When referring to mesothelioma cases in New Orleans, you could be referring to a medical case, or to the legal case that follows the medical diagnosis. It would probably be a mistake to refer to either as typical, although there are elements that are frighteningly and depressingly common. In the medical instance, the commonalities among meso cases are that the disease is almost invariably painful, and the sufferer will almost always die not long after diagnosis. In the legal case, the commonality lies in the plaintiffs – in many cases, they’re from the same family, consisting of the person primarily exposed and the family members who were secondarily exposed.
The Medical Case
Mesothelioma can be very difficult to detect and to diagnose, because the symptoms can take a long time to manifest. Fairly rare nationally, meso is alarmingly prevalent among Louisiana workers who have been exposed to asbestos, and also among families who have been exposed either by contact with fibers that workers brought home on their clothes, or from visiting contaminated sites.
Early detection, as with most cancers, is essential. Sadly, even when found early, the prognosis with meso is not usually good. It affects the membranes around the lungs, and also sometimes other organs. If you have been exposed to asbestos fibers, or if a loved one has, be alert to the following symptoms, because if meso can be said to manifest typically, this is what you should look for:
- Chest pain, especially when coughing
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Hoarse voice
- Persistent cough
- Coughing up blood
If any of these symptoms are present, see a doctor. Various tests can be done to identify mesothelioma, including CT scans, x-rays and other imaging techniques.
If you are diagnosed with meso, you will need to ask your doctor how far the disease has progressed and whether it has made its way into parts of the body other than the lungs. Then you will need to discuss treatment options.
The Legal Case
Every legal case is different. But in New Orleans, when a case involves mesothelioma, you can bet that typically the defendant company will deny responsibility, as will the company’s insurance provider. They will try to claim that the exposure didn’t occur on their watch, that the employee was exposed somewhere other than at work. Collecting background information and evidence takes a fair bit of time and a significant amount of legal experience.
The plaintiff in a meso case may be the exposed worker, but just as typically could be a family member who had secondary contact with the asbestos. An asbestos exposure lawsuit can even be filed on behalf of a dead person, by their survivors.
Receiving a settlement won’t cure mesothelioma, nor will it bring back a loved one, but it will help pay medical bills. Under our judicial system, the only means of redress in cases like this is monetary compensation, and it is important that you are compensated fairly.
In some instances, the company will be willing to settle out of court. If an equitable settlement can’t be reached, the case goes to court.
If you have been diagnosed, or had a family member receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma, it’s important to file your lawsuit so that you can get your settlement in a timely fashion.
Landry & Swarr handles asbestos exposure cases exclusively – it’s all we do. If you need to litigate against a large corporation and their insurers because you or a loved one has contracted mesothelioma, you can benefit from our extensive research and years of experience. Call us at 504-299-1214 to speak to us about your legal options.