42 Years - A Professional Law Corporation - Helping Asbestos Victims Since 1974

Posts by: Steven Kazan

Kazan Law Is Proud to Support the 2018 International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig)

We are pleased to announce that once again this year, Kazan Law is a major financial supporter of the worldwide conference held by the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig) an international group of scientists, doctors, researchers, and academic experts who devote their lives to trying to understand, cure, and prevent mesothelioma. iMig was started in 1991, and since that time has had regular meetings, the 14th of which will be held this May in Ottawa, Canada, featuring participation of over 500 delegates from all over the world. We continue our unbroken string of providing major financial support since the meetings in Chicago (2006), Amsterdam (2008), Kyoto, Japan (2010), Boston (2012), Capetown, South Africa (2014), and Birmingham, England (2016).

In addition to our major general support and sponsorship of the particular conference activities, we are especially proud that in 2006 we suggested and offered to fund the establishment of the Young Investigator Award Program, recognizing academic work from five of the most promising young researchers presented at each conference. The awards were first given in 2008, and have become a tradition at every conference since that time. This year, five young scientists will receive these awards.

For the fifth consecutive conference, we have had academic papers accepted after undergoing the rigorous scientific peer review process, with abstracts published in the proceedings of the conference or related medical journals. We are the only American law firm so honored; our work focuses on issues at the intersection of law and medicine, which we think would be of interest to iMig scientists. On several occasions we have been asked to present talks at conference sessions, including a keynote address during the Kyoto Conference. Again, this year, I will be presenting a poster session, based on our accepted abstract, at two open sessions during the conference.

The iMig conference is a great opportunity for me to visit with medical and scientific friends from around the world with whom I have been working for many years. The panel discussions and academic presentations are always interesting, and the conference is always great fun. I hope to be posting regular updates on interesting developments to our Facebook and Twitter feeds, so drop by and take a look.

Why File a California Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

california mesothelioma lawsuit Filing a California mesothelioma lawsuit just became an even more prudent step for you to take thanks to a new California State Supreme Court victory.  That State Supreme Court victory was won by Kazan Law partner Ted Pelletier, we are proud to say. Thanks to this important new court ruling, companies that exposed workers to asbestos can be held liable for other people living in a worker’s home who become sick as a result.

New California Mesothelioma Lawsuit Ruling Helps Families

California mesothelioma lawsuits can now be filed not only for a worker sickened by asbestos exposure but also by a family member who has become ill from secondary asbestos exposure. The family member may have been exposed to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing, hair or tools of someone who worked with asbestos-containing materials.

Kazan Law partner Ted Pelletier successfully argued that employers, all of whom were well aware of the health hazards of asbestos, had a duty to provide protective measures such as showers or locker facilities for changing clothes to prevent workers from binging asbestos home.

Although many years may elapse between the time of asbestos exposure and the onset of mesothelioma, asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos dust typically is inhaled through the nose or sometimes the mouth. When it is inhaled it can settle in the lungs and damage the cells of the tissue lining the lungs. This is pleural mesothelioma.  The sharp asbestos fibers can also injure the cells lining the abdominal area and cause peritoneal mesothelioma.  There are other kinds but these are the most common.

Whatever kind of mesothelioma it is, the progress of the disease is slow, irreversible and almost always fatal. The new California State Supreme Court ruling is a great step forward in justice for mesothelioma families. And we at Kazan Law are proud of the part we played. But there are other reasons why it is important to file a California mesothelioma lawsuit.

California’s Favorable Laws Can Help a California Mesothelioma Lawsuit

A California mesothelioma lawsuit can benefit from the high level of expertise that California mesothelioma attorneys have in this highly specialized area of law. Kazan law founding partner Steven Kazan is one of lawyers who helped found modern asbestos litigation in the 1970s. Over decades, lawyers like Steven Kazan have had a major impact on California laws on asbestos cases. They have helped to create a legal climate that tends to be more supportive of asbestos victims with fair laws and substantial jury verdicts.  The California legislature and courts have justified the creation and application of special asbestos rules as a reasonable response to the tragic devastation faced by victims of asbestos exposure.

Because of the support for social justice and sympathy for victims of asbestos exposure, many out-of-state asbestos plaintiffs opt to file a California mesothelioma lawsuit.

In addition, California’s laws are more favorable to mesothelioma plaintiffs than the laws of some other states. Some of the other states with large number of asbestos lawsuits have passed legislation to restrict access to the judicial system for people who have been injured by exposure to asbestos, or limit the damages they can recover or make suing more difficult.

California Mesothelioma Lawsuits Are Fast-Tracked

There’s another advantage for filing a California mesothelioma lawsuit. California is usually at the forefront of states in enacting laws that protect the rights of individuals, especially with respect to health and safety.  This can bode well for the sensitive timing of a mesothelioma lawsuit.

For example, since 2000, some states with a large number of asbestos lawsuits began enacting laws to limit new filings. But not California. As a result, some of the state’s courts have reportedly seen an increase in the number of asbestos lawsuits filed by both in-state and out-of-state claimants in recent years.

In response, California chose not to enact the kinds of laws that now obstruct asbestos lawsuits in other states. Instead our courts have enacted measures to manage large asbestos caseloads by trying to expedite claims by mesothelioma patients. This creates a fast-track approach to scheduling that allows the cases of terminally ill patients to go to trial in 120 days.

Who Can File a California Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Among the restrictions placed on asbestos litigation by some states are laws that limit or exclude out-of-state residents from filing mesothelioma lawsuits. There are no such restrictions in California. Anyone can file a California mesothelioma lawsuit.

And that is an advantage because a well handled California mesothelioma lawsuit is likely to be more successful and deliver larger verdicts. Even if your California mesothelioma lawsuit settles before going to trial, your settlement may be larger in California. Companies know that a trial in a California court is likely to go against them. This can help motivate them to agree to a more generous settlement.

Also some of the best asbestos law firms in the country like Kazan Law are based in California. Your mesothelioma lawsuit can give you financial stability to comfort you during your illness and provide for your family once you are gone. Where you file – and what law firm you choose to represent you – can make the difference of millions of dollars in the settlement or jury verdict you receive. That is a key reason to file a California mesothelioma lawsuit.

