A class-action lawsuit is defined as a “legal action filed against a defendant by a group of individuals.”
The class-action suit was initially designed for scenarios where many people have experienced similar injuries as a result of the defendant’s actions. And, this lawsuit-type provides an opportunity for individuals to file a claim that, under normal circumstances, would be too small to submit an individual application. Thus, by joining an existing group or starting a new group, the individual can file a claim for damages resulting in the defendant’s irresponsible behavior.
One of the current class-action suits is the mesothelioma lawsuit spearheaded by specialist law firms such as this experienced mesothelioma lawyer in Western New York. This lawsuit is a group effort to claim financial damages from the companies who have put their employees and the public in danger of harmful substances like asbestos. If exposed to asbestos, you could develop a unique type of lung cancer causing severe illness and even death.
What is mesothelioma?
Before we consider how to file a class-action lawsuit, let’s look at a brief definition of mesothelioma.
According to asbestos.com, mesothelioma is a “malignant tumor that is caused by inhaled asbestos fibers and forms in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.” These tumors spread very fast, and, under normal circumstances, the five-year life expectancy rate is only about 5%. In other words, only 5% of the people diagnosed with mesothelioma will live for at least five years after the diagnosis and treatment. The average life expectancy is about twelve months after diagnosis.
Unfortunately, there is also not much medical specialists can do to slow the disease’s progress down. However, modern treatment, including radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, may improve the prognosis and life expectancy.
The fundamental reason for filling a class-action lawsuit
Thus, the question that must be asked and answered is, why is a class-action lawsuit viable option for mesothelioma sufferers?
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following information:
The asbestos sector is, directly and indirectly, responsible for thousands of deaths per annum. Statistics show that between 1999 and 2010, circa 6300 Americans lost their lives to asbestosis. And, by 2018, all asbestos-exposure-related diseases, including mesothelioma, caused just under 40 000 deaths in the USA.
Unfortunately, before 1970, the asbestos industry was largely unregulated. It was only in the 1970s that the product was regulated, and the use of asbestos in products tapered off between 1970 and 2017. Unfortunately, the U.S. government is hesitant to ban the product as its fireproofing properties make it indispensable in many industries, including the armed forces. Asbestos is mined for use in thousands of products like roofing materials, heat-resistant fabrics, insulation products, and automotive brake pads and linings.
And, as Michelle Whitmer notes, in her article titled “Asbestos Facts and Statistics,” that despite the indisputable scientific evidence that breathing in asbestos fibers causes life-threatening illnesses like mesothelioma and asbestosis, “in June 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would consider new uses of asbestos with a specific review process.”
Thus, if you or a family member worked in the asbestos industry, especially in one of the many asbestos mines, this discussion forms the raison d’etre behind joining a mesothelioma class-action lawsuit.