Asbestos and Mesothelioma

By: Edward Jaffee Abes

Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It is caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma has no known cure and a very poor prognosis. The Centers for Disease Control reports 2400 to 2800 mesothelioma diagnoses in the United States each year. It has an extremely long incubation period once exposed of 20 to 50 years. Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation for lawsuits by those suffering asbestos related mesothelioma.

Financial recovery for those suffering from mesothelioma can be obtained from asbestos trust funds financed by the manufacturers, distributors, and users of materials containing asbestos, including the employer for Pennsylvania claims. Under normal circumstances, one cannot sue an employer beyond the Workers’ Compensation system, but an exception is made for mesothelioma.

This exception exists because the incubation period is so long. The statute of limitations may expire before one even knows they have the disease, leaving the injured worker without a remedy under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law.

When or if this insidious disease affects someone you know there are avenues for compensation for those affected, including their loved ones. This does not make up for the pain and suffering and ultimate demise of those affected. But it is the only non-medical remedy available.



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