Finding out that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is news no one wants to hear. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that first starts in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart, and is usually diagnosed in the later stages—when it is often very difficult if not impossible to treat. The most frustrating part about receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis may be the fact that this type of cancer is most often caused by asbestos exposure—exposure that may have happened 30 or 40 years ago and could have potentially been prevented.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and they worked, lived, or served in the military in Hawaii during the years where buildings, ships, and products were commonly constructed with asbestos, you may have grounds for legal action. Getting in touch with a Hawaii mesothelioma lawyer at Frost Law Firm, PC is the first step you should take if you’re in this situation and are questioning your options. You should know you aren’t alone.
What You Need to Know About Mesothelioma
Every year, roughly 3,500 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States. Almost all cases result after being exposed to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral composed of tiny, soft fibers that are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion. Due to the lightweight nature of asbestos fibers as well as their resistant nature, the material was commonly used during the years between 1940 and 1979 in the U.S. during the construction of new buildings, shipyards, and ships as well as in the manufacturing of everyday products like construction materials, auto parts, firefighting equipment, aviation parts, and more.
Asbestos is dangerous when the individual fibers become airborne and travel into the body when inhaled or swallowed. The fibers become trapped and cannot be broken down organically, eventually causing damage to the body’s tissues, especially when more fibers accumulate over time.
Conditions related to asbestos take years to manifest, and most commonly take the form of lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis, which is a type of lung disease. Most mesothelioma patients are in their 60s or 70s before even getting diagnosed. Since most cases are diagnosed later in life, there is often very little that can be done to stop the cancer from manifesting further after a diagnosis occurs.
Due to the delayed nature of mesothelioma, most companies and government groups thought asbestos was safer for use than it was. Many patients who are diagnosed with the cancer say they were unaware of the dangers of working with asbestos and were not informed at all about the risks. Now, strict regulations exist in the U.S. that prohibit the use of the material in most of the ways it was commonly used; but for patients who are suffering now as well as their loved ones, the regulations came far too late.
To learn more about mesothelioma and asbestos, our Hawaii mesothelioma attorneys have put together the following in-depth resource pages for patients and their families:
- More information about what mesothelioma is as well as the risk factors
- Types of mesothelioma
- How mesothelioma is diagnosed
- Symptoms of mesothelioma
- Stages of mesothelioma
- Treatment options
- Causes of mesothelioma other than asbestos
- Occupations that were at risk for asbestos exposure
You may also benefit from learning more about past asbestos laws in Hawaii, as well as the current laws. While certain products are still allowed to contain a small amount of asbestos, those products are strictly regulated.
Mesothelioma Victims in Hawaii
Workers, members of armed forces, and families across America were subjected to asbestos exposure from approximately 1940 to 1979. It’s estimated that approximately 27 million workers in the nation were exposed during those decades.
On the Hawaiian Islands, most mesothelioma patients are workers and their families who were exposed in industrial and commercial settings. Hawaii workers who were most at risk include construction workers, industrial workers like mechanics, foremen, trade laborers, and machine operators, workers in power plants, factory workers, textile steelworkers, steel mill workers, and workers in shipyards. Hawaiian firefighters who worked during those years were also at risk due to the way their protective equipment was manufactured at the time.
Depending on where you worked or lived, you may have been more at risk of becoming exposed. We have put together a resource listing the various worksites and companies in Hawaii where asbestos exposure was known to happen. You can also search the separate pages for the cities or islands where these sites were located:
- Barbers Point
- Papa Aloa
- Pearl Harbor
- Port Allen
Veterans in the U.S. military who were stationed in Hawaii or who helped construct new bases, buildings, ships, or shipyards in Hawaii were also some of the most exposed. Many Naval ships and vessels were built in Hawaiian shipyards during this time, and due to the lightweight nature of asbestos, it was often used in construction. Other military branches, like the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines, were exposed similarly due to serving on the same bases where these ships were built.
Legal Options for Asbestos-Related Cancer Patients in Hawaii
Whether you are a Hawaiian resident who has lived and worked there since you were exposed to asbestos and are looking for legal options or if you lived and worked in Hawaii but have since moved, there are legal options you can take in both situations which may enable you to receive compensation that can be used to cover your medical costs, costs of living, and more. Multiple options exist, including those specifically for veterans as well as for those who worked for companies who have made compensation available for afflicted workers via trust funds.
Depending on your situation and circumstances, you may have the option of filing a lawsuit in addition to other types of funding or in instances where the company you worked for or lived near is not a part of the trust fund group. Filing a lawsuit may be in your best interests due to the fact that many corporations failed to warn workers about the potential dangers of working with asbestos, and in some cases failed to provide workers with the protective equipment they needed to reduce the risks. Our mesothelioma lawyers will work by your side to determine what your best options are.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer after they were exposed to asbestos or worked with asbestos products in Hawaii, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Hawaii mesothelioma lawyers at Frost Law Firm, PC today. Our attorneys make it their mission to ensure victims and their families are able to live comfortably as well as protect future generations from being harmed by this dangerous material.