestos.

The Louisiana Department of Health has classified asbestos as a human carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer in the human body. When inhaled or ingested, these microscopic fibers can cause a number of devastating, incurable diseases that often do not show symptoms until decades later—10, 20, even 40 years after exposure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified three major health complications that can be caused by asbestos exposure. They are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer found in the lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart
  • Asbestosis, a serious, incurable, non-cancer condition of the lungs

Chemicals Produced at the Allied Chemical Plant Are Potentially Harmful to Workers and Families

These devastating diseases deeply impact not just those suffering with them, but families as well. In fact, it is not only the health of employees that is at risk. Family members can become ill from second-hand exposure when fibers are carried home on a worker’s clothing.

Since operations started in 1967, the Geismar plant location has manufactured numerous chemicals, including ammonia and urea, sulfuric and phosphoric acids, ammonium nitrate, diammonium phosphate and other fertilizer solutions.  Currently, the Honeywell Specialty Materials facility encompasses several hundred developed acres and produces a wide variety of chemicals, including hydrofluoric acid, fluorocarbon refrigerants and Aclon resin.

The Continuing Effects of Asbestos Are Very Real

Despite government regulation and increased corporate awareness, a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that many asbestos-containing products are still in use and new products are still being imported into the U.S.

Additionally, government air quality standards for safe exposure are not always followed. That same report shows that annual mesothelioma deaths are on the rise in the U.S. (up almost 5% from 1999 to 2015), and a report by the Louisiana Department of Health reveals that Louisiana’s death rates are above the national average.

These numbers do not include those suffering from other asbestos-related conditions such as asbestosis, lung cancer, other lung abnormalities, and various non-lung cancers. So the number of workers stricken by asbestos-related illnesses is likely to be higher.

Help for Those Harmed by Exposure at Allied Chemical

The link between Allied Chemical and asbestos is well known. Allied Chemical Honeywell employees—past and present—may have been exposed to asbestos just by going to work every day. If you are already suffering or are concerned about potential exposure, Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Tell us your story and see if you are eligible for compensation. Please call us at 214-774-2258, complete our confidential online contact form, or visit our website to have a chat. We are on your side.

An image of vials used in medical blood testing, representing the possibility of early diagnosis with a mesothelioma blood test and how the lawyers at Nemeroff Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Testing for mesothelioma is usually done after symptoms develop. Unfortunately, by that time, it may be too late to begin aggressive treatments. According to the American Cancer Society, a mesothelioma blood test might be useful in detecting the disease sooner, even before symptoms are present and earlier than other forms of testing. This could help increase survival time and aid victims and families in exploring legal options sooner.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Symptoms of the disease start slowly and can appear anywhere between 10 and 50 years after exposure. As such, mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose and is often misdiagnosed as other, more common illnesses. There is currently not one catchall test for mesothelioma. Diagnosis, once symptoms develop, typically involves three types of testing: medical imaging, blood tests, and tissue biopsies.

What Is a Mesothelioma Blood Test?

A blood test for mesothelioma can help identify elevated biomarkers in mesothelioma patients. Biomarkers are substances found in the bloodstream that may signal the presence of mesothelioma. Studies have shown that individuals with mesothelioma have higher levels of osteopontin or soluble mesothelin-related peptide (SMRP) than healthy individuals.

An SMRP blood test can reveal details about the possible presence of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases that other diagnostic tests might not be able to detect. An SMRP blood test for mesothelioma alone cannot confirm the diagnosis, but it can be helpful when used with other forms of testing.

Which Mesothelioma Blood Test Is Most Effective?

Various tests are being studied and perfected, but the MESOMARK blood test has recently been shown to yield promising results for early detection of mesothelioma. Fujirebio Diagnostics developed the test, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The MESOMARK blood test measures the level of SMRP in a patient’s bloodstream. Mesothelioma cells produce SMRP, which is a compound of amino acids. The test can detect irregularly high levels of SMRP even before mesothelioma has fully developed, so the SMRP blood test may help identify individuals at high risk years before symptoms of the disease appear.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma develops slowly in the body, taking many years—even decades—before symptoms begin. This is why mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as other common illnesses, such as pneumonia, asthma, influenza, Crohn’s disease, varying types of heart conditions, and other cancers.

