If you were an outsider looking at federal data that suggests that only 2,500 Americans receive mesothelioma diagnoses annually, you may mistakenly get the false impression that since it affects very few people, it must not be all that serious of an illness. The same goes for if you were to look at the most recent statistics accessible from the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking program from between 2015 and 2019 that show that the mesothelioma infection rate for Milwaukee County was 0.9 per 100,000. This equates to around 45 mesothelioma diagnoses during this time frame. Patients like yourself and each Milwaukee mesothelioma lawyer who helps forward their case knows better than this, though.
Each year, our attorneys at Frost Law Firm, PC represent countless clients in Milwaukee, WI and other parts of our state and country who have received a devastating mesothelioma diagnosis. Those individuals initially come to us after having met with doctors where they’ve learned about how the onset of their disease may have occurred and how their condition may progress unless they take quick and aggressive action to slow its progression. They often discover that slowing this metastasis costs a lot of money—amounts that could easily be financially devastating. They come to us looking for help for recovering funds to make the time they have left the best it can possibly be.
If you have mesothelioma and are worried about you and your family’s future, contact our law firm for a free consultation with an attorney in our office to discuss resources available to you and your legal options.
What To Know About Asbestos Fibers
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that, up until the mid-to-late 1970s, was widely used in building materials, auto parts, and everyday goods. Even as recently as in the past few years, government agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have identified asbestos in certain consumer goods like makeup and issued recalls as a result.
Hundreds of thousands if not millions of Milwaukee residents and other Americans have gone on to fall ill from various medical conditions, including an aggressive cancer that affects the lungs and other internal organs because of an earlier exposure to asbestos. Many of the earliest symptoms they face include:
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive sweating at night
- Unexpected weight loss
- Shoulder or back pain
- Blood clots
- Facial swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent coughing
- Bloating or abdominal pain
Diagnoses Asbestos Victims Receive
The dangers associated with asbestos exposure are significant, as documented in this American Cancer Society report. Close contact with this potentially deadly mineral is known to cause asbestos-related disease like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. As for the latter condition, when mesothelioma patients end up developing cancer, they may find that they’re afflicted with one of the four following types that each affects different internal organs:
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: Grows within the abdominal lining
- Pericardial mesothelioma: This affects the lining of the heart
- Pleural mesothelioma: Is the most common type of the disease and grows within the chest lining
- Testicular mesothelioma: This aggressive disease develops within the lining of the testes
The cancers listed above are debilitating. They often remain dormant for a long period before becoming noticeable.
Treatment Options Available to Mesothelioma Patients
By the time patients get diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s generally decades after the initial exposure to the toxic material. By then, formerly healthy cells have mostly been overtaken, meaning it’s often too late for doctors to perform any life-saving measures on mesothelioma victims. Instead, all these physicians can do is:
- Prescribe radiation or chemotherapy
- Refer patients to participate in clinical trials where they can receive largely experimental medications like immunotherapy
- Recommend targeted treatments, like ones aimed at addressing shortness of breath
- Offer palliative care, such as pain management
In rare instances, oncologists may recommend surgery to remove cancerous lesions, but this generally only occurs when the cancer isn’t at an advanced stage. And, despite different experimental treatment options for mesothelioma showing promise, they’re not as widely available as would be ideal.
Finding trained health care personnel that can provide you with the best possible care may involve travel, which can cause you to incur significant medical expenses, for which you need to recover damages to afford. Our Milwaukee mesothelioma lawyers at Frost Law Firm, PC, with extensive experience in advocating for victims like yourself, would like to meet with you for a no-obligation consultation to discuss how to recover compensation to get the best quality care. Contact our law office to have that chat with an attorney today.