A California Mesothelioma Lawsuit Will Not Require A Lot of Travel

Your location and the expense of travel should not stop you from filing a California mesothelioma lawsuit. When you work with a top asbestos law firm, your lawyer will travel to your location to meet with you. Kazan Law lawyers regularly meet with clients outside California, sometimes traveling across the country to work with clients who have mesothelioma. We understand that you will be better able to help give us the information we need to win your California mesothelioma lawsuit in the comfort of your own home.

So if you or a loved one has mesothelioma, contact us for a free evaluation to see if a California mesothelioma lawsuit is right for you.

 

 

 

What You Need from a Mesothelioma Law Firm

mesothelioma law firm You didn’t choose to develop mesothelioma. That happened because, at some time in your life, one or more negligent corporations exposed you to toxic asbestos. That exposure probably happened many years ago and now it’s dropped like a hundred-pound weight onto your chest. With this unexpected and unwelcome development, you also have a very important job: finding the right mesothelioma law firm to handle your case.

Because mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, often times due to corporate negligence, the chances are good that you have grounds to file a lawsuit. The result of that lawsuit could millions of dollars in compensation for you and your family. A great mesothelioma law firm increases your chances of recovering a higher amount.

So much else in your life right now is not up to you. Doctor’s appointments and treatment decisions probably fill your days. At the same time, mesothelioma knocks the wind out of you.

But you do have a choice about your mesothelioma law firm and it’s an important one that can make a huge difference to your family’s financial future.

If you’re like most people, you have never hired a lawyer before and you don’t know much about lawsuits and trials, other than what you’ve seen on TV (and, as you probably know, what’s on television doesn’t have much to do with the real legal process). So here is a guide to help you understand what you need from your mesothelioma law firm. Do a little research, ask the right questions up front, and hire the best possible mesothelioma law firm to handle your case. Your mesothelioma lawsuit can make a big difference in how well you are able to provide for your family’s future.

Interview a Mesothelioma Law Firm Without Obligation

Maybe this goes without saying, but you don’t have to hire the first firm you speak to. In fact, if a mesothelioma law firm is pressuring you to sign up with them right away, that could be a red flag.

Some of the firms with the biggest internet presence aren’t really mesothelioma law firms at all. They act as case brokers rather than lawyers. They draw in people with mesothelioma – people like you – with big promises then hand off their cases to other firms in exchange for a commission finder’s fee. This bait and switch is not in your best interest.

Call several mesothelioma law firms and arrange to chat about your case. You don’t have to make any decision while you are on the phone. If you get a good feeling about a firm, go online and do some research. If they have a good reputation and a history of winning large verdicts and settlements in asbestos cases, that could be a good choice.

Read on for some of the questions you may want to ask your mesothelioma law firm during that first conversation.

Mesothelioma Law Firm Experience

Ask the representatives of the mesothelioma law firms you speak to about their personal experience with asbestos lawsuits, about the background of the firm and ask for the names of the lawyers. Then go online and make sure what they told you is correct.

Some firms handle a variety of personal injury cases, including mesothelioma lawsuits. Because asbestos law is very complex and specialized, it’s a good idea to choose a mesothelioma law firm that has a primary focus on asbestos litigation.

Kazan Law, as an example, was founded in 1974, before the first big wave of mesothelioma lawsuits was moving through the courts. Our founding partners have decades of experience in mesothelioma lawsuits and a history of winning high monetary compensation for our clients. All Kazan Law attorneys benefit from this collective wisdom. Our years of work in mesothelioma law have given us expertise and connections that benefit all our clients.

Find out how much asbestos experience your potential mesothelioma law firm brings to your case. Ask what kind of jury verdicts and settlements have they won for their clients. You deserve the firm with the best experience to handle your case.

Don’t Limit Your Mesothelioma Law Firm Search

You can file a mesothelioma lawsuit in a different state from where you live and you can hire a mesothelioma law firm from another state. You aren’t limited by where you lived at the time you were exposed to asbestos, either. This means you can choose from among the best mesothelioma law firms in the country.

In addition, your lawsuit doesn’t have to be filed in the state where you live. At Kazan Law, we have found that the California court system is most receptive to asbestos lawsuits and that is where we file most of our cases.

An out-of-state lawyer may sound expensive and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A good mesothelioma law firm – like the one you will pick – will travel to meet with you at your home. Your life revolves around your health right now and a good lawyer will work his or her schedule around yours.

Mesothelioma Law Firm Compensation

A good mesothelioma law firm will take your case with no upfront costs to you. If they are able to get compensation for you, the firm will get paid a portion of the verdict or settlement. This is called a contingency fee. If they aren’t able to win your case for you, you don’t owe any money.

At this moment in your life, your healthcare needs may have put a strain on your family’s finances. Make sure the mesothelioma law firm you hire will relieve this burden, not add to it.

Mesothelioma Law Firm Investigation

One of the most important tasks in building a good case for you in court is the investigation. Your mesothelioma law firm will need to find out where and when you were exposed to asbestos. A good investigation is the foundation of a rock solid case. That solid foundation is more likely to lead to a big settlement for you.

This is why Kazan Law has seven full time investigators. These experienced staff members do nothing but track down the documents and facts that our lawyers need to build the best possible cases for our clients. Our investigators are specialists who continually add to our knowledge database.

Ask your mesothelioma law firm how they will conduct the investigation into your case. Make sure they will handle your lawsuit with the thoroughness it deserves.

Mesothelioma Law Firm Communications

One of the crucial things to look for when you are choosing a mesothelioma law firm is how easy it is to get someone knowledgeable on the phone. If the attorneys or staff are too busy to take the time to talk with you about your case, they may be too busy to give your case the attention it deserves.

Ask how the mesothelioma law firm will handle communications during your case. Let them know that it’s important to you that someone is available to answer your questions within a reasonable time frame.

This is the most important time in your life to be a good consumer. The mesothelioma law firm you pick can make a huge difference to you and your family. It’s a good time to ask the tough questions and make an informed choice.

 

Asbestos Removal in the Workplace

asbestos removalAsbestos removal is something we think takes place in old factories and crumbling dilapidated houses. We think of asbestos in the workplace as a concern only for people who work with their hands in places like shipyards, auto repair shops, heating and insulating companies.

But asbestos removal may be urgently needed in all kinds of workplaces – schools, hospitals, office buildings and even some of the most famous prestigious government buildings in the world.

