Shipyard Workers & Mesothelioma

Shipyard Mesothelioma
Many workers across various industries have been exposed to toxic asbestos-containing materials. One such field where hazardous materials were widely used was in shipyard work. Shipyard workers constructed a wide range of ships made for both military and civilian use.

The use of asbestos-containing products was especially prevalent until the 1970s. Until that point, the U.S. military had allowed for more than 300 asbestos-containing products to be used during ship construction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, an estimated 27 million workers were exposed to aerosolized asbestos fibers between 1940 and 1979. Additionally, a 2008 study found that shipyard workers carried a mortality rate 16 times greater than the average of other occupations.

Despite their dedication to our country, military shipyard workers have some of the highest numbers of asbestos exposure and those who were in the Navy have been most affected.

If you or a loved one had previously worked in a shipyard and is currently dealing with an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injury. Contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (512) 476-7771 for help from experienced and qualified asbestos litigation lawyers.  

Where and how did asbestos exposure occur?

As previously mentioned, the U.S. military had authorized the use of more than 300 asbestos-containing products until the 1970s. Many components and general areas of ships contained high levels of asbestos including:

  • Boiler rooms
  • Engine rooms
  • Hallways
  • Sleep quarters
  • Insulation
  • Paint
  • Gaskets
  • Sealants
  • Valves
  • Adhesives
  • Furnaces

Because of the heavy use of asbestos in shipyard work, the vast majority of individuals working in the shipbuilding industry were likely exposed to this deadly carcinogen. Any worker that helped in the construction of the ship, performed maintenance and repairs, overhauls, or even decommissions likely faced exposure. Shipyard workers who may have been exposed include:

  • Welders
  • Plumbers
  • Steamfitters
  • Janitorial and cleanup crew members
  • Ship lifters
  • Pipefitters
  • Machinists
  • Painters
  • Electricians
  • Boilermakers
  • Servicemen aboard vessels

Ships used asbestos for insulation because of its ‘safety features’ such as being fire retardant and resisting corrosion. It was a way to preserve the vessel, therefore, it was used in such staggering quantities.

Not only was asbestos used in military ships, but also civilian luxury liners such as cruise ships. The lack of ventilation aboard vessels caused exposure to the toxic material, even when workers were not in direct contact with it.

Anyone in contact with a vessel that was heavily lined with asbestos could be at risk for damages.

How is asbestos in shipyards still impacting people today?

There are 106,000 shipyard workers employed nationally today, all who face a moderate rate of exposure to the hazardous material. Due to previously placed asbestos insulation in the vessels, lingering amounts of asbestos can present harm to current shipyard workers.

The highest levels of asbestos-related illness and exposure are in California. With its long coast darted with countless shipyards, and even its large prevalence of natural asbestos deposits, this state is number one in deaths by mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused illness.

Call the national asbestos litigation lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC if you or a loved one suspects that you have been exposed to asbestos while on the job in a shipyard.

Our knowledgeable asbestos lawyers know which companies in the shipyard industry are responsible for the asbestos-related illnesses suffered by workers.

We are prepared to fight and help get you the compensation necessary to help treat or deal with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. Call us right now at (512) 476-7771 for a free consultation with our national asbestos lawyers.

Overview of Statistics for Mesothelioma in the United States

Doctor is checking patient x-ray film
The national litigation team at Hotze Runkle PLLC firmly believes that keeping our clients informed is essential to developing a strong relationship. By providing as much information as possible to those we serve, we hope to deliver a better experience.

Because of this, we would like to share with you information regarding mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos. Statistics regarding mesothelioma can help individuals living with the condition better understand the disease as well help them to make a more informed decision on how to go about treating it.

If you believe that you are suffering from mesothelioma or some other illness as a result of asbestos exposure, do not hesitate to contact the experienced asbestos exposure lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC immediately.

Mesothelioma-Related Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the National Health Institute,  provide statistics about mesothelioma in the United States according to mortality, age, gender, and even location.

