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The Asbestos Legal Center attorneys have over 20 years of combined experience aggressively yet compassionately representing individuals and families affected by asbestos. Our California asbestos lawyers invite you to use this website as a resource for all asbestos-related questions. Whether you have served in the military or have a loved one who has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, it is our goal to provide you with the resources and knowledge required to make an informed decision about your medical future.
Asbestos is a mineral with fine fibers shaped like needles that are so tiny that people usually cannot see them. If asbestos materials are ripped or otherwise damaged, these fine needle-like fibers are sent into the air and may be inhaled. The fibers can lodge in the lungs and cause serious and even fatal injuries. Often, asbestos-related diseases do not show up for 15-40 years after exposure, which can make it difficult for victims to pursue claims. There are special rules that apply to asbestos lawsuits in California. It is important to retain an attorney who understands these rules.
Mesothelioma is a serious disease, for which the primary risk factor is asbestos exposure. The disease affects the mesothelium, which is a thin tissue lining that protects many organs. There are three common kinds of mesothelioma: peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma. Asbestos manufacturers were aware many years ago that they were producing a product that could have deadly consequences for those who had contact with it through work or in other contexts.
There are various theories under which a California asbestos attorney may be able to pursue damages arising from asbestos exposure. Many courts have held that the consumer expectations test applies to product liability claims based on design defects. Under this theory, the emission of breathable asbestos fibers that can cause a lung disease after years of latency is a product failure that falls short of the valid, generally accepted minimum safety expectations of typical consumers. Additionally, an asbestos product may be found defective even if it was flawlessly manufactured or designed if it was unreasonably dangerous to put the product in a user’s hands without an appropriate warning, and the product was supplied without a warning.
In California, many veterans were exposed to asbestos through work in naval shipyards, and many workers have been exposed to asbestos on construction sites. Some companies have filed for bankruptcy because of asbestos lawsuits, and they have created trust funds to provide compensation to people who developed mesothelioma due to their products or operations. More than $30 billion has been set aside for victims of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. California has rules that allow for expedited claims; the claims of terminally ill patients can go to trial in 120 days, while other types of personal injury lawsuits may take a year or two to go to trial.
Lung CancerCertain occupations are associated with the development of lung cancer from asbestos, including construction, shipyards, oil fields, oil refineries, steel mills, rubber plants, auto manufacturing, roofing, flooring, and tilework. When asbestos fibers are embedded in the lungs, they may irritate the lungs and trigger lung cancer. Lung cancer symptoms include nausea, shortness of breath, chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, chronic coughing, swollen lymph nodes, and loss of endurance. Often, patients do not show signs of cancer until it has progressed to later stages. If a victim of lung cancer caused by asbestos eventually dies, their loved ones can retain an asbestos attorney in California to bring a claim. They must file a claim within one year of the death or the date when they knew or should have known that the death was caused by asbestos exposure.
AsbestosisWhen asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can lodge in the lungs’ air sacs and cause scarring. In contrast, with mesothelioma, the fibers have lodged in the lungs’ linings. When lungs are irreversibly scarred by asbestos fibers, asbestosis may develop. This is a chronic condition that usually needs to be treated over the rest of a patient’s life. The symptoms of asbestosis may not appear until 10-30 years after the initial exposure to asbestos. Sometimes asbestosis is misdiagnosed as bronchitis or pneumonia. As with mesothelioma and lung cancer, it may be possible to hold a product manufacturer or employer liable for asbestosis caused by asbestos in a product or on the job.
Experience in Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, and Other Cancers Michael J. Mandelbrot, founder of the Asbestos Legal Center, has been representing mesothelioma patients and victims of asbestos related disease since 1994. The Asbestos Legal Center has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for individuals suffering from asbestos-related diseases, and their families. The Asbestos Legal Center’s mission is to seek justice, and empower mesothelioma and asbestos disease patients with both the information and means necessary to care for themselves and their families.
The Asbestos Legal Center has handled complex asbestos claims against more than 500 companies, including, but not limited to:
- General Electric
- General Motors
- Ford Motor Company
- Union Carbide Corp.
- Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical
- Owens-Corning Fiberglass
- Johns Manville
- Babcock and Wilcox