Asbestos Removal Will Force Queen Out of Buckingham Palace

Reports recently revealed that asbestos removal is even going to drive the Queen of England out of Buckingham Palace while the work takes place.  Those who have been watching the popular TV series “The Crown” know how dutiful and dedicated to tradition Queen Elizabeth is.  So it would take something very serious and potentially deadly to compel her and her husband Prince Philip to move out of the palace where they’ve lived since 1953. And that something is asbestos which is both extremely serious and deadly. Royal officials report that Buckingham Palace needs approximately $230 million in reconstruction and upgrades.  The oldest parts of the palace date to 1703. Electricity was installed in 1949, a time when asbestos was still widely used as electrical insulation even in palaces.  It is no wonder that the planned renovations include significant asbestos removal.

Asbestos Removal Prompts Partial Closure of U.S. Capitol

Asbestos removal and fears of asbestos exposure in the workplace prompted the recent temporary closure of one of the most important workplaces in the world – the US Capitol building in Washington D.C. where Congress meets. The Capitol partly closed due to concerns about asbestos toxicity while the building was undergoing repairs. The partial closure included the chambers where the U.S. House of Representatives usually meets. Congress stayed away while asbestos removal experts in hazmat suits worked in the building.

The Capitol asbestos scare occurred as the historic building was in the process of undergoing a major overhaul. Along with multimillion-dollar renovations to the iconic Capitol Dome, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the office responsible for its management and maintenance, had asbestos removed from other parts of the building.

The need for asbestos removal from iconic places like Buckingham Palace and the U.S. Capitol highlights the danger that high levels of asbestos still presents in our homes, schools, public buildings – even palaces and the halls of Congress. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a lethal painful form of lung cancer. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure.

If even the Queen of England and the U.S. Congress aren’t  safe from asbestos, what does that mean for the rest of us?

Asbestos Removal Needed In Many U.S. Schools and Buildings

Asbestos removal seems like something that would have been taken care of ages ago. But sadly that is not the case. Asbestos still remains in the floors, ceilings, roofs and walls of many schools, hospitals and other buildings throughout the U.S.

In 1984, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated asbestos-containing materials existed in most of the nation’s approximately 107,000 primary and secondary schools and 733,000 public and commercial buildings. The EPA survey also found that approximately 34,800 schools were found to have areas with crumbling asbestos, potentially exposing an estimated 15 million students and 1.4 million school employees.

Not much has improved since 1984. A 2015 investigation by two U.S. Senators and reported in the Huffington Post found that:

  • More than two-thirds of state education agencies reported having schools that contain asbestos, most of which has been left in place.
  • School districts do not appear to be systematically monitoring, investigating or addressing asbestos hazards in schools, or keeping records.

Where Does Asbestos Lurk in Buildings?

A major factor complicating asbestos removal is that since the late 1800s, when large-scale asbestos mining first began in the U.S., asbestos was used in a vast amount of industrial products. It was used because it was cheap and resistant to damage from fire, electricity, and chemical interaction. So, despite the fact that knowledge of the damaging effects of asbestos on human health dates back to ancient times, it was widely used in building construction. Because it could help make a building fire-resistant, it was heavily incorporated into schools, hospitals, and industrial centers.

Asbestos can still be found in:

  • building and pipe insulation
  • wall and ceiling panels
  • floor tiles

Asbestos also lurks in a wide variety of other materials and tools which are omnipresent within the construction industry.

How is Asbestos Removal Done?

Asbestos removal requires meticulous skills, special equipment and permits for depositing the removed asbestos in special landfills. This is why it should only be done by licensed professionals.  Because of the time and equipment involved and the precautions needed, asbestos removal can be very costly. This is a major reason why asbestos removal has not occurred in many U.S. schools, hospitals and industrial buildings.

Typically, the part of the building targeted for asbestos removal has to be sealed off in order to prevent contamination reaching other areas.  Sealing can include the use of polyethylene film, and duct tape.  Negative air pressure machines which are fitted with HEPA filters may also be used to prevent asbestos fibers from getting out into the surrounding environment.

A special vacuum cleaner designed specifically for asbestos containment is the only kind that can be safely used when cleaning up during and after asbestos removal. Ordinary vacuum cleaners cannot be used, even those fitted with a HEPA filter because they might release the deadly asbestos dust into the air aren’t good enough.

A new method of asbestos removal was recently used at Northern California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A track mounted wet cutting saw with a diamond blade was used to cut contaminated parts of a building into small sections. These were then double wrapped in plastic, the minimum requirement for transporting asbestos material, and driven to a landfill.

Asbestos removal is not the only type of asbestos abatement. Asbestos and asbestos-containing materials may also be enclosed to prevent asbestos exposure.

Many people exposed to asbestos in the past don’t remember where they may have been exposed, which product may have caused the exposure, or where the exposure occurred. If you or a family member has been given a mesothelioma diagnosis, you should consider consulting with an experienced law firm with the skilled staff needed to perform extensive investigations into your exposure. At Kazan Law, we have a robust team of investigators who dig deep into your past to find out where you were exposed and to what asbestos products. Our firm is one of the pioneers of asbestos litigation and we have helped hundreds of families secure compensation to help pay for the substantial cost of mesothelioma treatment and ongoing living expenses.

Asbestos Exposure in Your Home

asbestos exposureAsbestos exposure may be a problem you don’t even think about.  You assume asbestos exposure would never happen to you.  Especially if you don’t work in manufacturing, automotive, or shipbuilding – major industries where asbestos exposure is likely to happen. This is the 21st century and asbestos is longer widely used.

But here’s the reality check.  Home is where the heart is, as they say. But it may also be where the asbestos is – and in places you can’t even see.

Older Homes Ooze with Charm and Potential Asbestos Exposure

What’s not to like about older homes?  They often have elegant high ceilings, solid plaster walls, vintage hardwood floors and charming architectural details hard to come by in newer more bland construction. The downside is the potential for asbestos exposure. Most homes built before 1975 contain asbestos.

Although the manufacture of construction materials containing asbestos mostly has stopped, millions of single family homes and apartment buildings still may harbor substantial amounts of asbestos.

Insulation Is Classic Example of Hidden Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos was once prized for its ability to take the heat. It could withstand high temperatures without catching on fire. That made it a likely component to use in products where heat resistance is a factor. That included home insulation.  What makes insulation especially dangerous, especially blown-in insulation, is that it is more likely to be loose and release dust as it breaks down or is moved.