Asbestos in the U.S. Throughout the Years

  • 1973: Peak of asbestos importation into the U.S. with over 803,000 tons of asbestos imported.
  • 2002: Last U.S. asbestos mines shut down.
  • Between 1999 and 2015 there were 54,418 documented cases of mesothelioma.
  • From 1999 to 2015, 45,009 mesothelioma deaths were recorded.
  • Between 1940 to 1978, 11 million Americans were exposed to asbestos.
  • Mesothelioma symptoms typically appear 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.

Age-Related Statistics

  • Mesothelioma occurs more commonly in older age groups.
  • Recent research reveals that 91 percent of all mesothelioma cases occur in individuals 55 years and older.
  • 74 years old is the average age individuals are diagnosed in the United States.
  • Between 1999 and 2015, the age group with the most reported cases -10,188 – occurred in ages 75-79.
  • Between 1999 and 2015, the age group with the least reported cases – 40 in total – occurred in ages 15-19.

Gender-Related Statistics

  • Men are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma in comparison to women, with males accounting for 75 percent of all mesothelioma deaths from 1999 to 2016.
  • Men are 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma.
  • From 1999 to 2015, 35,850 men and 9,159 women died in the United States from mesothelioma
  • From 1999 to 2015, 42,808 men were diagnosed while only 12,338 women were diagnosed.

Location-Related Statistics

The state in which you live can also have a significant impact on your risk of asbestos exposure. The following are mesothelioma diagnoses from 1999-2016 by the top five states with the highest population:

  • California
    • Diagnoses: 5,570
    • Deaths: 4,539
  • Texas
    • Diagnoses: 3,060
    • Deaths: 2,347
  • Florida
    • Diagnoses: 3,960
    • Deaths: 2,969
  • New York
    • Diagnoses: 3,469
    • Deaths: 2,476
  • Pennsylvania
    • Diagnoses: 3,500
    • Deaths: 2,930

Occupations with the Greatest Risk of Asbestos Exposure

  • Construction
  • Firefighting
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical refining
  • Power generation
  • Shipbuilding
  • Military service

Survival Rate Statistics

  • Mesothelioma patients survive an average of 12 to 21 months.
  • For individuals with stage 1 pleural mesothelioma, the two-year survival rate is around 41-46% with a five-year survival rate at approximately 13-16%.
  • For individuals with stage 2 pleural mesothelioma, the two-year survival rate is around 38% with a five-year survival rate of around 10%.
  • For individuals with stage 3 pleural mesothelioma, the two-year survival rate is around 26-30% with a five-year survival rate of around 5-8%.
  • For individuals with stage 4 pleural mesothelioma, the two-year survival rate is around 17% with a five-year survival rate of less than 1%.

Additional Mesothelioma Statistics

  • There are 2,400 to 2,800 new mesothelioma cases reported in the U.S. each year as per the CDC.
  • 20 million people could possibly develop mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.
  • About 1 million people around the world are exposed to asbestos each year.
  • There are approximately 2,500 mesothelioma related deaths each year, similar to the number of cases discovered each year.
  • Mesothelioma is more common in whites and Hispanics/Latinos than in African Americas or Asian Americans.

In order to recover damages for your suffering caused by an asbestos-related disease, seek consultation from your national asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC by contacting us today at (512) 476-7771.

About the Detection of Mesothelioma, Treatment, and Seeking Out Compensation

Diagnostic form, Vial of blood samples and Medicine in a hospital, conceptual image
Asbestos-related illness can cause victims and their families a great deal of suffering while also creating financial issues because of the high costs associated with medical treatment. Early diagnosis and filing a legal claim as soon as possible can help victims and their families to deal with the issues caused by exposure to asbestos.

If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos, the Texas asbestos lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC have the experience you need to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

The Four Primary Types of Mesothelioma

Recognizing the symptoms associated with the various types of mesothelioma can help you or your loved one to seek out the medical attention you need. It is important to be aware of how these primary types of mesothelioma can affect you.