How Asbestos Exposure Occurred in Milwaukee
The use of asbestos was quite popular up until the 1970s largely due to the heat-resistant properties and strength it offered for an affordable cost. This led to the release of many products containing asbestos on the market, including:
- Ceiling tiles
- Flooring materials
- Pipe insulation
- Home siding
- Car brakes
- Many water vessel (ship) components
These products containing asbestos made it into many Milwaukee residences and workplaces as early as the 1800s. That means if you own, live in, or work on homes in some of our older or historic neighborhoods like:
- Sherman Park,
- Lynden Hill,
- Brewer’s Hill, or
you might have unsuspectingly been exposed to this toxin.
Additionally, this naturally-occurring fiber made it into schools throughout the Milwaukee School District, which today consists of 158 schools and serves over 71,000 students.
There’s also the potential for area residents to have been exposed to asbestos while working in the Milwaukee Shipyards or through their employment at port, where they worked on ships or loaded and unloaded them. Additionally, maritime workers, including members of the U.S. armed forces, may have endured prolonged asbestos exposure on the job while stationed elsewhere in the state, country, or abroad.
Then there are all the factories where employees regularly handled products containing asbestos. While many of those manufacturing plants or industrial facilities are long gone, the lack of safety protocols in place at them has already harmed former employees, outside vendors, and consumers. Loved ones might have also sustained secondhand exposure to asbestos through their indirect exposure to these persons or these premises.
Our Frost Law Firm, PC urges you to reach out to us for a free consultation with one of our Milwaukee mesothelioma attorneys to discuss your rights to take legal action if you believe your worksite, job, residential building, or close familial relationship with an at-risk individual might have contributed to you being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Milwaukee Asbestos Sites
Commercial facilities where potential asbestos exposure may have occurred in Milwaukee include the:
- Solvay Coke & Glass Plant
- O. Smith Manufacturing Plant
- Warner Grand Theater
- Bucyrus Erie Company
- Anthony Hospital (later known as St. Anthony Family Medical Center)
- F. Gallun & Sons Tannery
- Pabst Brewing Company
- Falk Corporation
While the list above is certainly not anywhere close to being a comprehensive listing of all the ways or places workers, residents, or family members may have been exposed to asbestos, it gives you an idea of just the varied places and ways exposure could have occurred.
What Types of Individuals May Have Been Exposed to Mesothelioma in Milwaukee?
People from all different types of careers may have been exposed or continue to face exposure to asbestos at some point on a regular, prolonged basis, including those who are:
- Home or building renovation professionals
- Educators, school administrators, or school maintenance workers
- Pipe layers
- Flooring installers
- Mechanics, especially ones responsible for installing brake pads
- Hospital workers, including medical and administrative personnel and building maintenance or janitorial staff
- Factory workers, such as manufacturing or power plant ones
- Carpenters, siding professionals, and roofers
- Emergency services professionals, like law enforcement officers, paramedics, and firefighters
- Asbestos remediation workers
Additionally, anyone who worked or continues to hold a job in one of the trades, for example, as an electrician, plumber, or as a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician could easily have become exposed to this toxin while performing their employment here in Milwaukee.
Who Can You Hold Liable for Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis?
The short answer to the question of who you can hold accountable for contracting the disease you’re now suffering from is anyone or any entity who exposed you to asbestos fibers. Essentially, that may mean that you’re eligible to stake a claim to an asbestos trust fund or otherwise take legal action against one of the following parties if you can show proof that they played a role in your preventable exposure to this known carcinogen:
- An employer: This may be the case if they were aware of the dangers associated with you handling items that contained asbestos or if they were aware of potential dangers asbestos posed and failed to offer personal protective equipment or otherwise shield you from harm.
- Asbestos-laden product manufacturers: A wide range of products, as highlighted above, were once manufactured en masse using asbestos fibers. You may be able to hold the producers, distributors, and even marketers of those products liable for using a toxic substance in their manufacturing process or if they knew of the dangers their products posed but failed to warn consumers of them.
- Landlords: You could potentially hold a property owner, either residential or commercial, liable for failing to disclose the presence of certain known health hazards like asbestos. So, whether your exposure to asbestos occurred while renting an apartment, home, or office space, you may be able to take legal action against the landlord.