In August 2000, an assistant U.S. Surgeon General requested warnings to the public about insulation products containing asbestos. Testing had revealed that any handling of asbestos-based insulation by homeowners could trigger airborne asbestos exposure at greater than 150 times the asbestos exposure level that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration considered safe for workers.

The exact number and location of homes that may contain the asbestos-based insulation is uncertain. The company’s files and testimony put estimates at anywhere from 12 million to 35 million homes, offices and schools.

An EPA toxicologist reported that if people with this type of insulation did any repair work, like installing fans or light fixtures in their ceilings, could stir up enough asbestos dust to potentially cost them their lives.

That concern focuses on insulation. The bigger picture is that insulation is but one of many possible materials in a house that may contain asbestos.

The Risk of Even a Little Bit of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure can be lethal at any level. All health authorities agree that there is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos exposure. Asbestos remains relatively unproblematic if it is inert, covered and undisturbed. But like a previously calm volcano erupting, once asbestos is damaged and broken apart in a renovation or repair project, dangerous asbestos dust particles can be released.

You cannot smell or taste asbestos. The dust particles are tinier than snowflakes and invisible to the eye. But unlike snowflakes, they do not melt.  Microscopic asbestos particles when inhaled begin to scar and damage body tissue wherever they settle, typically the lungs. There are no symptoms anyone would notice at first. But over decades damage silently builds up. By the time a serious asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma emerges, it is usually too late. There is no cure.

DIY Asbestos Exposure in the Home

Today in the United States, asbestos exposures can occur during repair, renovation, removal, or maintenance of asbestos that was installed years ago.  The home’s residents can also be exposed to asbestos while this work is underway and even after.

But do-it-yourself (DIY) home remodel projects have become a likely cause of risky asbestos exposure, mainly because many home owners don’t know what to look for.  A list of asbestos products used in the construction of homes before 1975 includes:

  • floor tiles and the adhesive used to put them down
  • linoleum
  • spackling, caulking and joint compound on drywall
  • plaster and cement
  • some roofing materials
  • insulation for walls, pipes and HVAC ducts
  • some forms of siding

Asbestos Is Still Legal in These Products

Beginning in the early 1970s, asbestos exposure concerns prompted many attempts to ban the use of asbestos in many products. This culminated in 1989, with the EPA banning most asbestos-containing products through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). However, in 1991, this was overturned as a result of industry opposition.  Because of that, although everyone thinks asbestos has been banned, it still lurks in many products available to purchase by unsuspecting consumers.

Here are some listed by the EPA that a home owner or home remodeler might encounter:

  • Cement corrugated sheet
  • Cement flat sheet
  • Pipeline wrap
  • Roofing felt
  • Vinyl floor tile
  • Cement shingle
  • Millboard
  • Cement pipe
  • Gaskets
  • Non-roofing coatings
  • Roof coatings

Asbestos Do’s and Don’ts for the Homeowner

The EPA advises taking the following precautions to avoid asbestos exposure:

  • Do leave undamaged asbestos-containing materials alone.
  • Do avoid any areas where there’s damaged material that may contain asbestos. Keep the areas off limits to children.
  • Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos-containing material.
  • Do have removal and major repair done by people trained and qualified in handling asbestos. Testing and minor repair also should be done by a qualified accredited asbestos professional.
  • Don’t dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
  • Don’t saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos-containing materials.
  • Don’t use abrasive pads or brushes on power strippers to strip wax from asbestos on flooring that may contain asbestos.
  • Don’t sand or try to level asbestos flooring or its backing. When asbestos flooring needs replacing install new floor covering over it, if possible.
  • Don’t track material that could contain asbestos through the house. If you think you may have, the area must be cleaned. Call an asbestos professional.

How to Prevent Asbestos Exposure At Home

Asbestos exposure is to be avoided for everyone’s health and safety. The best way to do that is to have your home or one you may buy or rent checked by a professional asbestos inspector.

An asbestos inspector will know where to look for possible asbestos, take samples for laboratory analysis, and suggest where and how any possible asbestos contamination should be repaired. Expect to spend about $400 to $800 for the inspection, lab fees, and report for a 1,500 square foot home.

Check with local health department and EPA offices for help finding an accredited asbestos professional to do this important work for you.

How Much Asbestos Removal Costs

Asbestos removal is a big hazardous job and it comes – no surprise – with a big price tag. But your life and the lives of your loved ones could be at stake. Clearing your home of asbestos by a professional asbestos abatement contractor could cost $2,000 to $10,000.  That should include using techniques to avoid dispersing dangerous asbestos particles during the removal process as well as the removal itself. It will also include the disposal of the asbestos removed from your home in an approved hazardous waste landfill in accordance with federal, state and local safety regulations.

Although asbestos removal is costly, so is the treatment of asbestos-caused disease.  It is better to prevent asbestos exposure before it happens.

 

Mesothelioma Payouts and State of Residency

mesothelioma payoutsMesothelioma payouts are among the most important aspects of mesothelioma lawsuits.  Receiving monetary compensation for the horrific harm done to someone by knowingly exposing them to asbestos is a way to attempt to balance the scales of justice.

Why Mesothelioma Payouts Vary Within the United States

But substantial mesothelioma payouts are not a foregone conclusion.  Many factors play a role in the outcome of a case, including the financial settlement. A key factor is the state in which the case is tried. Although we have a federal government in the United States, each of the 50 states maintains the right to do certain things their own way. The laws regarding mesothelioma cases and mesothelioma payouts are extremely complicated with major variations among the states.

Some states unfortunately have state legislatures that have been successfully lobbied by business interests to unfairly stack the deck against mesothelioma victims.  These states have placed extra hurdles in the way of mesothelioma victims receiving fair mesothelioma payouts.

In addition, juries are more likely to issue higher awards and settlements in major cities where the economies are strong and the cost of living is high. We have seen this firsthand in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Kazan Law is based.

How an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney Can Help With State Differences

The good news is that an experienced mesothelioma attorney with expertise in how states differ in processing mesothelioma lawsuits can help achieve the highest possible mesothelioma payout.  The best mesothelioma lawyers are knowledgeable about mesothelioma laws in each state and are eligible to provide excellent legal representation to victims on a nationwide basis.

Kazan Law is a pioneering law firm in the area of asbestos law.  With over 40 years of experience in winning some of the highest mesothelioma payouts for victims, Kazan Law consistently receives the commendations for excellence from our colleagues and clients.