The various types of mesothelioma are determined by where they occur on the body and the types of cancer cells. These primary types of mesothelioma include:

  • Pleural Mesothelioma
    • The most common type, this accounts for 75-90 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
    • Occurs in the lining (pleura) of the lung cavity.
    • Symptoms can include constant chest pain, weight loss, and fever.
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma
    • This is the second most common type of mesothelioma and accounts for 10-30 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
    • Occurs in the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), thickening of lining or small tumor often revealed.
    • Symptoms can include severe abdominal pain, fever, and nausea.
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma
    • A very rare type of mesothelioma and only accounts for 1 percent of all cases.
    • Occurs in the lining of the heart (pericardium).
    • Symptoms include constant chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea. Victims may feel pain similar to that of a heart attack.
  • Testicular Mesothelioma
    • Only 100 cases have been reported for this type of mesothelioma.
    • Occurs in the lining of the testicles (tunica vaginalis).
    • So rare, that the effectiveness of available treatment cannot be determined.
    • Symptoms include pain in the testes, swelling of the scrotum, or lump/ mass found in the area.

Benign vs Malignant Tumors

The types of tumors associated with mesothelioma can be classified as benign or malignant. Malignant tumors are cancerous and extremely dangerous because the cancer cells can grow and divide uncontrollably, resulting in the spread of cancer to other areas of the body.

Benign tumors grow slowly and do not pose the threat of spreading to other areas. They usually appear in a single mass and can be removed through surgery with limited chances of reappearing.

Dealing with Mesothelioma

Although there is no immediate cure for malignant mesothelioma, there are available treatments and emerging options that can help to improve prognosis and alleviate symptoms for a victim. Most physicians generally recommend traveling to a cancer institute for specialized mesothelioma treatment.

Multimodal treatment is a combination of several treatments, and even emerging treatments, which are used to resolve issues associated with the cancer. The types of mesothelioma treatments that are available include but are not limited to:

  1. Surgery – The goal of surgery is to eliminate the tumor at an early stage or to administer palliative care if the diagnosis is made later in the development of the disease. In these cases, surgeons will attempt to remove the liquid in the pleural, abdominal, and chest areas, in order to ease any pain the patient may be suffering from.
  2. Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is used as either a neoadjuvant or adjuvant to minimize tumors or to kill cancerous cells that linger. This treatment may be used multimodally or palliatively.
  3. Radiation – Radiation therapy causes fewer side effects and is thus often recommended for those in poor health conditions. This form of treatment aims to eliminate mesothelioma cancer cells and prevent their reproduction.

How to Receive Compensation for Your Asbestos Exposure

After the initial discovery of asbestos as a toxic building material, many companies failed to inform workers of the dangers and risks associated with exposure, including the development of mesothelioma. For this reason, there are many available routes one can seek with the help of the experienced Texas asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC.

The three main types of mesothelioma claims that you can make are:

  • Legal Claim – This would be a claim using a formal legal process such as a lawsuit or filing for compensation from an asbestos trust. Negligent companies that exposed their employees to asbestos but then filed for bankruptcy were legally required to form trust funds in order to compensate victims for their negligent behavior.
  • Benefits Claim – Entitlement programs such as workers’ compensation or veterans’ benefits are an additional route of compensation available to those who meet the requirements.
  • Insurance Claim – Medical insurance is the third available source of compensation that can be sought after if a claim is submitted for injuries incurred while covered by said insurance.

When Filing a Claim, Act In A Timely Manner

If you are a victim of exposure to asbestos and have developed mesothelioma, it is important to know that each state has a time restriction for filing a mesothelioma claim. This is known as the Statute of Limitations and usually refers to a 2 to 3 year time period to make claim after the initial diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma, or an asbestos-caused death (in that case, one would file a wrongful death claim).

It is vital to seek legal action as soon as you have received a proper and official diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness.

The experienced asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC recommend that you:

  • Keep a record of employment where the asbestos exposure may have occurred including the various locations and sites – even if across multiple states.
  • Document the effect and impact of the asbestos-related illness and symptoms on your life.
  • Acquire official testing and diagnosis from your physician.
  • Seek out a qualified legal representative who has experience in dealing with mesothelioma claims to help get the proper legal procedures going.

Time is of the essence when filing a claim. The dedicated team of asbestos attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC are prepared to defend your claim and help you recover from the expenses and damages incurred from asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.

For more information on how to seek compensation for your asbestos-related illness, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at 1-877-919-0830.

