Mesothelioma litigation is a type of toxic tort lawsuit most commonly brought against manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of asbestos. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral known for its insulating and fire-retardant properties, and was once used as a staple in most insulating products, many industrial and construction products. Sadly, asbestos fibers produce fine dust particles that, when inhaled, form deposits in the lungs that can cause serious and deadly illnesses. Both firsthand and secondhand exposure to asbestos can put an individual at risk. Such lawsuits are sometimes difficult to prove because often, a great period of time elapses between exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of mesothelioma.
The use of asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century because of its sound absorption, tensile strength, resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, and of course, its affordability. It was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement (resulting in fiber cement) or woven into fabric or mats. At the time, asbestos was making the world of building construction a safer, better place. However, today asbestos is a well-known carcinogen that can cause several types of cancers, including mesothelioma. In the United States, the majority of workers who come into contact with asbestos today are those who work in the demolition of existing buildings. In most cases, asbestos dust is accidentally inhaled by construction workers. Yet mesothelioma and other cancers may not be detected until many years after the construction worker is exposed to asbestos. By this time, the cancer may be at an advanced stage and unresponsive to treatment. Symptoms of the dreadful disease include shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, weight loss and night sweats. By the time people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, the survival time is often about 12 months