State Residency and Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

Even though two mesothelioma victims both may have strong cases, the mesothelioma payouts each receives may vary greatly depending on the state in which their attorneys file their lawsuits. A mesothelioma victim may not realize this but they may have several options of where to file their lawsuit.

If, for example, your asbestos exposure occurred to you when you were in the U.S. Navy, you may file your lawsuit in the city where you were stationed.  If that was in the San Francisco Bay Area, we can file the case here even if you have never lived here.  Or if the company responsible for your asbestos exposure has a main office located in the San Francisco Bay Area, you could also file here. The value of your case would be much higher in California, due to the higher costs of living, than it may be where you live.

Here is information about how several key states differ on mesothelioma lawsuits.

New York has had the highest number of asbestos lawsuits in the country because asbestos manufacturing there dates back to the 1880s.  State laws here have focused on improving worker and workplace safety. Kazan Law’s founding partner Steven Kazan has been licensed to practice law in New York since 1967.

Pennsylvania, like New York, has a history of asbestos manufacturing dating back for many decades. It remains one of five states in the U.S. with the highest number of mesothelioma and asbestos-related lawsuits. Because they felt that these cases were clogging their court system, Pennsylvania legislators introduced new limiting procedures. Kazan Law partner Joe Satterley is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania.

Ohio has been another key state for asbestos lawsuits. But about 15 years ago, Ohio lawmakers added new restrictions for filing asbestos lawsuits.  Ohio now also provides assistance not to mesothelioma victims but to the companies facing asbestos lawsuits. This could present additional challenges for mesothelioma victims.

Texas passed many new laws within the last few decades and its courts have made unfavorable rulings to prevent mesothelioma victims from achieving the justice they deserve.

Florida passed the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act in 2005. This law added to the evidence required regarding a victim’s asbestos exposure and subsequent illness.

What Affects The Total Amount of Mesothelioma Payouts?

Besides which state a mesothelioma lawsuit is filed in, other important factors can have an impact on the amount of a settlement. The following conditions typically help determine mesothelioma payouts:

Medical diagnosis and expenses: these are  important elements affecting a mesothelioma case and are directly linked to the specific diagnosis and follow-up costs of medical treatment. Kazan Law makes sure that all medical expenses are included in mesothelioma payouts for clients.

Other expenses and bills: Besides medical expenses, bills and living costs may build up once mesothelioma interferes with a patient’s ability to work. Overdue bills, accounts in collection and other expenses can overwhelm someone all ready suffering the ill health effects of mesothelioma. Being reimbursed for these types of bills and expenses is an important part of mesothelioma payouts. People who are victims of negligence should not have to pay expenses for an illness caused by someone else.

Lost wages due to illness: When mesothelioma stops someone from being able to work, they are entitled to be compensated for their lost wages. Missed years of work can often add up to a very significant amount of money.

Personal distress (physical and mental): Clearly, suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases wreaks utter havoc on the quality of life. Personal distress, both physical and mental, impacts mesothelioma payout amounts. Kazan Law fully understands the devastation caused by mesothelioma and strives to obtain the largest mesothelioma payouts for mesothelioma victims and their families and often can win extra damages to punish guilty businesses.

What to Expect from Mesothelioma Payouts

Many factors, including the state where a mesothelioma lawsuit is filed and other factors specific to each case determine the amounts of mesothelioma payouts. Kazan Law has a proud history of obtaining the absolute fullest mesothelioma payouts for clients, sometimes totaling into tens of millions of dollars. We understand the difference in state laws regarding mesothelioma cases and are licensed to practice in several states.

Even when you first talk with a Kazan Law attorney, you’ll get a better understanding of your case and the factors that are in your favor. The state where you currently live need not determine where your lawsuit is filed.

Our attorneys make every client a priority. Our asbestos law firm has extensive experience in the most appropriate state jurisdiction possible to obtain the highest amount of mesothelioma payouts.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Major Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts

Mesothelioma lawsuit payouts do not ever right the wrong that has been done to you and other mesothelioma victims. One cannot and should not place a dollar amount on the value of a human life thinking that the money is an adequate substitute. That is not only impossible to do, it is morally bankrupt.  However, mesothelioma lawsuit payouts do provide a means of achieving some justice for mesothelioma victims and their families, and usually is the best The Court system can do.

If you are contemplating filing a lawsuit as a mesothelioma victim, it is because you have received a medical diagnosis confirming that you have mesothelioma. That means an individual or a group of individuals knowingly chose to expose you to asbestos, the only known cause of mesothelioma. They knew of the possible lethal consequences of asbestos exposure but opted to gamble with your life because it was profitable for them to do so.  Mesothelioma lawsuit payouts are intended to make sure the perpetrators do not get away with it.

Mesothelioma lawsuit payouts can accomplish:

  • Penalizing those who knowingly harmed you
  • Paying your medical expenses
  • Providing your family with financial security and support in the future

Three Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts

There are three types of mesothelioma lawsuit payouts. What type of payout you will receive may depend on the manner in which your lawsuit is able to move forward.

The three types of mesothelioma claims payouts are:

  1. Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts
  2. Settlements
  3. Verdicts

Basically, if some of the companies  whose asbestos hurt you have harmed so many people that they have had to face a large number of lawsuits filed against them by other people with mesothelioma, they may have declared bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy allows them to set up a bankruptcy trust from which everyone who they hurt can collect money. If some of the companies are still in business, and you know that the case you have against them is a solid one, they may opt to settle out of court with you. But if they are willing to take a chance that you do not have enough solid evidence for your case against them, they may want to fight the case in court. If our firm is handling your case, they would be taking a foolish chance because we do not take a case unless we believe we can win it. When the case is won in a trial, the mesothelioma lawsuit payout ends in a verdict, which becomes a judgement you can collect.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts From Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts

As we said above, mesothelioma payouts from asbestos bankruptcy trusts occur primarily because the company responsible has caused so many cases of mesothelioma that they fund a trust to protect their assets and limit the amount of money each mesothelioma victim can receive.

Because mesothelioma symptoms may not emerge for decades following the exposure to asbestos, asbestos trusts must protect the interests of mesothelioma victims who come forward later. It assures that there will be a legally approved fund of money to compensate each mesothelioma victim whom the company has harmed.

At present in the United States, funds have been set aside in 50 different trusts to compensate current and future victims of asbestos-related illnesses.  These trust funds together contain approximately $32 billion available to asbestos victims.

