Mesothelioma Lawsuit Information

Published on February 10th, 2023

A mesothelioma diagnosis, (a rare and aggressive cancer developing in the linings of certain tissues), can be devastating to individuals and families alike. Potential losses of wages, benefits, and other work-related compensation can ruin retirement plans and drain savings accounts. This is all on top of the pain and suffering a person with mesothelioma must endure while battling the disease.

Mesothelioma lawsuits are complicated and must be handled by an attorney who concentrates in the field. Before looking into filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, there are some things you need to take into consideration.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Lawsuits related to mesothelioma are almost always filed for compensation due to negligence on the part of an employer, landlord, or other property owners/managers. There are several types of mesothelioma lawsuits that are commonly filed. Here’s what these lawsuits are, why they are filed, and how they work.

Class Action Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma class action lawsuits are filed when a large group of people has been exposed to large amounts of potentially harmful asbestos-containing materials (ACM). These class action suits normally represent dozens of people who have been stricken with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma-related class action lawsuits have represented thousands of people in some cases.

Class action lawsuits related to mesothelioma are filed by one or more people representing a group of similar people. Individuals in the group are able to opt-out of participating in the lawsuit (and therefore any settlement) if they want.

Wrongful Death Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Wrongful death lawsuits are filed when the family of a person who passed away due to mesothelioma alleges a specific party caused the mesothelioma. Mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits are often related to compensation for lost earning potential, medical expenses, and other end-of-life-related expenses.

Wrongful death lawsuits are composed of two parties, a plaintiff and a defendant. These lawsuits are primarily brought against defendants who exposed the plaintiff to asbestos. In rare cases, a manufacturer of the asbestos or ACM product can be brought to court.

Personal Injury Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits related to mesothelioma seek to obtain compensation for lost earnings, lost wages, medical expenses, treatment-related expenses and pain and suffering. Unlike class action and wrongful death lawsuits, personal injury lawsuits seek to receive compensation based on past and future loss vs a flat settlement,

Mesothelioma PI lawsuits are also two party suits–a defendant and a plaintiff. These personal injury lawsuits are directly related to mesothelioma and require an attorney who has experience in this type of complex lawsuit.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Eligibility

Not everyone with mesothelioma is eligible to file a legitimate lawsuit. There are several factors that make a person eligible for a lawsuit of this type.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

A plaintiff must receive a mesothelioma diagnosis from a medical doctor and have the associated paperwork. For plaintiffs seeking justice on behalf of a deceased family member, medical records must be provided.

Mesothelioma Evidence & Liability

Plaintiffs in mesothelioma lawsuits must have evidence and potential proof of liability against a defendant before filing a lawsuit. Evidence and liability can include things such as:

  • Past lawsuits brought against an employer or manufacturer for whom the plaintiff regularly worked/was exposed.
  • Proof of ACMs on a worksite or in a product. This may include lists of materials, cited news articles, product audits/studies, and other professional/official sources of data.
  • Direct connection between Asbestos/ACMs and the plaintiff. Regular exposure, negligence, or other connections.

Please speak to an attorney for exactly what you need when it comes to producing evidence of liability.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Statute of Limitations

All lawsuits related to mesothelioma must be filed within a given state’s statute of limitations period. This varies from state to state and may require legal advice to determine. In rare circumstances, a statute of limitations may not apply but these cases will be handled differently. Talk to an attorney with any questions you have regarding a mesothelioma lawsuit statute of limitation.

Modern Asbestos Exposure Information

There are a few questions about modern asbestos exposure that anyone potentially seeking legal action for compensation should know.

Where is Asbestos Found?

Believe it or not, asbestos is still produced in the United States today (although only recycled asbestos is allowed to be used in only a few regulated manufacturing industries). The bulk of asbestos found in the US today is in older products, buildings, or manufacturing & industrial sites that had or have large amounts of asbestos-containing materials.

While most people will not be exposed to asbestos, there are exceptions and areas to be aware of, especially if your home, apartment, or other property was constructed before 1980.

Where Would I Find Asbestos in My Building?

Asbestos was used for many years in some very specific roles. Locating potential asbestos issues should always consider the following uses:

  • As a building material additive to enhance strength (for example, asbestos was added to concrete, asphalt, and vinyl materials in roof shingles, pipes, siding, wallboard, floor tiles, joint compounds, and adhesives)
  • As a fireproofing material applied on steel beams and columns during construction of multistory buildings
  • As thermal insulation and as a means of controlling condensation
  • As an ingredient in acoustical plaster
  • As a component of a mixture sprayed on ceilings and walls to produce a soft, textured appearance

Be sure to mention any of the above when you contact a professional to help with ACM evaluations. DO NOT try to conduct any evaluations or removal without professional help.

When do ACMs Become a Problem?

If ACM is in good condition and left in place, it should not present health risks. However, if the ACM has been damaged or is crumbling, or if a building is to be demolished, renovated, or remodeled, care must be taken to prevent the release of asbestos fibers into the air. Inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers from friable ACM can cause health risks. Once inhaled, asbestos fibers can become lodged in tissue for a long time and can cause cancer.

Asbestos can also cause asbestos-related diseases or problems such as asbestosis, a progressive, disabling, and potentially fatal disease; mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the mesothelium, the thin tissue layer that lines body cavities and surrounds internal organs; and pleural plaques, scar tissue in the chest cavity.

