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Mesothelioma & Asbestos

The surviving spouse and children of the decedent have the right to file a lawsuit for wrongful death of a mesothelioma victim. And depending on the work history, other lawsuits and claims may be filed.

If there is no surviving spouse, children, parents and/or siblings can file a lawsuit on behalf of the estate.

The lawsuit must be filed within one year of the decedent’s death. If you have questions about Mesothelioma, call The Gertler Law Firm at (504) 581-6411 for a free consultation.

Exposure to asbestos is an unfortunate reality for many of New Orleans’ citizens.  Asbestos was once used extensively in Louisiana chemical plants, shipyards and oil refineries.  It also was used in the construction of many older homes.

Mesothelioma may not develop until twenty years or more after exposure to asbestos.  As a result, it often appears in individuals who no longer work in a workplace where asbestos was used.  These individuals are allowed to file a claim, but they must be prepared to offer proof of where the exposure occurred.

Because exposure to asbestos is virtually the only cause of mesothelioma, however, it is often possible to narrow down the source.  If you have mesothelioma and wish to pursue a claim, you should consult with an attorney experienced in this field.  Be prepared to provide him or her with a full work history, and a list of products used during your employment.

With this information, your lawyer can begin the process of determining who is responsible and if you have a potential lawsuit against them.

If you have any questions regarding mesothelioma lawsuits and wish to get answers to the questions you have from an experienced New Orleans Mesothelioma Attorney, please feel free to call me at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411.

New Orleans has seen an extensive presence of asbestos both in the construction of its buildings and in local industries, shipbuilding.  Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma – a cancer that begins in the lining of the lungs and spreads to adjacent organs.  While lawsuits involving mesothelioma follow most of the same rules as other personal injury lawsuits, there are complexities to mesothelioma cases that require an attorney experienced in mesothelioma litigation.

These complexities arise from the long latency period of mesothelioma.  The symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure to asbestos, making it difficult to establish the source.  Obviously, the manufacturer of the product that caused the mesothelioma or an employer where you worked decades ago is unlikely to agree that they are responsible for a disease that developed years after exposure.

A personal injury attorney experienced in mesothelioma litigation can help you in this area.  He or she will know how to properly deploy resources in the investigation of your case.  This investigation may include discussions with you regarding prior employers and places of residence to narrow down the potential sources of asbestos exposure, interviewing co-workers familiar with your former work environment and practices, and obtaining documents regarding materials and products you were exposed to that utilized asbestos.

An attorney experienced in mesothelioma litigation can also help you properly calculate the extent of your damages, including compensation for the likely future impact of your condition.

If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411 with any legal questions.  We would be happy to help you.

Helping Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families In Louisiana and Across The Country

Wondering what happens if you pass away before your mesothelioma lawsuit is finished is a very common concern.

In Louisiana, designated beneficiaries would file a wrongful death and survival action in order to recover damages that the victim could have recovered if he/she had lived, as well as damages suffered by the beneficiaries.  Louisiana law sets out the categories of beneficiaries that would be able to recover if the victim passes away.

Since we have handled a number of other cases in other states, and get calls related to mesothelioma representation and other lung related diseases on a regular basis, I’ll briefly detail how some other states handle it as well.

If you pass away before your lawsuit has been resolved, your family can move ahead with the litigation on your behalf.

After your passing, the lead person in the litigation will be the individual you named as executor of your estate.

The executor typically serves as the sole representative of your estate and will be the most heavily involved in the ongoing claim.

The beneficiaries of your estate will then receive any judgment or award from your case.

Additionally, in some states, some of your family members can also seek compensation for their personal loss.

If you reside in Louisiana, or perhaps have worked in Louisiana in the past, and have learned that you have mesothelioma, please contact the Louisiana Mesothelioma Attorneys with the Gertler Firm at (504) 581-6411 or 1-855-GERTLER if your call is long distance.

We’ll answer all your questions…. and likely ask you a few as well.  And if we can help you, we will.

To find out a little more about how this firm handles a mesothelioma lawsuit in Louisiana – or any other state for that matter, click here.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma may take decades to develop and its early symptoms can mimic other illnesses, such as pneumonia or chronic bronchitis.  As a result, New Orleans residents who have been exposed to asbestos should be aware of the symptoms of mesothelioma.  While mesothelioma is very difficult to treat, early diagnosis and treatment may result in additional treatment options being available to combat this deadly disease.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium – the lining that encloses the abdominal and thoracic organs.  The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which occurs in the pleural membranes enclosing the outer surface of the lungs.  Pleural mesothelioma usually causes these membranes to thicken and become hard and fibrous, making breathing difficult.  It also commonly leads to pleural effusion — the accumulation of excess fluid around the lungs.  Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include a dry, consistent cough, shortness of breath, pain in the side of the chest, difficulty swallowing, fever and fatigue.

