Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral. As in other states, asbestos used to be a popular material to use in Maine for insulation in buildings and manufactured car and ship parts. People who have contracted mesothelioma typically do so as a result of their current or past occupations in construction, automotive repair, custodial work, or service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Asbestos is no longer actively used or manufactured, but workers everywhere can still be exposed to this cancer-causing substance. Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop, with symptoms often arriving decades after the initial exposure.
If you have been exposed to asbestos through your job, or have experienced the symptoms of mesothelioma, contact the experienced Maine mesothelioma lawyers at Briggs & Wholey. We believe in aggressive representation, working tirelessly for our clients to maximize the compensation they deserve.Have I Been Exposed to Asbestos?
Exposure to asbestos can occur in many situations, such as during the manufacture of an asbestos-containing product, during the repair of brake or clutch parts, or during the renovation or demolition of buildings or ships. If your job involves or has involved materials, buildings, or ships that were constructed in the mid 20th century, then you may have been exposed to asbestos.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers in industries with high risk of asbestos exposure to monitor the amount of asbestos particles in the area of work on a daily basis. According to the agency, employee exposure cannot be greater than 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air averaged over an eight hour work shift. Short term exposure cannot exceed 1 f/cc over 30 minutes. These are considered the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL).
OSHA also requires construction, shipyard, and general industry employers to provide medical examinations to workers who are exposed to asbestos in amounts greater than the PEL. Accurate records must be maintained, including those relating to the training and safety equipment provided to the worker. While records and medical examinations are provided by some employers as required, others may fall short in their obligations to train employees, provide protective gear, or monitor employees’ health after exposure.What Are The Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
The initial clinical signs of mesothelioma are similar to other common conditions, and therefore may be difficult to detect without a full x-ray and medical examination. Two types of mesothelioma can occur from exposure to asbestos: pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma primarily affects the lungs, and peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining around other major organs.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms for pleural mesothelioma may include the following:
- Painful coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain under the rib cage
- Unusual lumps under the skin on the chest
- Unexplained weight loss
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lumps in the abdomen
Like all product liability and personal injury cases, the statute of limitations imposes a deadline upon the injured regarding when a case can be filed following a mesothelioma diagnosis. Maine allows you to file within 6 years from the diagnosis and 2 years after the death of the injured who contracted mesothelioma. While that may seem like a long time, taking action sooner rather than later after a diagnosis is encouraged. Initiating investigation soon after the discovery of an injury or condition can help preserve evidence that may be lost as time passes. Compensation you may be able to obtain from a company responsible for asbestos exposure can include coverage for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and other amounts.Fighting For Mesothelioma Victims
Maine products liability attorney Alison Wholey Briggs has negotiated and litigated personal injury cases for nearly 30 years. With a well-established reputation as victims’ advocates, our firm has represented countless individuals and families harmed by defective products and negligence. We provide representation throughout the state of Maine, and will arrange to visit you at home if you have extensive injuries that restrict your mobility. For a free confidential consultation, contact our office at (888) 596-1099 or contact us online.