Each mesothelioma lawsuit payout from a trust will be calculated based on the value of each case and  the amount of money in that trust divided by the number of current cases and the predicted number or future cases. The average total Trust payout for a shipyard or construction worker who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is around $260,000. Surprisingly, the amount received can vary.  It takes a skilled attorney to ensure that a mesothelioma patient receives the largest amount possible within the parameters set by the trust.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts from Settlements

Mesothelioma lawsuit payouts from settling a case out of court offers major advantages over taking a case to trial; speed and certainty, Mesothelioma can be a swift-moving merciless illness.  Accepting a settlement rather than going to trial can resolve matters more quickly.  It is true that a settlement amount may be lower than one awarded by a jury, but you will receive compensation sooner.  Trial verdicts often get appealed which even further prolongs the process.  Negotiating a settlement can help get your money faster to help with medical bills and make up for lost income.

A settlement agreement may be negotiated at any point before or even during trial, but they mostly occur after both sides have exchanged documents through the discovery process. Negotiations may take several weeks or several months. At Kazan Law, our goal is to achieve settlements that allow our clients and their families to maintain their quality of life and achieve goals that may have been set aside by asbestos-related illness. In determining a good settlement, we take into account the emotional and financial stress caused by a family member’s mesothelioma; especially when a wage earner has to stop working due to illness.

While every case is unique, Kazan Law has negotiated some of the highest asbestos-related settlement payments for our clients. We keep our clients’ settlement amounts confidential, but we can tell you that we negotiated large settlements for a pilot who was exposed to asbestos in an airplane hangar and an electrical worker exposed to asbestos on the job at a PG&E power plant.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts: Verdicts

When a case proceeds to trial, Kazan Law works to schedule a trial as soon as possible for our clients. Unfortunately it can take months or sometimes years for your case to go before a jury. You will need to be at the trial if you are able to appear. You also may have to testify in court. If a jury agrees on a verdict in your favor, your mesothelioma lawsuit payout may not be immediate. Defendants often choose to appeal, drawing out the process. It is not uncommon, however, for parties to come to a settlement during or even after trial.

Trial outcomes are difficult to predict. Juries can decide in your favor but with an award lower than expected.  Or a judge may reduce the mesothelioma lawsuit payout set by the jury. But juries are likely to be supportive of a mesothelioma victim and the mesothelioma lawsuit payout from a verdict may be higher than could have been achieved through settling out of court. This payout may include punitive damages added by the jury.

Kazan Law has won substantial verdicts for clients from companies in jury trials. We won over $20 million for a woman whose mesothelioma was traced to asbestos in the flooring of her childhood home. We won a $20,500,000 mesothelioma lawsuit payout for a former employee of a plant that produced pipes lined with asbestos. Over the course of the four decades we have represented asbestos victims, Kazan Law has won verdicts and settlements which represent hundreds of millions of dollars to our clients. Learn more about how we can help you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free no obligation evaluation.

 

 

 

Could You Be a Victim of Asbestos Exposure?

asbestos exposureBy now, most people are aware that asbestos is a dangerous mineral that can cause serious health problems. What you may not know is that the risks from asbestos exposure are long-lived and stealthy. Plus, despite the fact that the dangers of asbestos exposure have been well understood for 100 years, there is still asbestos in our built environment. No matter what your profession or where you live, it makes sense to understand the dangers of asbestos exposure so you can better protect yourself and those you care about.

The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a mineral. What makes this mineral so dangerous to humans is that it forms into long, fine fibers. These hair-like fibers contain millions of much smaller fibers, invisible to the naked eye. The microscopic mini-fibers are easily dislodged from the mineral and can become airborne. The airborne particles can be inhaled, which is why asbestos most commonly causes diseases of the lungs.

The human body has a genius method for cleaning and healing itself. Your immune system is constantly identifying and expelling alien or harmful substances from your body. Unfortunately, those microscopic asbestos fibers are thin and sharp. They can become stuck in tender lung tissue and dig in, resisting the body’s attempts to clean them out.

Over time, asbestos fibers lodged in your lungs and burrowed into surrounding tissue can cause irritation and inflammation. Eventually, often over the course of several decades, that irritation may develop into lung cancer or mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining around the lung.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is caused by those tiny asbestos fibers. Not everyone who was exposed to asbestos will become sick because of asbestos exposure. The greater your exposure the greater the chances of developing mesothelioma. You could also develop asbestos-related lung cancer or another disease of asbestos exposure.  3,000 Americans who are exposed to asbestos – usually in a workplace – will develop mesothelioma each year.

While the good news is that the majority of people will not develop this dreaded disease, even one case is too much. There is no cure for mesothelioma and more than 90% of patients die within five years after diagnosis.

Who Is Most Likely to Have Asbestos Exposure?

Before you panic about asbestos exposure, remember that your chances of developing mesothelioma go up with greater exposure. There are certain professions and age groups who have elevated risks because they worked with asbestos before worker protections were in place.

If you worked in any of these settings before the 1970s, when growing awareness (and asbestos litigation) led some industries to stop using asbestos and others to develop some safety protocols to protect workers, your risk of developing mesothelioma or another disease caused by asbestos exposure is higher. While that era may seem too long ago to worry about, mesothelioma can take 50 years or more to develop after exposure, so those who worked with asbestos in the last century aren’t out of the woods yet.

The workers most likely to suffer from the effects of asbestos exposure include:

  • Workers in boiler rooms (where asbestos was used as a heat insulating material), particularly on Navy ships
  • Construction workers who installed or removed asbestos insulation and other products containing asbestos
  • Workers in asbestos mines or processing plants
  • Employees of corporations whose products contained asbestos (such as brake linings) and the workers at companies that used those asbestos-laden products
  • Military personnel, especially Vietnam veterans and those who served on naval vessels.

Unfortunately, there is still a great deal of asbestos in the built environment. While there are now protocols for safe asbestos removal, not all construction crews follow those guidelines. As a result, some workers still experience unsafe levels of asbestos exposure to this day.

Awareness of the danger of asbestos exposure is important. While you can’t do anything (yet) to change whether or not you will eventually develop mesothelioma, understanding the signs and symptoms and getting regular checkups can lead to an early diagnosis. The earlier you catch your asbestos related disease, the better your treatment options and the longer your survival time is likely to be.

