Asbestos lawsuits are among the longest-running lawsuits in the country. Asbestos was used in building and insulation for many years until its link to cancer called mesothelioma became apparent.
Although the use of asbestos ceased decades ago, incidence rates of this cancer still persist at about 3,000 new cases each year in the U.S., according to a 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An article on Asbestos.com revealed scientific research and greater awareness are leading to earlier diagnoses, while improved and developing treatments for mesothelioma are allowing patients to live longer than ever before.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.
Exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral once used for its impressive insulation and fire-retardant properties remains the overwhelming cause of mesothelioma.
About three-quarters of cases are men who were exposed to asbestos while they served in the military or worked in certain blue-collar professions like on the railroad, shipbuilding, construction, firefighting and industrial work.
Secondhand exposure is known to occur in people who washed the clothes of someone in one of these occupations or someone who lives near abandoned asbestos mines or places where asbestos occurs naturally in the environment.
Although there is no cure for this cancer and the wrongful death suits continue to be filed, doctors are extending the life expectancy of sufferers.
An article in the Huffington Post noted asbestos lawsuits are the nation’s longest-running personal injury litigation.
These lawsuits drove nearly 100 companies into a special form of bankruptcy, in which trust funds are formed to pay future liabilities. The controversial nature of these trust funds meant in 2017, more than a dozen state attorneys general launched an investigation into whether the asbestos trusts were not making required payments to Medicaid or other agencies providing health care to mesothelioma victims.
In 2018, the state AGs are asking the Justice Department to join their investigations of the repayment issue.
The milestone investigations are reportedly tied to a 2014 North Carolina case known as “Garlock.”
In this case, a gasket maker sought protection from bankruptcy over its asbestos liability. The judge allowed unprecedented discovery into cases and found a pattern in which the victims recalled a history of asbestos exposure in civil litigation and another when they were applying to the trust funds.
If you have been harmed by asbestos or another dangerous material, please call our Georgia injury lawyer at (404) 913-1529.