Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that progresses aggressively and has no cure, and thus, it’s often deadly. Many people who are familiar with this terminal condition are aware it can affect a patient’s lungs, known as pleural mesothelioma. However, this debilitating condition can actually affect the mesothelium, (the thin layer of tissue lining a number of internal organs) including the heart (pericardial mesothelioma), the testicles, and abdominal cavity (peritoneal mesothelioma).
Inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers causes inflammation and scarring within the mesothelium over time (sometimes across decades) before the damage it has caused starts manifesting itself in terms of physical symptoms.
Death may come painfully and quickly to those who put off treatment for suspected asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. Recovering compensation necessary to receive top-notch medical care is critical from a quality-of-life perspective. Our Wisconsin mesothelioma lawyers can help ensure you receive maximum compensation for what you’ve been through and what lies ahead. Contact us for a no-obligation free consultation.
American Society of Clinical Oncology data shows that just over 30,000 individuals worldwide received mesothelioma diagnoses and over 26,000 died from the condition in 2020. each year. Of these, an estimated 3,000 patients diagnosed with the cancer are in the U.S. A person’s average age at the time of diagnosis is 72.
As for Wisconsin’s mesothelioma death rate, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that Wisconsin’s mesothelioma death rate was one of the higher ones among all states between 1999 and 2015, with national maps showing fatalities attributable to the disease ranging from 13.96 persons to 10.93 persons per million. Statistics published by the Wisconsin Occupational Health Program shows that 88% of Wisconsinites who die from this disease are 60 or over.
How Have Wisconsin Residents Contracted Mesothelioma?
The use of asbestos in fabricating building materials, like insulation, flooring, and roofing, used to construct Wisconsin homes and office buildings was quite popular starting in the early 20th century and until the 1970s, when the carcinogenic properties of this naturally occurring mineral became widely known about. Thus, the bulk of exposure to this toxic material occurred during that time frame.
Home repairs or construction aside, other sources of exposure to asbestos in Wisconsin, the leading cause of mesothelioma, include:
- Auto mechanic work: Brakes were manufactured with an asbestos-rich lining, which may have exposed car hobbyists and mechanics alike to this toxic dust
- Industrial plant workers: Any companies that handled products that contained asbestos, such as paper mills and power plants, could have exposed employees to asbestos in the air
- Extraction: Since asbestos fibers are naturally occurring, it must be harvested from its natural environment, which could have exposed anyone responsible for doing that to these carcinogenic fibers
- Theater workers: Reports have emerged in recent years that the heavy curtains used on stages throughout our county were manufactured using asbestos fibers as a fire retardant, which could have unsuspectingly exposed actors, stagehands, and others to this toxic substance
- School workers: Maintenance workers, including plumbers and electricians, and even teachers, may have been exposed to asbestos through repairs completed at these educational institutions, unless the use of this substance was greatly eliminated in the late 1970s
- Veterans: Asbestos exposure among shipbuilders, tank builders, aircraft techs, building engineers, and others in the military is possible given many of these functions included exposure to this mineral
- Power plant workers: The use of asbestos-laden products was popular for heat-resistant properties for some time, which meant they were often used for the construction of power plants, which could have exposed workers to this mineral
The same Wisconsin Occupational Health Program source mentioned above cites how workers from the following industries have a higher fatality rate from mesothelioma than others:
- Construction, 4x the likelihood
- Metal and plastic workers, 2x the likelihood
- Engineers, 2x the likelihood
- Installation, maintenance, and repair workers, 2x the likelihood
- Teachers, 2x the likelihood
It’s important to note that while mesothelioma itself isn’t contagious, the transference of asbestos fibers to others is possible. The reason why we bring this up is because while someone might not have had any direct exposure to this toxic substance, they may still have ultimately received a mesothelioma diagnosis. This may have occurred because their loved one brought toxic fibers home on their clothing, thus exposing others in their household to them.
Mesothelioma Exposure Sites in Wisconsin
There are more than 1,500 companies statewide that have been cited as having potentially exposed Wisconsin workers to cancer-causing asbestos fibers over the years. If you’re experiencing adverse symptomology often associated with mesothelioma, performing an online search will likely reveal countless others like yourself that are also suffering from mesothelioma after an on-the-job exposure to this toxin.
