San Diego, CA (PRWEB) August 24, 2013
Resource4thePeople announced today that it is encouraging present and former auto mechanics who may have developed malignant mesothelioma to take advantage of free legal consultations about their rights to seek compensation for medical costs and other expenses.
“Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos and affects thousands of Americans each year and auto mechanics from across the country are among those most at risk,” said Resource4thePeople.
“Our national team of attorneys is now placing a greater emphasis on providing legal options for these mechanics and their loved ones to seek compensation for the effects and costs of this devastating cancer.”
Resource4thePeople notes that asbestos was long a common component in automobiles, trucks and other transportation modes until strict new environmental laws were put into effect in the1970s to protect workers and the public from expose to the toxic material.
Asbestos was widely utilized because of its strength and fire-resistant qualities and was used in brake pads, transmissions, clutches, gaskets, hood insulators and a variety of other uses.
“Exposure to asbestos is the overwhelming cause of mesothelioma and because it was so widespread before new laws were put into effect it is impossible to calculate how many thousands of auto mechanics and their families were exposed,” said Resource4thePeople.
The dangers were cited in one* of the federal government’s National Cancer Institute Fact Sheets:
“Studies evaluating the cancer risk experienced by automobile mechanics exposed to asbestos through brake repair are limited, but the overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure (3, 8). As a result of Government regulations and improved work practices, today’s workers (those without previous exposure) are likely to face smaller risks than did those exposed in the past.”
Mesothelioma develops after victims unknowingly inhale microscopic particles of asbestos which lodge in the linings of the lungs, heart or abdominal organs and eventually generate cancer cells which form tumors or spread to other parts of the body.
There is a very long latency period in the development of this cancer – three to five decades are not unusual -- and because of this most victims are not diagnosed until they are in their 60s or 70s.
Most victims are given life expectancies of less than 18 months after being diagnosed.
“It is a sad fact that many auto mechanics may have been exposed before new laws designed to protect their health were enacted,” said Resource4thePeople.
“For many of these victims it is only now, long after they were exposed and many have retired that they are showing the symptoms of exposure to this toxic material.
“We urge any current or former auto mechanic who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma to contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation over what legal options may be available for them to seek compensation for their claims.”
Resource4thePeople also is continuing its free consultations for another group of mesothelioma victims: U.S. military veterans, particularly those who served in the Navy.
The U.S. Veteran’s Administration on its mesothelioma page of the VA website posted this warning** for veterans, which includes a reference to recent service in the Iraq wars:
“Veterans who served in any of the following occupations may have been exposed to asbestos: mining, milling, shipyard work, insulation work, demolition of old buildings, carpentry and construction, manufacturing and installation of products such as flooring and roofing.
“Veterans who served in Iraq and other countries in that region could have been exposed to asbestos when older buildings were damaged and the contaminant released into the air.”
Resource4thePeople also is informing Navy veterans that over the last few years the average amount of compensation awarded by juries or reached in settlements in mesothelioma cases has continued to increase. These figures were recently documented in an investigative report published May, 11, 2012 by Reuters News Service:***
"No central registry keeps track of asbestos lawsuits filed yearly or their outcomes," Reuters said. "A tabulation of jury verdicts and settlements, based on an average of all asbestos-related lawsuits reported in Westlaw Journal Asbestos, a Thomson Reuters publication, found that the average award was $6.3 million in 2009, $17.6 million in 2010 and $10.5 million in 2011 -- amounts much greater than what lawyers say was the norm more than a decade earlier.
"Clearly, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related payouts persist at levels companies and their insurers never expected. Insurers have been adding hundreds of millions of dollars to their asbestos-claim reserves. Travelers Cos, in its annual report for 2011, echoed its peers when it cited a "high degree of uncertainty with respect to future exposure from asbestos claims."
Resource4thePeople also notes that the number of mesothelioma cases in the United States has been increasing.
For instance, in its Jan. 7, 2013 Report to the Nation about cancer statistics the National Cancer Institute, which says there are about 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the country each year, reports encouraging news about decreases in cancer death rates.****
However, while some of the most common cancers such as lung, colon and rectum, female breast and prostate showed declines, mesothelioma was not among the cancers mentioned as showing an improvement in decreasing death rates.
The U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site *****shows that federal officials say that the number of cases of asbestos-caused diseases is now peaking in the country.
“Unfortunately, because mesothelioma is a rare cancer it has not drawn much public attention,” said Resource4thePeople. “However, the disease has such a long latency period that more and more victims are being diagnosed."