Lurking Asbestos Exposure

Many people who develop mesothelioma have a clear understanding of where they got their asbestos exposure. They were  sailors in the Navy during the Korean War or spent years installing  Bendix brake linings as an auto mechanic. Sometimes, however, asbestos exposure comes from less obvious sources.

There have been many cases of mesothelioma among the wives of men who worked with asbestos. These women suffered asbestos exposure when they washed their husbands’ work clothes, which were covered in those tiny, invisible asbestos fibers. In fact, Kazan Law won a verdict of over $27 million for a woman whose asbestos exposure came from contact with her husband’s work clothing, who worked installing insulation.

There are cases where people who aren’t connected to professions most linked with asbestos exposure and mesothelioma have become ill because of asbestos. The deadly fibers can be found in ceiling tiles, drywall, and insulation, especially in older buildings. Asbestos can become liberated (and dangerous) during building renovations, DIY home improvements, or just daily wear and tear as the structure ages. There is still asbestos in the walls and ceilings and boiler rooms of some schools, apartment buildings, homes, and office buildings. There was even a case where a retired judge developed cancer because of exposure to asbestos in his New Jersey courthouse.

Awareness can help prevent asbestos exposure. Find out if insulation, ceiling tiles, or other materials in your home or workplace contain asbestos before undertaking renovations. If they do, use the services of a contactor trained to safely handle asbestos remediation. If you work in an environment where you may be exposed to toxic asbestos fibers, educate yourself about best practices for protecting your lungs and insist that your employer follow them.

States with the Most Asbestos Exposure

When it comes to asbestos exposure, all states in the US are not created equal. California has the highest rate of deaths due to mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure, at more than 4,000 per year. Florida is next, followed by New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

What all these states have in common is that they were home to sites where asbestos was mined or products using asbestos were manufactured or extensively used. Other hot spots around the United States include Libby, Montana, home of a large mine supplying vermiculite that was contaminated with asbestos. Detroit’s auto manufacturing industry was the source of exposure for many Michigan workers. Washington, though a small state, has a high per capita rate of mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure among shipyard workers. Former hubs of manufacturing and industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other Midwestern states have also seen elevated levels of illness related to asbestos exposure.

The bottom line is that, due to years of unfettered use of asbestos in the United States, it will be many more decades before we see our last case of mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. Until then, knowledge about the risks is your best protection.

 

Mesothelioma Law Firm Client Communication

mesothelioma law firmWhile you are dealing with the symptoms, care, and treatment of a serious illness like mesothelioma, you want to put your legal case into the hands of a mesothelioma law firm you can trust. One of the key qualities to look for in a mesothelioma law firm is good communication. A lawyer who doesn’t return your calls or respond to your emails in a timely fashion will cost you time and energy. You deserve someone who is ready to respond to you when you need answers, when you set out to select a mesothelioma law firm and throughout the handling of your case.

Mesothelioma Law Firm Contact

When you first reach out to a mesothelioma law firm to discuss your case, you will want easy access to a live human being who can answer your questions. Your energy may ebb and flow during treatment and it’s important for you to be able to talk to someone when you feel up to it, not when it’s convenient for someone else’s schedule.

At Kazan Law, our website features a live chat feature where you can ask any question you have about starting your mesothelioma lawsuit and get an answer right away from a real person. This information is freely given with no obligation to choose Kazan Law as your mesothelioma law firm. We want you to have the best information possible as you research lawyers.

The choice of who will represent you in your asbestos claim will be the most important financial decision you make in your life, given the amounts of money that many people with mesothelioma may receive in a settlement of their asbestos lawsuit or a jury verdict. A Kazan Law representative can help you understand the process of hiring a mesothelioma law firm and put you on the right path toward finding a lawyer who will be a good fit to represent you.

If you’re not comfortable with web chat or you prefer to talk your questions through on the phone, the Kazan Law website also offers access to our call center, where you can speak to a representative right away, 24 hours a day, even when the office is closed.

Through our office staff, by web chat or the call center, Kazan Law is available to answer questions you might have as you prepare to seek compensation for your asbestos-related injuries. Questions people often ask include:

  • How much will a lawyer cost? (Hint: a reputable mesothelioma law firm will not charge you anything up front; the firm’s fees will be paid from any settlement or verdict they obtain for you. If you don’t win your case, you owe nothing.)
  • What kinds of settlements have others in the same situation as me received?
  • How long does it take to receive payment?
  • What are the different ways I may be able to collect compensation for my mesothelioma?
  • Do I have to file a lawsuit in order to get compensated for my asbestos disease?
  • Is there a limit on how long ago I was exposed to asbestos?
  • Can I hire a mesothelioma law firm based in a different state from where I live? (Hint: the answer is yes.)
  • Can my family collect if I pass away before my lawsuit concludes?
  • How much work will I need to do to prepare for a lawsuit?
  • Will I have to give testimony?

Mesothelioma Law Firm Online Resources

Many of the questions above are also answered on the Kazan Law website. Kazan Law’s blog contains posts on these and other subjects. In addition, our website provides information on past verdicts and settlements and frequently asked questions. The Kazan Law website is easy to access and view from a computer or a mobile device, so you can connect to us from wherever you are.

As a mesothelioma law firm, we feel a responsibility to the mesothelioma community that goes beyond great legal representation. To help our clients and other mesothelioma patients stay up to date on the latest developments in mesothelioma care, we started Mesothelioma Circle. In addition to frequent blog posts, this site provides basic information for those new to mesothelioma and background facts about asbestos exposure.

At Kazan Law, we want to go above and beyond and provide resources that all people with mesothelioma can easily access. That’s why Mesothelioma Circle shares vital information not just on a webpage but also on Facebook and on Twitter, where you can connect with our international mesothelioma network at @mesocircle. These social media streams allow us to provide original resources and repost and share information from the mesothelioma community.

We believe that part of the job of a great mesothelioma law firm is to make connections. That’s why we feel our social media presence is so important. It’s a way of creating a community that makes us all stronger. That’s why Kazan Law has created @KazanLaw on Twitter, to keep in close contact with our clients and our allies in the mesothelioma community.

Staying in Touch with Your Mesothelioma Law Firm

Once you choose a mesothelioma law firm to represent you in your asbestos lawsuit, it’s important to keep the channels of communication open. A good asbestos attorney will do most of the work it takes to move your mesothelioma lawsuit forward, but your legal team will reach out to you to get key pieces of information, especially during the investigation of your claim.