Who Can File Mesothelioma Lawsuits?
It is likely obvious that as a patient diagnosed with this deadly cancer, you’re entitled to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, but the following are additional parties that may also be able to take legal action if asbestos exposure results in their untimely passing. Parties potentially able to file a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Surviving spouses
- More distant family members
What Goes Into Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Milwaukee?
The bulk of the work in any personal injury case occurs before the case against an asbestos company even gets filed with the court, and then between filing and before it makes it into the courtroom. Mesothelioma attorneys must work collaboratively with clients to gather together the following documentation to file suit:
- Medical records documenting the mesothelioma diagnosis
- Financial records that prove you’ve sustained monetary losses because of your diagnosis
- Evidence of your employment where your asbestos exposure likely occurred
- Personal diaries or photographs someone may have taken of you that capture how your illness has affected your quality of life
- Witness accounts who can substantiate claims of how you were exposed to asbestos or the pain and suffering you have endured
Additional documentation can be helpful in building your case, like any news stories, government reports, or product liability recall information that may prove the existence of asbestos fibers at a particular workplace or residential building or its use in manufacturing items.
How Much Can I Recover in My Mesothelioma Case?
If you search online for news stories of past mesothelioma settlements, you’ll find many cases where patients have successfully recovered as much as six figures by filing asbestos trust fund claims. And, in instances where lawsuits have been filed, there have often been $1 to $2 million out-of-court settlements and as much as $5 million when cases have gone to trial.
Filing a lawsuit in Milwaukee, WI may not be the only source of compensation, though. You may alternately or additionally qualify to receive compensation, such as:
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Veterans’ benefits
- Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits
Wisconsin mesothelioma attorneys with a comprehensive understanding of the legal process will know when you may be eligible to pursue one or more entities for financial compensation. Additionally, lawyers like ours with a proven track record of handling cases like this will know what seems reasonable to demand for what lies ahead for you.
Factors That Affect How Much Asbestos Cases Settle For
As you may be aware, while mesothelioma is by far the worst asbestos-related condition that someone can be diagnosed with, it’s not the only illness a person may develop after exposure to this known carcinogen. Factors that may affect how much in compensation you can recover if you file a claim or lawsuit in Milwaukee, WI include:
- The specific diagnosis your doctors gave you (mesothelioma tends to result in higher payouts)
- How much you’ve already racked up in medical bills and what you may be expected to incur in the future
- Your age at the time of diagnosis and projected life expectancy for someone like yourself
- The extent to which you’ve suffered (you can show proof of your pain and suffering)
There may be additional factors that carry weight when determining the value of your potential claim for damages, which you and a Milwaukee mesothelioma lawyer can discuss in more depth during your free initial consultation. Contact Frost Law Firm, PC to discuss your case and find out more about the factors that may affect the value of your claim.
How Much is it to Hire a Milwaukee Mesothelioma Attorney?
Our lawyers take on personal injury cases like mesothelioma ones on a contingency-fee basis. This means that you don’t pay any upfront costs to have an attorney represent you. In fact, you won’t incur any costs, aside from incidental fees our firm must pay up front like postage or court filing fees, unless or until we secure a settlement on your behalf. And, provided we successfully recover compensation for you which is our aim anytime we take on a case, we’ll take our cut of pre-agreed-to fees out of your settlement and forward you the remaining proceeds.
Is Working With Milwaukee Mesothelioma Attorneys Necessary?
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s likely that you’re not feeling your best. The stress involved in gathering evidence to hold any negligent party legally responsible for the harm they caused you may cause a further deterioration of your health.
Our attorneys at Frost Law Firm, PC only advise our clients to pursue legal options that have the highest potential of success for helping them recover medical expenses and lost wages they’ve incurred. So, no matter your location in Wisconsin, whether it’s Milwaukee or anywhere else, let our legal team gather evidence necessary to prove your case and advocate for your best interests. Give us a call or write us to speak with a Milwaukee mesothelioma lawyer to learn more about our proposed game plan for helping you.