With over 80 successful cases totalling over $50 million, you can be sure that our attorneys will fight for the justice you deserve. An experienced attorney can review your particular situation and determine what we can do to protect your rights and help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. With our extensive experience, knowledge and resources in this field, you are in good hands. We are not a marketing firm seeking cases to refer. Craig Depew has handled a docket of mesothelioma cases and has tried these cases. He has the experience to evaluate your case, tell you your options, and pursue compensation for you.
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What is Asbestos?
"Asbestos" refers to a small number of minerals that are formed of flexible fibers, and have the useful physical property of being very heat resistant. Because asbestos forms as flexible fibers, it is woven to make fabrics for heat-resistant and insulating materials.
Asbestos occurs naturally in many forms; it is mined from metamorphic rocks. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement or woven into fabric or mats.
The inhalation of some kinds of asbestos fibers, however, causes various serious illnesses, including cancer.
Where is Asbestos found?
Asbestos cement siding panels - flat, corrugated, shingles or accent panels
Asbestos cement soffits - flat or perforated panels
Asbestos cement roof panels - corrugated
Roofing felts and mastics
Building overhangs - thermal spray
Brick and block mortar
Loose fill insulation in exterior wall cavities (vermiculite)
Vinyl asbestos tile
Sheet vinyl flooring (asbestos paper backing)
Floor leveling compound
T-bar ceiling tile
Asbestos cement ceiling tile
Acoustic and stippled finishes
Plaster or drywall jointing materials
Wall and ceiling panels
Pipe and duct insulation
Plaster or drywall jointing materials
Asbestos cement panels
Insulation in boiler rooms - boilers, vessels, pipes, ducts, incinerators, floors, ceilings, walls
Fan rooms - insulation of pipes, ducts, chillers, floors, ceilings, walls
Machine rooms - insulation on pipes, ducts, floors, ceilings, walls
Crawl spaces - insulation on pipes, ducts
Wall cavities, insulation above ceiling spaces - pipe and duct chases, pipes, ducts
Pipes (insulation on either exposed or concealed pipes)
Steam and hot water heating supply and return lines
Domestic water supply and drain lines
Chilled water lines
Rain water and sanitary lines - asbestos cement or bell and spigot cast iron, insulated or bare pipe
Gaskets in flanged pipe joints
Fireproofing spray on beams, decks, joints, columns and other structural members
Incandescent light fixture backing
Fume hoods - internal linings and exhaust ducts
Elevator brake shoes
Heating cabinet panels (asbestos cement)
Fire dampers and fire stop flaps
Emergency generators - thermal insulation and exhaust manifolds
Welding blankets and screens
Incinerators - internal insulation
Cooling towers - panels and fill
Duct expansion/vibration isolation joints
Artificial fireplaces and materials
Furnaces and other furnace door gaskets
Patching and spackling compounds
Building products containing asbestos in an unbound or loosely bound form:
Sprayed insulation - fire resistant, acoustic, thermal, condensation control
Insulation block - magnesia or calcium silicate
Textiles - for lagging, curtains or clothing
Asbestos exposure & related diseases
There are four separate and distinct asbestos-related diseases and/or disease categories: Mesothelioma, lung cancer, other cancers and asbestosis. Each of these diseases develops slowly over many decades from the first exposure to asbestos.
MESOTHELIOMA - Mesothelioma is the most devastating of the asbestos-related disease processes and invariably results in death. Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor that attacks the pleura or the peritoneum, which are the thin membrane linings that surround the lungs and the abdominal cavity, respectively. Malignant mesothelioma is virtually always the result of asbestos exposure.
LUNG CANCER - This involves a malignant tumor that originates in the lung tissue (parenchyma), and, as with any malignancy, involves a life threatening disease.
OTHER CANCERS - Workers exposed to asbestos, simply by breathing or swallowing, causing them to inhale or ingest asbestos fibers into the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Medical studies have linked certain cancers that originate in the throat such as pharynx, larynx or esophagus or, in the stomach and colon-rectum, with previous occupational asbestos exposure. It is important that the lawyer handling an asbestos claim, whether it is a mesothelioma case or an asbestosis case, be fully knowledgeable on the details of the workers' trade or occupation.
ASBESTOSIS - This is lung scarring or fibrosis caused by microscopic size asbestos fibers that are deposited in the small airways of the lungs. The scarring of the lungs caused by asbestosis impairs the gas exchange, prevents the transfer of oxygen into the blood stream and, in advanced cases, may result in death. The symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, dry cough and fatigue.
Asbestos exposure causes Mesothelioma
Exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma which is cancer of the mesothelium, the protective sac that covers and protects most internal organs of the body. The mesothelium has two layers: one, which covers the organ, and a second, which forms a sac around it. The mesothelium has different names depending on the location in the body. The pleura is the mesothelial tissue surrounding the lungs and lining the chest cavity.
The peritoneum covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity, while the pericardium covers and protects the heart.
The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that allows organs within it to move and glide easily. For example, the fluid allows the lungs to breathe and the heart to expand and contract.
Like other forms of cancer, mesothelioma occurs when cells become abnormal and divide or grow out of control. In mesothelioma, the helpful lubricating fluid is over-produced. This excess fluid encases the organs with a thick layer of tumor tissue, described as similar to a rind type of layer. In advanced cases of mesothelioma, cells metastasize, or grow and invade other organs and spread to other areas of the body.
The majority of individuals suffering from mesothelioma have cancer in the lining of the lung. Sometimes, mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneal mesothelioma) or in the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma results from breathing microscopic asbestos fibers into the lungs. When breathed into the lungs, asbestos tears the lung tissue. The fibers cause the lungs to form scar tissue again and again (asbestosis) thus causing lung cancer. If asbestos fibers damage mesothelial tissue, it may lead to mesothelioma.
Smoking appears to be unrelated to mesothelioma. However, the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure may increase the risk of other forms of cancer.
Asbestos was used to make many different materials, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles and insulation. Particles released from any of these materials can be inhaled or carried home on clothing-- where they expose family members to the risk of mesothelioma.
Generally, it takes 20 to 40 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or mesothelioma is diagnosed. This time is called the "latency" period.
Mesothelioma is a serious disease. Half of the patients diagnosed at an early stage and treated aggressively live two years from the date of the diagnosis. One in five are still alive five years after diagnosis. Many patients live more than five years after diagnosis.