The two other main forms of this disease are peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.  Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the abdomen.  It causes swelling of the mesothelium covering the abdominal cavity wall and retention of fluid in the abdomen.  The first major observable sign of peritoneal mesothelioma is usually abdominal swelling accompanied by pain.  Unfortunately, these symptoms mimic appendicitis, pancreatitis, and a number of other gastrointestinal ailments.

More rare is pericardial mesothelioma, which appears in the lining surrounding the heart.  As with other forms of the disease, pericardial mesothelioma leads to thickening and hardening of this membrane, putting pressure on the heart.  The accumulation of fluid in the pericardium may cause additional pressure.  Symptoms of this disease include shortness of breath, heart palpitations and arrhythmia, persistent cough, chest pain and fatigue.  Obviously, these symptoms mirror those of several other forms of heart disease.

As with any disease, early discovery of mesothelioma may allow you to better manage your treatment.  If you have been exposed to asbestos and have any questions regarding your legal rights, please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411.

Helping Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families In Louisiana and Across The Country

Depending on the circumstances, Mesothelioma lawsuits can take a long time to be completed. Here’s why. Your attorneys typically have to do a lot of research on your case, such as:

  • Your attorneys need to know every place that you have ever lived;
  • Your attorneys will have to put together a detailed list of every job you and your family members have ever had;
  • How long was it between your last exposure to asbestos and your diagnosis of mesothelioma;
  • Determining how long you were exposed to asbestos;
  • Your attorneys will need to know all possible sources of exposure to asbestos.  For instance, we actually went to one of the job sites a client had listed, removed a piece of asbestos and had it tested.  This proved that the job site we visited was the source of the asbestos that caused his mesothelioma;
  • Locating employment records and finding witnesses.  And we like to track down and speak with as many co-workers as possible.   We’ve even placed ads in Newspapers in an attempt to find workers that used to be employed at the same job sites as our clients;
  • And sometimes the family approaches a law firm after their family member has already passed away.   Relying on the family to help put all the pieces of this puzzle together can be difficult.

In fact, when we first meet with an individual with mesothelioma and their family, we let them know that this is not a fast process – and that we may need extra time to present the lawsuit in a way that gets the largest award or settlement possible.

Think of it this way – the more proof we have, the better the outcome for our client.

So, the real answer to how long does a mesothelioma lawsuit take is this:

There really is no way to estimate how long a particular mesothelioma lawsuit will take.

We realize this in not the answer you want to hear.

But if this disease should take your life, or a family member’s life, before the lawsuit is completed, you or your family is typically protected.   See What Happens If I Pass Away Before My Mesothelioma Lawsuit Is Resolved for more help on this subject.

If you live in Louisiana, worked in Louisiana in the past, or are even in another state, and have been told you have mesothelioma, please contact the Louisiana Mesothelioma Lawyers with the Gertler Firm at (504) 581-6411 or 1-855-GERTLER if it is a long distance call.

If you are calling on behalf of a family member, we will certainly speak with you as well.   We’ve worked directly with family members many, many times.

We’ll answer all your questions…. and likely ask you a few as well.  And if we can help you, we will.

To find out a little more about how this firm handles a mesothelioma lawsuit – give us a call.

The U.S. government did not begin officially tracking deaths caused by mesothelioma until 1999.  While the late date for tracking this information has resulted in a limited pool of information, it is an unfortunate fact that many of the industries where employees suffer a high rate of mesothelioma are the same type of industries prevalent in the New Orleans region.

Overall, approximately 80 percent of mesothelioma cases can be directly linked to a job where asbestos was present.  Exposure at work is by far the most common cause of asbestos-related diseases.

In 2005, the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) issued a report that set forth data on the 18,068 mesothelioma deaths that occurred in the U.S. between 1999 and 2005.  This report found that workers in the following industries suffered the most mesothelioma related deaths in that time period:

  • Shipbuilding and Repairing
  • Industrial and Miscellaneous Chemicals
  • Petroleum Refining
  • Electric Light & Power
  • Construction

This data is supported by several other sources, including a 1999 study by the National Center for Health Statistics.  While this study only used a very small sample, it did find that 14.2% of those who passed away from mesothelioma had worked in the construction industry.  A United Kingdom evaluation of mesothelioma deaths by industry – which encompassed a much greater time period than any such study conducted in the U.S. – also found a high number of mesothelioma deaths in industries similar to those reported by NIOSH.

If you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma and does not know how to proceed, please feel free to call our office at (504) 581-6411 or 1-855-GERTLER.  We would be happy to help you.

Helping Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families In Louisiana and Across The Country

If you, or a family member, have been exposed to asbestos and recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’re likely looking for answers to the many questions you have.

