Mesothelioma and the Law: Trust Funds, Compensation and Class Action Lawsuits
Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that develops in the linings of organs, most commonly the lungs. The only cause is asbestos exposure, and it often does not appear until decades after the exposure occurred. It can be caused by a small amount of exposure or more likely by a great deal of exposure. There appears to be a genetic link where some people are more susceptible than others to developing Mesothelioma after asbestos exposure.
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can lodge in the lungs, which have no effective means of absorbing or getting rid of them. Asbestos is essentially indestructible. The body as a defence often encapsulates the asbestos and it remains in the body. The constant irritation from the asbestos causes cellular changes that can eventually turn malignant.
The first symptoms of mesothelioma may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing, coughing, or hoarseness
- Chest pain
- Coughing blood
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain or swelling in abdomen
Growing tumors can cause abdominal pain, bowel problems, severe breathing problems and fluid retention. Eventually, they can metastasize and spread throughout the body.
Doctors typically prescribe chemotherapy or radiation following a diagnosis, but the sufferer’s chances of survival are usual grim by the time mesothelioma is identified.
The disease of mesothelioma has only one known origin: asbestos exposure. This allows for higher compensation in claims where mesothelioma is diagnosed compared to other cancers. Lung cancer esophageal cancer and some other cancers may be caused or contributed to by asbestos exposure but it cannot be proven that asbestos was the actual cause. If a smoker develops lung cancer it is more likely the result of smoking than asbestos exposure. For non-smokers there is greater compensation for lung cancer where asbestos is involved.
Many Canadians still face regular exposure to asbestos at schools, workplaces and even residences. When claims are made, compensation comes mainly from bankruptcy trusts of asbestos companies set up for exposure. Manufacturers of asbestos products were forced to pay compensation in U.S. courts and many went into bankruptcy where funds were set up to deal with future claims. New trust funds are still being opened where companies who resisted bankruptcy gave up fighting the claims in court. Even with clear evidence that you or a loved one are the victim of asbestos exposure because of a mesothelioma diagnosis, building a case for specific trust fund compensation is very complex. An asbestos claim lawyer still has to prove exposure to specific asbestos products. This requires investigation as to which asbestos products were on the market and in a workplace where the victim was at the time of exposure. Some asbestos trusts list specific worksites as asbestos “hotspots” and accept entitlement to compensation where a victim worked there during certain years. Unfortunately, few of the listed asbestos hotspots are in Canada. Some Canadian workplaces have been added as a result of claims made by our clients. Every step of the way, entitlement to mesothelioma compensation can be limited by less-than-qualified legal representatives. It is a tricky path, and you should travel it with the guidance of a proven expert. As US based lawyers are not familiar with Canadian workplaces or how the Canadian system works it is best to be represented by lawyers in Canada who will do the necessary work and research to document a claim.
In Canada there is a right for most victims to apply for Workers Compensation benefits as an alternative to the US asbestos trusts. Workers Compensation does pay medical expenses which are not covered by the asbestos trusts. They also pay for loss of income for younger victims who would otherwise still be in the workforce. A person can not claim Workers Compensation and also claim from the asbestos trusts. We have the knowledge and experience to advise you on that choice.
Our Ontario based Canadian mesothelioma law firm can help people across Canada collect maximum compensation from many different sources. We are the only Canadian licensed law firm which works directly with the US based asbestos trust funds to get compensation. Our fees are equal to US lawyer fees for the same service and we include any applicable GST or HST in our fee so you will not pay more from your settlement by having Canadian representation.
Miskin Law has its offices in Peterborough and Whitby, in Southern Ontario. Whether you are in the Greater Toronto Area or anywhere else in Canada, we happily correspond by phone, letter, fax, email and home visits. No other lawyers in Canada have our unique expertise in mesothelioma cases and its nuances. Instead of hiring a US law firm or a Canadian law firm that will simply refer your case to a US law firm, contact us for a free consultation so that we can start working to help you. Beware of unregulated legal “consultants” who are not licensed lawyers in Canada.
Contact Miskin Law now at (877) 428-8000 so we can begin your free consultations. You can speak directly to our asbestos law clerk, Solomea, whose work is exclusively dedicated to asbestos cases, or to Murray Miskin, an experienced lawyer with years of success getting compensation in situations very similar to your own. Our student at law, Daniel Miskin works on asbestos product and worksite research, and our staff medical consultant Nurse Mandy Edgerton assists with diagnosis, proof and care issues. Our law clerk Linda who handles other personal injury cases is also assisting on asbestos client intake. Let our legal team help you get started today.