Am I at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma?

Professional construction worker using a drill, he is wearing a safety helmet and goggles
The unfortunate truth is that years of research has found that the hardworking people of this great nation – our construction workers, shipbuilders, military personnel, laborers, and the like – are those most susceptible to the cancer known as mesothelioma.

The culprit – asbestos.

While most people believe that the use of asbestos is a thing of the past, the American Cancer Society states that around 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma occur each year, suggesting that asbestos is still a clear and present danger. Unfortunately, it does not appear that this will change any time soon, either.

If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos, the national mesothelioma lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC have the experience you need to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

The Risks Involved in Asbestos Exposure

While it is well-known that asbestos exposure is the only cause for mesothelioma, only primary or secondary exposure will cause the disease to develop. Keep in mind, however, any exposure to asbestos is not considered safe.

What truly determines the risk of developing mesothelioma is predicated on several factors:

  • Concentration – This is equal to the amount of asbestos you are exposed to at one time.
  • Frequency – This is the number of encounters with asbestos someone has had over their lifetime.
  • Duration – This covers the length of time someone had been breathing in asbestos at any given time.
  • Asbestos-type – There are currently two types of asbestos:
    • Serpentine – Long and curly fibers.
    • Amphibole – Short and straight, much like a needle.

Individuals working in any occupations which requires frequent exposure to asbestos for long periods of time are at more of a risk of developing mesothelioma compared to those with minimal exposure to it.

What Exactly Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It forms in the protective tissues that surround the lungs, heart, and the abdomen.

People that are over the age of 60 are 10 times more likely to develop the disease when compared to people below the age of 40. This often fatal form of cancer is also 4.6 times more likely to develop in men older than 65 that have a blue-collar or military background and who worked in any of the following industries:

  • Construction
  • Firefighting
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical Refining
  • Power Generation
  • Shipbuilding
  • Military Service

Those exposed to asbestos while working in the previously mentioned industries often inhale or swallow airborne asbestos fibers. Those fibers can then become lodged in the delicate tissues surrounding the heart, lungs, or abdomen. Once they are embedded into the tissues, the fibers damage the mesothelial cells, causing inflammation.

Over time, tumors will begin to develop on these tissues, also known as the mesothelium. Symptoms signaling the possible onset of mesothelioma—especially for those that have been exposed to asbestos working in any of the fields above—include chest pains, coughing, and shortness of breath.

What Can I Do If I’ve Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma?

Outside of seeking medical aid, if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will need to act quickly.

The statute of limitations for this particular claim is two years from the day you or someone you love was diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease. In the case a loved one perished because of mesothelioma, you, or certain surviving family members, have a two-year period to file a wrongful death claim.

This is when you should contact the asbestos exposure attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC, experienced purveyors of justice for those that have gone on unheard.

How Can I Be Compensated?

Our asbestos exposure attorneys can help you fight for compensation to cover:

  • Medical expenses and/or future medical care costs
  • Physical impairment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium, spousal support, and companionship
  • Loss of the ability to support dependents
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity damages
  • Travel costs for medical treatment
  • Cost of daily living assistance
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Alternative therapies
  • End of life cost damages
  • Funeral expenses

In the unfortunate incident where you or a loved one is lost to mesothelioma, surviving family members can fight for compensation that includes:

  • Loss of parental care
  • Punitive damages (i.e. gross negligence)
  • Wrongful death claims

It bears repeating that if you or someone you love have been affected by this disease, you need proper representation to help take up your claim and fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Contact us today at (877) 919-0830 to set up your free legal consultation.

Trust the mesothelioma attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC to earn your trust and the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

How Mesothelioma Compensation Can Be Paid Out

wood gavel on cash background
The mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze & Runkle are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims who have been affected by asbestos-related illnesses as a result of another negligent party. Our experienced lawyers will develop the perfect strategy for your mesothelioma case to ensure that you get properly compensated for the pain and suffering caused by your exposure to asbestos.

One of the first steps we will take is to inform you of the type of compensation you are eligible to receive, which should be decided before officially filing your claim.