Some of the more widely known asbestos job sites and their cities publicized in the past include:
- Consolidated Paper Co. (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)
- Wisconsin Power and Light (Beloit, WI and other cities)
- Kimberly Clark Paper Mill (Neenah, WI)
- Sears Roebuck (Fond du Lac, WI)
- Wisconsin Electric Power Company (Oak Creek, WI)
- Mary’s Hospital (Racine, WI and other cities)
- O. Smith Corporation (Milwaukee, WI)
- Wisconsin Public Service (Green Bay, WI and other cities)
- C. Spark Club Division of General Motors (Oak Creek, WI)
- US Plywood (Algoma, WI)
- Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Company (Appleton, WI)
The full list of employers and cities where workers and their families may have become exposed to asbestos fibers now responsible for their mesothelioma diagnosis includes many more than we can list here. Our office, Frost Law Firm, PC, is well aware of Wisconsin’s mesothelioma job sites and would be happy to check if yours is on the list. This service is completely free and comes with no obligation, so contact our mesothelioma lawyers for this information today. It may make the difference between you filing a claim necessary to recover compensation and not.
What Are Mesothelioma Symptoms?
Individuals exposed to asbestos fibers seldom show immediate signs of disease, but instead delayed symptoms that may not manifest themselves for decades after their initial exposure to the carcinogen.
Some of the earliest signs that a person may have mesothelioma include:
- A persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chest pain
A visit to the doctor along with additional testing also often reveals the existence of pleural effusion, which is a buildup of fluid in the lungs.
Many of the symptoms listed above are consistent with other bronchial-involved conditions, such as lung cancer or pneumonia, and thus can get misdiagnosed as these, so it can be helpful to get a second opinion from another physician if there’s any chance you may have previously been exposed to asbestos to confirm or deny a mesothelioma diagnosis.
While it’s commonly stated that there is not yet any cure for mesothelioma, you may qualify for a surgery if your condition is caught early. This operation could plausibly eradicate your body of cancerous lesions. There are additionally different treatment options that, if utilized early on, could slow the progression of this malignant cancer, alleviating yourself of some of its most debilitating symptoms and giving you longer to spend with your family and friends.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options
When it comes to mesothelioma treatment options, there are some that help patients manage some of the symptoms they may be experiencing, like fluid buildup, shortness of breath, or pain. Then there are others aimed at slowing or stopping the spread of the cancer.
Some of the more popular palliative treatment options, which focus on relieving symptoms so a patient can enjoy an improved quality of life include:
- Paracentesis: This is used on patients suffering from abdominal mesothelioma and involves the insertion of a needle into that cavity to remove built-up fluid.
- Thoracentesis: This is primarily used on patients whose hearts have been affected by this condition and involves the insertion of a syringe into the chest area to withdraw fluid built up in that area.
- Pleurodesis: This procedure also involves the insertion of a needle into the chest, but is reserved for those mesothelioma patients suffering from the lung variety of this terminal cancer.
Other treatment options that can make dealing with this debilitating disease easier, potentially prolonging your life, include surgery, as referenced in sections above, plus:
- Chemotherapy: This treatment option involves the use of intravenous drugs aimed at killing cancer cells. The treatment option is sometimes used by itself or administered along with a surgery.
- Radiation: This involves the use of radioactive/nuclear energy aimed at the diseased area with the goal of killing off cancer cells. Much like chemotherapy, it too can be administered as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with an operation.
- Targeted therapy: Showing promise in clinical trials, this treatment option attacks the molecules of specific cancer cells. It’s often administered via pill and can be used as a standalone treatment or jointly with some of the others described above.
- Immunotherapy: Still mostly being used in clinical trials, this involves the reliance on your body’s immune system to help identify and destroy cancer cells. This treatment option can be administered a number of different ways, including by capsule or pill.
Generally, a doctor bases their recommendation of treatment options for their mesothelioma patients on the following factors:
- The location of the cancer
- The stage at which the patient’s cancer is
- The patient’s overall health
Of course, since many of these treatment options come with their pros and cons, a patient oneself has a say as to what they pursue as well.
Get Help Paying for Mesothelioma Treatment After Asbestos Exposure
If your exposure to asbestos fibers occurred on the job in Wisconsin, such as at one of the employers or in one of the roles listed above, you may have a right to file a legal claim to recover compensation for the medical setbacks that you’re now experiencing.
There are a wide range of funds that you can potentially tap into to recover compensation to make receiving the highest quality care possible, including:
- Workers’ comp: If you’re still working for the Wisconsin employer where you believe your asbestos exposure initially occurred, you may be eligible to file a claim claiming the onset of an occupational disease, which could entitle you to receive compensated medical care and lost wages.
- Asbestos trust fund: If your employer ceased operations and filed bankruptcy soon after the dangers associated with asbestos became more widely known, the Court may have required the creation of an asbestos trust fund which you can tap into to pay for your medical bills and other illness-related expenses.
