Mesothelioma Lawsuits In the State of Pennsylvania
Thousands of people each year suffer from illness and death as a result of asbestos poisoning. There are both Pennsylvania state laws and federal laws which determine how these claims are handled.
High Number of Mesothelioma Lawsuits In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is historically one of the states with the highest numbers of asbestos poisoning, lung cancer, and mesothelioma claims for a few reasons.
While the state has passed laws to try to slow the rate of claims being filed, there are millions of dollars set aside for victims and the families of victims suffering from the disease.
Another of the reasons why asbestos-related illness is so common in Pennsylvania is because of the high amount of natural asbestos deposits in the state. Between 1890 and 1990 many mines harvested naturally occurring asbestos for use in asbestos products. These mines and the products that they produced are still causing negative health effects in Pennsylvania residents to this day.
Because mesothelioma is a slowly developing form of cancer, many people who were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s-1990s did not begin to develop symptoms until many years later which led to a surge in claims and lawsuits filed.
Different Kinds of Mesothelioma Claims
1. Personal injury
Those who are suffering from illness from asbestos-exposure can file a claim for personal injury benefits. These benefits may include the coverage of their healthcare for mesothelioma or a lump sum of compensation.
2. Wrongful death
Families who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family member who passed away from the illness. The family can receive compensation for medical bills and suffering.
3. Asbestos Trust Funds
Because the number of mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits are so high, there are ten main trust funds formed to protect companies from having to file for bankruptcy as a result of these claims. When an individual files a claim with the asbestos trust fund, the company or organization responsible for the asbestos exposure is not affected and instead it is the trust that pays out money to the victim.
What Industries Have the Highest Rates of Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Many cases of mesothelioma can be traced back to exposure in the workplace. Any job that requires workers to operate around chemicals, high temperatures, and old buildings are at a higher risk for developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Those who served the military in the Middle East and parts of Asia may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals when old buildings were damaged. They also may have worked or lived in buildings that contain high amounts of asbestos which leads to them developing cancer.
When veterans file mesothelioma claims it is Veteran’s Affairs that handles and distributes benefits. These benefits may include healthcare coverage for the disease or direct compensation in the form of disability benefits.
Mining used to be a booming industry in Pennsylvania and many workers who were employed in the mines were exposed to asbestos. After the mining industry began to collapse, many workers found themselves becoming sick years later from the effects of their exposure.
One of the main reasons why mesothelioma is statistically higher in Pennsylvania is because the state used to be one of the main manufacturers of asbestos-related products. There remains a high amount of asbestos in the state particularly in Delaware County, PA. The long-term effects of the now-closed down asbestos manufacturing plants have rippled through the generations with many residents being concerned with the health risks.
Many of the schools in Pennsylvania were found to contain high concentrations of asbestos. Among those affected are the school staff and particularly construction workers who were exposed to asbestos when working on old buildings doing new construction or repairs.
5. Building and Construction
One of the groups that have suffered the most from mesothelioma and the long term effects of asbestos exposure are those in the building and construction industries. This includes both those who work in the construction of buildings and the construction of ships. Exposure comes from products used in construction as well as asbestos that is released into the air when old buildings are torn down.
Winning Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
The benefits that are available to victims are determined through a combination of state and federal laws. The formation of asbestos trust funds is very beneficial to victims of asbestos poisoning because there are billions of dollars set aside to pay for the lawsuits, with average payouts being between six figures and a million dollars, or more.
Victims are generally not eligible for benefits until they have experienced symptoms and been diagnosed by a doctor, even if they were exposed to asbestos. Obtaining a diagnosis is very important to the success of a claim and an experienced mesothelioma lawyer will advise on how to proceed with a claim to receive the best outcome.
Settling a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Outside of Court in Pennsylvania
Some of the highest payouts of mesothelioma lawsuits in Pennsylvania have been wrongful death lawsuits that paid the estate’s of the deceased up to 15 million dollars. Because of the millions of dollars that are at stake for companies and organizations with a high number of asbestos-related claims, it is beneficial for many companies to settle outside of court instead of potentially receiving a guilty verdict. Although the payout may be less when the case is settled before the court date, it can benefit both parties by saving time and court fees.
Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Lawyers
Because Pennsylvania has such a high number of mesothelioma cases and lawsuits there are plenty of great law firms with successful track records at winning asbestos lawsuits located in the state. It can sometimes also be beneficial to work with national law firms, especially if the victim has moved outside of the state of Pennsylvania.