Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer | Chicago Mesothelioma Law Firm
TorHoerman Law – Experienced Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
Malignant mesothelioma is aggressive cancer that can form in the lungs, heart, abdomen, or testicles. While mesothelioma is rare, nearly 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. A mesothelioma diagnosis is serious, and the average life expectancy of those suffering is only 12 to 21 months after diagnosis. Mesothelioma symptoms include pain in the chest, shortness of breath, and overall fatigue. If you believe that you or a loved one could be suffering from malignant mesothelioma, read on to learn more about the disease, medical treatment, and legal options. If you or your loved one were exposed to asbestos in your home, at work, or in another public setting, you may be eligible to file a Chicago mesothelioma lawsuit. Contact an experienced Chicago mesothelioma lawyer at TorHoerman Law today.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma forms in the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissues that surrounds the internal organs and cavities. Mesothelioma symptoms typically take up to 10 to 50 years to become apparent, making it difficult to detect early on and to specify the cause. While researchers are searching for more causes, most cases of mesothelioma have the same origin — asbestos.
Exposure to asbestos, a mineral once popular in commercial and industrial settings, is the only definitive known cause of malignant mesothelioma. At least 90 percent of mesothelioma cases are tied to breathing in asbestos fibers. Other factors patients have claimed to have caused mesothelioma are exposure to zeolites, radiation, simian virus 40, and high aspect ratio nanoparticles (HARNs).
Mesothelioma and Exposure to Asbestos
Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling tiny asbestos fibers. The small fibers can become lodged in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, and heart to cause harmful inflammation and changes at the cellular level. These changes can cause indirect and direct DNA shifts that lead to the development of cancer.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of six fibrous, naturally-occurring minerals recognized for their resistance to fire, heat, and electricity. These properties made it popular for use in commercial, industrial, and consumer settings. Asbestos use has declined over the last few decades, but the minerals still remain in many settings including old houses, public buildings, and schools. Asbestos is very hazardous once airborne or disrupted, and it is easy to accidentally ingest or inhale the small fibers. Several federal agencies including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have strict laws in place to prevent exposure to and limit asbestos use.
Where Can You Be Exposed to Asbestos in Chicago?
Exposure to asbestos is most common in occupational spaces, but it can also come from secondary exposure in houses, schools, construction sites, and many other public spaces. Occupational areas commonly linked to asbestos include asbestos mines, auto body shops and dealers, construction and demolition sites, insulation installers, firefighters, and worksites with a lot of machinery. Secondhand exposure can also come when family members are in contact with materials and clothing covered in small asbestos fibers. Asbestos has also been discovered in common household items including paint, talcum powders, and potting soil.
If you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos, you should contact a Chicago mesothelioma lawyer right away; especially if you are still currently exposed or believe that other individuals may be exposed.
How Does Asbestos Cause Cancer?
The most common cause of mesothelioma occurs when a person inhales asbestos fibers that embed themselves into the lungs, heart, or abdomen. This leads to harmful inflammation that eventually develops into mesothelioma tumors. There are three common cancers caused by asbestos exposure:
- peritoneal mesothelioma in the abdomen
- pericardial mesothelioma in the heart
- pleural mesothelioma in the lungs
The general consensus among medical professionals is that asbestos exposure can, directly and indirectly, damage DNA. Asbestos directly interferes with mitosis during cell division, leading to cellular damage and mutation. Asbestos can indirectly cause mesothelial cells to emit mutagenic reactive nitrogen-oxygen and nitrogen, also causing cellular mutation.
What are the Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma can mirror other common conditions, causing frequent misdiagnosis and diagnosis delays. Early detection of mesothelioma symptoms is the only way to improve prognosis, and patients diagnosed early can extend their life expectancy. The common symptoms and signs of mesothelioma include:
- Swelling and pain in the abdomen
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent fatigue
- Frequent coughing
- Difficulty swallowing
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Statistics in Illinois
Illinois citizens and workers could be at risk of asbestos exposure. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious health problems including the development of mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancers. If you live or work in Illinois, it’s important to become familiar with Illinois asbestos exposure and Illinois mesothelioma statistics.
- 2,003 residents of Illinois died from mesothelioma between 1999 and 2015.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data ranked the Illinois counties of La Salle, McLean, and Lake on the nation’s top 50 counties with the highest age-adjusted mesothelioma death rate between 2000 and 2009.
- The Illinois mesothelioma rate is roughly 9 people per every one million, according to the CDC.
- According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Illinois does not have any naturally occurring asbestos prospects. This means asbestos exposure occurs almost entirely in the workplace.