Asbestos Exposure to ACMs

The number of fibers a person must inhale to develop asbestos-related diseases is not known. At very low exposure levels (such as being in the same room as a cracked tile containing asbestos), the risks can be negligible. However, during demolition, renovation, and removal activities, risks from exposure greatly increase. Also, smoking greatly increases the risk of asbestos-related lung cancer. Almost all known cases of asbestos-related lung cancer occurred among people who smoked and were exposed to asbestos.

Because asbestos presents a significant risk to human health when released into the air, asbestos is considered a hazardous air pollutant regulated under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations.

If the materials discussed above contain more than one percent asbestos as determined by a professional, they are considered asbestos-containing materials (ACM). ACM can be friable or non friable. When dry, friable ACM can be crumbled or reduced to a powder by hand pressure and presents greater health risks to human health than non-friable ACM. When dry, non-friable ACM cannot be crumbled or reduced to powder by hand pressure.

Mesothelioma Definitions

Below are definitions for words and terminology commonly associated with mesothelioma.


ACM is an acronym for asbestos-containing materials. This can include anything from raw asbestos to materials manufactured with asbestos or at a site with asbestos exposure.

ACMs can be almost anything. Many older building materials contain asbestos like insulation, pipes, plaster, vinyl floors, brake pads, and more. While modern products will virtually never contain ACMs, older buildings & materials may need evaluation.


According to OSHA, asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion. The fibers from asbestos are extremely dangerous to health.

Asbestos fibers associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis and result in loss of lung function that often progresses to disability and death. Asbestos also causes cancer of the lung and other diseases including mesothelioma.

Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure is a term used when someone has been directly exposed to asbestos. This can happen in any number of ways but occurs most commonly in manufacturing and construction settings.

People who live around specific manufacturing industries or water treatment sites may also be exposed to asbestos over time, as trace amounts of asbestos fibers can periodically find a way to populated areas.


According to the Mayo Clinic, Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure isn’t possible. All types of mesothelioma need to be diagnosed by a medical doctor.

Mesothelioma of Tunica Vaginalis

According to the Mayo Clinic, Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis is a rare form of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis affects the tissue surrounding the testicles and may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle. All types of mesothelioma need to be diagnosed by a medical doctor.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

According to the Mayo Clinic, Pericardial Mesothelioma is a rare form of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the tissue that surrounds the heart and can cause signs and symptoms such as breathing difficulty and chest pains. All types of mesothelioma need to be diagnosed by a medical doctor.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

  • Chest pain
  • Painful coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain under the rib cage.
  • Pain or swelling in the abdomen.
  • Problems with blood clots (clots form when they shouldn’t).
  • Feeling very tired.
  • Abdominal pain (Peritoneal mesothelioma)
  • Abdominal swelling (Peritoneal mesothelioma)
  • Nausea (Peritoneal mesothelioma)

The Severity of Mesothelioma Diagnosis

  • Stage of cancer
  • Size of any tumors
  • Whether a tumor can be removed completely by surgery
  • Amount of fluid in the chest or abdomen.
  • Patient age
  • Overall health & activity of a patient
  • Patient gender
  • Type of mesothelioma cells (microscopic views)
  • The number of white blood cells and how much hemoglobin is in the blood

Stages of Mesothelioma

After malignant mesothelioma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.

The following stages* are used for malignant mesothelioma of the lung:

Stage I Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is in the pleura lining the chest wall on one side of the chest. It may or may not also affect the pleura lining the diaphragm (the thin breathing muscle below the lungs), the mediastinum (the space between the lungs), or the pleura covering the lung. It has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body.

Stage II Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma has grown into nearby structures but may still possibly be removed (resected) with surgery. The tumor is in the pleura lining the chest wall on one side of the chest, as well as the pleura coating the lung, the diaphragm, and the mediastinum on the same side. It also has grown into at least 1 of the following:

  • The first layer of the chest wall (called the endothoracic fascia)
  • The fatty tissue in the mediastinum
  • A single place in the deeper layers of the chest wall
  • The surface of the pericardium (outer covering layer of the heart)
  • Cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body.

Stage III Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma has grown into nearby structures but may still possibly be removed with surgery. The tumor is in the pleura lining the chest wall on one side of the chest, as well as the pleura coating the lung, the diaphragm, and the mediastinum on the same side. It also has grown into at least 1 of the following:

  • The first layer of the chest wall (endothoracic fascia)
  • The fatty tissue between the lungs (in the mediastinum)
  • A single place in the deeper layers of the chest wall
  • The surface of the pericardium (outer covering of the heart)
  • Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the body as the main tumor. It has not spread to distant parts of the body (M0).

Stage IV Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma may or may not have grown into nearby structures. It may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes. It has spread to distant organs, like the bones, the liver, the lung or pleura on the other side of the body, or the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen).

Malignant mesothelioma can recur (come back) after it has been treated.

*Information from American Cancer Society

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma can be devastating. If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness due to the negligence of your employer or producer, you have the right to sue for asbestos compensation. We hope that this site will help you begin to understand these diseases. We also highly recommend consulting a doctor or contacting a mesothelioma research facility, which can provide you with more detailed information about your person. Find out how to file a claim for asbestos exposure by arranging for a free consultation with our mesothelioma lawyers in Chicago.

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