At Kazan Law, we have seven investigators who work full time to uncover the facts of our clients’ cases and provide the evidence we need to win large settlements and jury verdicts. This means that you will get personal attention from an experienced researcher who can work with you to put together the strongest possible legal case.

You will also want to get regular updates on the progress of your case as it moves forward. Sometimes the wheels of justice move slowly and it can seem like nothing is happening. A good mesothelioma law firm will communicate with you on a regular basis to let you know what has happened so far and what the next steps are, even if you aren’t required to do anything toward those next steps (which is likely). Beyond the investigation stage, Kazan Law staff are available to answer questions from our clients as we work through the stages of each case.

You deserve personal attention from your mesothelioma law firm, from your first contact through the conclusion of your lawsuit. At Kazan Law, we strive to make ourselves available to people with mesothelioma in as many ways as possible because we know that being of service means making life easier for you.

Mesothelioma Cancer and Firefighters

mesothelioma cancerMesothelioma cancer strikes firefighters at double the rate of the rest of the population according to a startling new study.   Mesothelioma is a lethal form of cancer with only one known cause – inhaling asbestos dust.

Nearly 30,000 firefighters from the San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia fire departments were tracked for five years. The study started in 2010 and ended in 2015. The collected data was analyzed and the findings have been released.

Mesothelioma Cancer Becomes Focus of Top US Health Agencies

A clearer understanding of the risk of mesothelioma cancer for firefighters was the goal of the study.  To ensure that the study was as comprehensive and thorough as possible, it involved the collaboration of twp major US government health agencies.  Although the study was initiated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), researchers from the National Cancer Institute also participated.  Scientists from the University of California, Davis Department of Public Health Sciences also were involved.   The U.S. Fire Administration helped underwrite the costs of the study.

Increased Mesothelioma Cancer Risk and Other Key Findings

Besides the shocking rate of mesothelioma cancer at double that of the rest of the population, firefighters also faced higher risks of other types of cancer.  Here are the key findings from the firefighters study:

Firefighters Cancer Risks Compared to the US Population

Firefighters faced higher rates of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths than the rest of the US population

  • Mesothelioma cancer is joined by other types of respiratory cancers as well as urinary, digestive and oral cancers as affecting fire fighters more than the general population.
  • Mesothelioma cancer, considered rare in the general population, is double among firefighters compared to non-firefighters. Firefighters’ exposure to asbestos is the cause.
  • Younger firefighters are at a higher risk for certain cancers than older firefighters. These cancers include bladder and prostate at higher than expected rates in firefighters who are under 65 years of age.
  • The odds of dying of lung cancer increased with the amount of time a firefighter spent fighting fires
  • The odds of dying from leukemia increased with the number of fires a firefighter fought

Mesothelioma Cancer Prevention Steps For Firefighters

Mesothelioma cancer and other cancers can be tragic causes of premature death when faced b y the general population.  But for firefighters, whose jobs demand that they risk their lives for the sake of others, to double their risk of cancer as a result compounds the tragedy.

Without doubt, every effort needs to be made to protect firefighters from hazardous occupational exposure that can cause cancer.  The study states that fire services need to provide better training to firefighters on how to reduce their risk. It further suggests that firefighters should receive specific training on using protective clothing and respiratory devices at all times when they are at a fire site.

The study authors encourage firefighters to share the study findings with their doctor.  “It is important that your doctor is kept aware of possible job-related health concerns,” the conclusion states.

Why Firefighters Are Getting Cancer More Now

Mesothelioma cancer and other cancer deaths among fire fighters have risen steadily since the 1950s. Why? A recent article in the Atlantic Monthly says our possessions are to blame. The shift to using more synthetic materials in home furnishings and products creates toxic smoke when they burn.

“A century ago, we furnished our houses with wood, cloth, metal, and glass. Today, it’s plastics, foams, and coatings—all of which create a toxic soup of carcinogens when they burn. Fire experts say synthetic materials create hundreds of times more smoke than organic ones; flame retardants alone double the amount of smoke and increase toxic gasses 10-fold. Your TV, your kid’s Barbie, your Saran wrap, your couch: all of them can be poisonous when they’re ignited and their fumes are inhaled,” the article explains.

Tracking Mesothelioma Cancer and Other Cancers in Firefighters

Mesothelioma cancer rates and other cancers in firefighters were determined in the NIOSH study through careful statistical analysis.  The statistical analysis process involved four steps described by the researchers.

Step 1.  The researchers compiled their study population. They combed the records of the fire departments in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago to come up with their list of 29,993 fire fighters who were on active duty until 2009.

Step 2.  The researchers obtained US cancer and death records through 2009. From this information, they were able to pinpoint when and how former firefighters had died and what the causes of death were.  They double-checked with each state’s cancer registry data to confirm which firefighters  were diagnosed with cancer.

The cancers associated with firefighters included cancers of the lung, including mesothelioma cancer,  stomach, esophagus, brain,  intestines, rectum,  kidney , bladder prostate, testes, leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Step 3.  The researchers next calculated each of the nearly 30,000 firefighter’s potential job exposures.  These measures included:

Exposed days: the number of days each firefighter worked in a job or at a location

Fire runs: the total number of fires each firefighter from the Chicago and Philadelphia Fire Departments went to

Fire hours: the total time spent at fires by each firefighter from the Chicago Fire Department

Step 4. To come up with rates of risk, the researchers compared illness rates of several groups. They compared cancer diagnoses and death rates among:

Firefighters Compared to U.S. and State Populations

Firefighters with more days of being exposed to fires compared to those with fewer

Firefighters from the Chicago and Philadelphia groups who went to more fires compared to those who went to fewer

Chicago firefighters who were at fires for longer periods of time compared to those who were there less

The fact that firefighters suffer double the cancer rate as the rest of the citizenry is another deadly reminder that exposure to toxic chemicals must be monitored and controlled. The toxic soup of chemicals firefighters are often exposed to when fighting a blaze can include the deadly mineral asbestos. Asbestos leads to mesothelioma cancer which kills its victims and has no known cure at this time.  Hopefully with studies like this more firefighters can and will protect their lives through safety  protocols, precautions including the right equipment and clothing, and continued rigorous training about the chemicals they face every time they answer a call of duty.

 

 

 

 

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