Illinois Workplace Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos exposure is most common in the following Illinois industries:
Asbestos in Illinois Oil Refineries
Citgo Petroleum Illinois, Mobil Oil Illinois, and other oil companies in Illinois used asbestos in refining processes because of the mineral’s heat-resistant qualities.
Asbestos in Illinois Manufacturing Plants
Nabisco Brands Inc in Marseilles and Kraft Foods, Inc. in Champaign are known to have had asbestos in their manufacturing plants. The mineral was popular in plants statewide because of its ability to resist extreme heat and many chemical reactions.
Asbestos in Illinois Steel Mills
Illinois steel mills, like Granite City Steel and Keystone Steel and Wire, often used asbestos insulation to protect mill equipment and employees from potential fires and extreme temperatures. The insulation kept machines safe while putting mill workers at risk.
Asbestos in Illinois Power Plants
Power plants nationwide, including Baldwin Power Plant and Clinton Power Station in Illinois, used asbestos in power plant machinery. These put workers in danger of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos in Illinois Military Bases
Illinois is home to numerous U.S Army bases and arsenals. Many veterans have been affected by mesothelioma because of the military’s widespread use of asbestos.
Asbestos Superfund Sites in Illinois
Several of the sites on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund List are in Illinois. These are sites that required government-mandated cleanup due to the presence of asbestos and other environmental toxins:
The Johns-Manville Corporation — The Waukegan-based company produced various asbestos-containing products such as insulation, cement, paper, pipe covering, and floor tiles. The EPA determined the company’s 150-acre site contained significant asbestos levels in the air, soil, and groundwater.
Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company — The zinc company’s 160-acre site in La Salle was added to the EPA’s Superfund List in 2003. The agency found asbestos waste and storage tanks during cleanup as well as various metals that had runoff into the surrounding soil and water.
Illinois Cities with Known Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos exposure has been documented in the following Illinois cities:
- East Saint Louis
- Granite City
- Great Lakes
Chicago Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Chicago mesothelioma patients have access to quality treatment in the Greater Chicago area. Mesothelioma treatment options include surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Quality mesothelioma treatment is available at the following cancer centers:
- Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Chicago — Zion, Illinois 60099
- Edward Cancer Center — Naperville, Illinois 60540
- Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University — Chicago, Illinois 60611
- Rush University Cancer Center — Chicago, Illinois
- The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center — Chicago, Illinois 60637
Filing a Chicago Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit can help you claim worker’s compensation for you or a loved one’s injuries, death, medical bills, travel costs, and additional expenses. Contact an experienced attorney who will help you build a strong case for your mesothelioma lawsuit. To file your lawsuit, make sure to have:
- Up-to-date medical record
- Work history records that show that you or a loved one worked for the company named in the asbestos lawsuit
- Detailed financial records that document the financial hardships you and your family have faced due to mesothelioma and asbestos exposure
- Testimonies that prove asbestos exposure resulted in a mesothelioma diagnosis
Hiring a Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is likely you are eligible for legal and financial compensation. Contact an experienced Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer at TorHoerman today to learn more about your legal options. We will discuss your potential mesothelioma lawsuit for a free consultation with no obligation. Contact us today to learn more about how TorHoerman law offices can help you.
A TorHoerman Law Chicago mesothelioma lawyer always operates on a contingency fee basis, so that your Chicago mesothelioma lawyer is as committed as you are to seeing the best possible outcome for your Chicago mesothelioma lawsuit.
Feeling hesitant about hiring a personal injury lawyer? That’s okay – contact us today to find out how we can help before making the decision to move forward with your Chicago mesothelioma lawsuit.
Filing a Chicago Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Before filing a Chicago mesothelioma lawsuit, you should familiarize yourself with the civil litigation process, so that you understand what is to be expected of your lawsuit.
You should do everything in your power to mitigate your injuries by removing yourself from the exposure as soon as possible. You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible.
You should begin to collect evidence to support your claim. Possible evidence in a Chicago mesothelioma lawsuit may include medical records, history of exposure, personal testimony, witness statements, medical bills associated with your injury, etc. Your Chicago mesothelioma lawyer will be able to help you compile the full list of evidence needed.
Your Chicago mesothelioma lawyer can also help you identify liability – what party is liable to pay for the damages that you incurred. Based on the specifics of your case, you may choose to file both compensatory damages and punitive damages against the liable party.
Your TorHoerman Law Chicago mesothelioma lawyer will fight so that you receive the full compensation that you deserve for your losses. Illinois statute of limitations bars the amount of time you are allotted to file a Chicago mesothelioma lawsuit, so be sure to contact a Chicago mesothelioma lawyer right away, so that you can get started on your case in a timely manner.
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For additional practice areas in Chicago, IL, see the following pages:
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