- Personal injury lawsuits against liable parties: If a company who manufactured components of products that exposed you to asbestos are still in operation, you may be eligible to sue them for unsuspectingly exposing you to this dangerous substance, allowing you to recover any bills you’ve incurred because of that.
- Veterans’ benefits: You may be eligible for medical care and benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you can attribute the onset of your illness to your work as a member of the armed forces.
- Disability benefits: A doctor may suggest that you’re partially or permanently disabled based on the extent of your disease, potentially making you eligible to recover Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), depending on the nature of your disabling conditions, how long you paid into the Social Security system, your financial means, and other factors.
Recovering financial compensation may look different for each mesothelioma patient, depending on how they were exposed and the severity of their illness. Thus, it can be helpful to discuss your matter with a Wisconsin mesothelioma lawyer to find out what types of compensation you may be eligible to receive in your specific situation.
Help Attorneys Can Provide Mesothelioma Victims in Wisconsin
Mesothelioma lawyers like ours at Frost Law Firm, PC can help in many aspects of asbestos victims’ cases. Some of the ways in which we help include:
- Assessing whether prospective clients have a valid mesothelioma case, including assessing whether they’re attempting to file within our state’s statute of limitations
- Knowing your right to file claims or Wisconsin mesothelioma lawsuits against all potential liable parties
- Having a clear understanding of past Wisconsin mesothelioma settlements and thus a better idea of how much to demand and expect in fighting for you
- Knowing when to file a mesothelioma claim to attempt to settle out-of-court and when to pursue litigation
There are many other aspects of the legal process our Wisconsin mesothelioma attorneys handle or can help with if you’re suffering from an asbestos-related disease. The list above merely aims to show that to pursue compensation even if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma isn’t easy. However, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer like ours will know exactly what to do to ensure you achieve a desirable outcome in your case.
Why Choosing Our Wisconsin Mesothelioma Attorneys Is a Wise Choice
Like many services you may need, you have options to select from when it comes to Wisconsin mesothelioma lawyers. As emphasized above, it’s best not to just pick anyone if you’re looking to recover top-level compensation, though. Instead, the attorney you select should have extensive knowledge of asbestos-containing products and the dangers they pose to your health, a profound knowledge of how mesothelioma progresses and costs associated with treating it, and have solid negotiation skills. Rest assured every attorney at Frost Law Firm, PC that handles cases like these has an extensive track record of winning in our clients’ favors.
So, if you want solid legal representation to recover asbestos trust funds or some other type of compensation in your case, reach out to Frost Law Firm, PC for help. We’ll put you in contact with one of our Wisconsin mesothelioma lawyers for a no-obligation case review so you can learn more about your rights and the next steps you should take to file a claim if eligible to do so.
FAQs for Wisconsin Asbestos Lawyers
The following are some common questions we receive about mesothelioma cases and the services our law firm offers:
What local areas in Wisconsin do your mesothelioma lawyers service?
Our law office represents residents suffering from this aggressive disease from all across Wisconsin, including our bigger cities like:
- Green Bay
We fight just as vigorously for residents of our state’s smaller cities who are suffering from asbestos-related diseases and have mounting medical expenses and other costs too. This includes those who worked at asbestos sites or live in one of Wisconsin’s many other popular towns, such as:
- Wisconsin Rapids
- La Crosse
- Sturgeon Bay
Put quite simply, we offer a free legal consultation to anyone in Wisconsin who may have been directly exposed to asbestos-containing materials or who had secondhand exposure to this substance, no matter where they are in the state. So, if you think you have a valid claim, reach out to a mesothelioma attorney at Frost Law Firm, PC for help.
Can’t I just file a mesothelioma claim or lawsuit on my own?
You absolutely can; however, our mesothelioma lawyers advise against it. Why? Anytime you go up against a company, most times they’re going to be backed by a legal team. You owe it to yourself as a mesothelioma patient or as the surviving family members of someone who died from this debilitating disease to have a strong advocate on your side who the other party will take seriously and also who will fight for what you’re due.
When is it best that I contact Wisconsin mesothelioma lawyers?
There’s no time better than now to reach out to a lawyer to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. We say this because there’s always the potential for trust funds to run out, records documenting the onset of your illness and more to get lost, or laws to change, jeopardizing your ability to take legal action.
How much does it cost to have a Wisconsin asbestos attorney represent me?
We offer all mesothelioma victims a free consultation. Additionally, there are no upfront costs associated with a mesothelioma lawyer representing you if we take on your case. In the end, the Wisconsin mesothelioma lawyer representing you only makes money for these efforts if they secure compensation on your behalf. Plus, there are nominal out-of-pocket costs we pass on to you for any case-related expenses our Wisconsin mesothelioma law firm may incur like court filing fees.