Perhaps the two most common questions we hear from our mesothelioma clients are:

  1. Can I expect to collect any money from a lawsuit?
  2. If I file a mesothelioma lawsuit, how much money will I receive?

If it can be proven that you, or your family member, were exposed to asbestos, then the likelihood of receiving significant money damages is good.

How much you, or your family, will receive varies greatly because it depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • Will the case be settled or go to trial;
  • The costs of medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • And other damages that can be secured by a lawsuit.

When it’s proven that you or a family member were exposed to asbestos – and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there is an excellent chance of receiving a substantial award or settlement for damages.

The money that is paid to mesothelioma victims comes from the company that manufactured or installed the asbestos, or from a large insurance company or asbestos victims’ trust fund.

Although awards in mesothelioma cases can be in the millions, each case is dependent on its own facts and circumstances.

If you reside in Louisiana, have worked in Louisiana in the past, or live in another state, and have learned that you have mesothelioma, please contact the Mesothelioma Attorneys with the Gertler Firm at 504-3550057 or 1-855-GERTLER if your call is long distance.

We’ll answer all your questions…. and likely ask you a few as well.  And if we can help you, we will do all we can in that regard.

To find out a little more about how we handle a mesothelioma lawsuit in Louisiana – or any other state for that matter, click here.

Helping Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families In Louisiana and Across The Country

This question is one of the first questions we get when meeting with an individual that has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma.  And it’s a legitimate question because the medical costs will be significant and you certainly do not want to burden your family with these costs.

The actual diagnosis and medical treatment for mesothelioma is just the start.  If you add on support services and long term care, the costs are even greater.

And if you’re not able to work because of the disease, or have already retired, your options to pay for all of this becomes even more limited.  If you have no insurance, even obtaining medical treatment will be difficult.

That’s why meeting with a mesothelioma attorney as soon you’re diagnosed is so important…. because they can help.

Here’s a brief overview of what we discuss regarding how a person diagnosed with mesothelioma can pay for their treatment.

  1. If you’re employed and have an individual or group health plan, one of the first things you should do is talk with a representative of your health plan so you know what treatment and care is covered.  Medical Plans across the state, and across the country, vary quite a bit in regard to what type of treatments are covered, how long you can stay in a hospital, and co-pays.  Some plans even offer some type of home care services. So one of the first calls we can help with is finding out what coverage you have.
  2. If you are 65 years old, or are disabled, Medicare might be able to offer medical benefits.  Additionally, many people on Medicare have some sort of supplemental insurance that covers what Medicare doesn’t.  And some on Medicare might also be eligible for Medicaid.  We often get involved in helping investigate this coverage for our clients as well.
  3. And lastly, we urge any individual that has been diagnosed with mesothelioma to file a claim as soon as possible.  And that can only be accomplished with the help of an attorney.  By filing a claim as soon after diagnosis as possible, financial compensation might be available to mesothelioma patients and their families.  This compensation is paid directly by asbestos manufacturers and is one way to limit the financial burdens of mesothelioma treatment.

If you live in Louisiana, have worked in the state in the past, or even live in another state, and have learned that you have mesothelioma, please contact the Mesothelioma Lawyers with the Gertler Firm at (504) 581-6411 or 1-855-GERTLER if your call is long distance.

We’ll take the time to answer all your questions…. and we’ll likely ask you a few questions as well.  And if we can help you and your family, we will do all we can in that regard.

To find out a little more about how we handle a mesothelioma lawsuit in Louisiana – or any other state for that matter, click here.

Mesothelioma and Asbestosis are two different diseases arising from exposure to asbestos.  New Orleans workers who were exposed to this carcinogenic material often contract these diseases.

Mesothelioma is the disease most commonly associated with asbestos exposure.  While it is actually less common than asbestosis, its high fatality rate makes it one of the most devastating diseases caused by any industrial toxin.  Briefly, mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium – the lining that surrounds the organs in the chest and abdomen.  It is caused by inhaled asbestos fibers that have worked their way through the lung into this outer lining.  It has a very long latency period, and may not appear in diagnosable form until decades after exposure. 

For more details on different types of mesothelioma and its symptoms, click here.

Asbestosis is also caused by inhaled asbestos fibers.  In the case of asbestosis, these fibers become embedded in the inner lung tissue, leading to scarring. That scarring eventually leads to fibrosis.  Those parts of the lungs where fibrosis occurs become hardened and are less capable of absorbing oxygen.  The symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain.  Like mesothelioma, asbestosis can take decades to appear after exposure.

Asbestosis can lead to other cardio-vascular problems, particularly among smokers.  It also can lead to thickening of the pleura – the membrane surrounding the lungs – causing pleural effusion and the development of pleural plaques.  This pleural thickening also can be a precursor to the development of mesothelioma.

If you have been exposed to asbestos and have any questions regarding your legal rights, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at (504) 581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.  We would be happy to help you.