It is important to know if you or your family may be at risk. Several factors contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing mesothelioma. However, one of the main definitive causes is exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos exposure is most common in the workplace. People who are most at risk include firefighters, mechanics, miners, roofers, factory workers, and construction workers. Family members of workers and others exposed to asbestos may also be at risk due to the possibility of second-hand exposure from contaminated work clothes and gear.

How Can an Early Mesothelioma Blood Test Help You and Your Family?

A mesothelioma blood test is not a routine part of regular doctor visits. Therefore, individuals who believe they have been exposed to asbestos should contact a doctor as soon as possible and be tested. Getting a blood test for mesothelioma early could shed light on the stage of the disease, which can help victims seek aggressive treatments to increase survival time.

Getting tested early can improve a patient’s ability to get the financial support necessary to cover lost wages, medical costs, and other expenses. Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma, as well as the families of those who become ill, might be entitled to compensation from various sources.

What to Do After You Are Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

Treatment for mesothelioma can be very costly, and the impacts of the disease on your life and family can be devastating. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with this condition, by a mesothelioma blood test or combination of tests, and you believe the illness is the result of exposure to asbestos, the mesothelioma lawyers at the Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation: visit us online or call 214-774-2258.

Image of powder makeup and brushes, representing some of the everyday products people use that have been known to cause asbestos-related diseases because of the asbestos found in talc.

In recent years, there has been rising controversy over the discovery of asbestos in talc. You may be wondering whether you should avoid talcum powder or if you should assume you are at risk for an asbestos-related disease if you’ve been exposed to products containing talc. What is the truth about asbestos found in talc?

Facts About Asbestos Found in Talc Products

One fact that is not debated among experts is that many talc mines also contain asbestos. Geologically, asbestos and talc can form next to each other naturally. However, not every talc deposit is contaminated with asbestos. Whether talc products contain asbestos depends largely on where the talc is mined.

Is Asbestos Found in Talc?

Some talc is found to be contaminated with a form of asbestos known as tremolite. Tremolite is related to the one of the most carcinogenic varieties of asbestos, the amphibole group. Both tremolite and talc are created by the same geological processes, so it is not surprising that they are often formed next to each other underground.

Asbestos and Talc Products

The connection between asbestos and talc went undetected for years, resulting in the manufacture and distribution to the public of many products containing asbestos fibers.

Industrial talc has been used in the manufacture of a variety of products such as clay, chalk, ink, crayons, paper, pottery, and sinks. The existence of asbestos in talc is acknowledged and rarely a problem in industrial applications. Nevertheless, factory workers who have been exposed to industrial talc during the manufacturing process are among those at risk of asbestos-related diseases.

The discovery of asbestos in talcum powder and other personal hygiene products is one of latest asbestos controversies in the news. Companies have been promoting talcum powder for cosmetic uses since the late 1800s. Because of its ability to alleviate skin irritations such as chafing and diaper rash, talc has been a staple product found in almost every American household for many years. The dangers of asbestos found in talc wasn’t discovered until the late 1970s, which means that the number of consumers that have been exposed to talc is unknown and nearly impossible to determine.

Due to increased consumer awareness of asbestos exposure through talcum powder and cosmetics, many manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, have been named in lawsuits throughout the country. Because of the latency period associated with asbestos-related diseases, many people who used the contaminated products before 1970 may just now be developing symptoms.

Where to Turn if You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos in Talc

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition due to exposure while working in talc mines, working in industrial factories, or by simply being a consumer of talc products, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys at Nemeroff Law Firm today. They’ve been successfully representing clients in asbestos-related matters for years and will put their expertise to work for you. Call 1.866.342.1929 or complete the online form for your free case evaluation.