Despite the substantial decrease in asbestos mining and use in the United States, malignant mesothelioma and other medical conditions caused by asbestos exposure have killed thousands of people in recent years. According to the Center for Disease Control's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 18,000 malignant mesothelioma deaths were reported in the United States from 1999 to 2005; here in Louisiana, the malignant mesothelioma death rate exceeds that of the national average.
The New Orleans personal injury attorneys of Harrell & Nowak believe that no one should have to suffer from the tragic effects of asbestos-related conditions. That is why we represent families who have been affected by these diseases. Our attorneys and investigative staff will determine how the asbestos exposure occurred and who is at fault for the negligent exposure.
Types of Asbestos-related Diseases
Long-term exposure to asbestos fibers can cause several asbestos-related diseases. Our New Orleans wrongful death attorneys handle all types of asbestos-related cases, including those involving:
- Asbestosis: Patients with asbestosis have developed scarring of the lung tissue due to exposure to asbestos fibers over an extended period of time. The effects of the condition include shortness of breath, a chronic dry cough, chest pain, and clubbing of the fingers.
- Lung cancer: Experts believe that cigarette smoking causes the majority of lung cancer cases. However, asbestos exposure can also increase an individual's risk of developing both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.
- Pleural mesothelioma: The mesothelium is a membrane that lines most internal organs. The pleural mesothelium lines the lungs and chest wall. Pleural mesothelioma is a disease in which cancer affects the pleura.
- Pericardial mesothelioma: When cancer affects the membrane lining the heart (the pericardium), it is called pericardial mesothelioma
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: If the cancer affects the thin lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum), it is called peritoneal mesothelioma
Causes of Mesothelioma
The risk of asbestos exposure is higher in certain occupations or when you live or work in a building that contains asbestos products.
At Risk Occupations
Occupations that put people at a higher risk of asbestos exposure include:
- Appliance repairmen
- Auto mechanics
- Chemical plant workers
- Construction workers
- Factory workers
- Naval officers or workers
- Oil refinery workers
- Power plant employees
- Railroad workers
- Shipyard workers
Products that may put people at a higher risk of asbestos exposure include:
- Ceiling tiles
- Ductwork connectors
- Fireproofing products
- Floor tiles
- Roof tiles
- Tile adhesives
- Vinyl wallpaper
- Wall tiles
- Brake pads
- Hood liners
- Fireman suits
- Weatherproof clothing
Damages in Mesothelioma Cases
If a negligent party (or parties) is found negligent in your suit, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, diagnostic exams, medication, and home care
- Loss of current and future wages
- Funeral costs
- Pain and suffering on the part of the victim and his or her family
To schedule a mesothelioma case review in New Orleans with our personal injury lawyers, contact Harrell & Nowak today.