The 4 Main Types of Compensation You Can Receive for Your Mesothelioma Case

There are multiple way by which you may receive compensation for your mesothelioma case:

  1. Bankruptcy Trust Fund – Sometimes the company that is responsible for your asbestos exposure is no longer the same company because of a merger or because they have simply gone out of business.
  2. Even if the company in your lawsuit is categorized as such, you still have an opportunity to secure compensation for your pain. Some companies that have declared bankruptcy have done so as a result of multiple lawsuits filed against them. Oftentimes, these companies – who are responsible for exposing you to asbestos – have established trust funds specifically to compensate victims.

    This is designed to ensure companies that have created health issues for individuals are held responsible for their negligent actions.

    Keep in mind, however, that not ALL mesothelioma victims may receive this compensation. There are certain criteria that must be met to get compensation from a bankruptcy trust fund.

  3. Settlements –  Instead of spending money on legal fees, some companies may decide that it’s simply cheaper to settle out of court. Still, a defendant may let the case go to trial, but if it seems that the case is going to end in your favor, they may decide to settle outside of court.
  4. It is important to understand that a defendant’s decision to settle is not always a quick resolution.

  5. Trial Verdicts – This type of compensation is awarded if you win the trial and the defendant does not settle. It is important to know that every case is unique and the compensation provided will vary depending on what the jury decides.
  6. The compensation you will receive will depend on how the mesothelioma affected your life, the amount of wages lost due to the illness, the cost of medical expenses, as well as the pain and suffering you have experienced.

  7. VA Claims – Veterans that have served in the United States military, especially those that were part of the Navy, Coast Guard, or Marines, were more than likely exposed to asbestos at one point in time. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has named mesothelioma as one of the diseases which qualifies veterans to receive disability benefits. There are certain criteria that a veteran must meet in order to claim disability. Your mesothelioma lawyer will be well versed in the specifics, and will gladly help you with any questions you may have.

If you or a loved one are suffering from malignant mesothelioma after being repeatedly exposed to asbestos, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830 for a free consultation.

Process of a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Gavel and lawyer books isolated on white. Justice, law and legal concept. 3d illustration
The mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC are dedicated to providing the legal protection and guidance needed to successfully litigate your mesothelioma lawsuit.

The process of winning a mesothelioma lawsuit can be long and complicated without the assistance of a qualified lawyer. Trust in our experienced mesothelioma attorneys to provide you with the information you need to obtain the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

How Do I Choose the Right Mesothelioma Lawyer?

When choosing a lawyer there are a few things you could do to make your decision easier:

  • Ask for references – A lawyer,  with the permission of clients, can provide you with the contact information from previously satisfied clients who can give you insight into the lawyer’s ability, personality, and overall capability.
  • Lawyer Interviews – Once you have the lawyers that you may want to hire, your next step is scheduling a personal interview. This gives you the chance to have a one on one conversation with the lawyer to see if you feel comfortable with them and it also allows the lawyer to evaluate your case.
  • Finding Out About Costs – Lawyer fees could be the deciding factor for some clients. Although a quality lawyer will not be cheap, it will be well worth it.

I Have A Lawyer, What’s Next?

Even though the specifics of every case are different, there are a number of basic steps that occur when filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. Don’t worry if your not well versed in the process, our mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC will be there to help you every step of the way.

The process of filing a case and successfully winning includes:

  • Preparation – This is the stage during which you and your attorney will gather evidence and information. The evidence and information gathered will help indicate when and where your exposure to asbestos happened and who is responsible for your sickness.
  • Filing Your Complaint – This is one of the most important steps; the filing stage is when your lawyer prepares the complaint document to present to the court. This step is especially vital because your lawyer must create the document while abiding by the rules of the court, which your lawyer should be well versed in. These rules will include how the document is written as well as include details about your specific case. If there is anything wrong in your complaint document, it may fail to move forward.
  • Responses to Your Claims – After filing your claim, the defendant’s lawyers will receive a copy of your complaint. This is the part in the process where you may find out that the company you once worked for is no longer under the same name or is no longer in business due to bankruptcy or some other reason. Your attorney will then make sure that your claim ends up in the correct hands. This is also when your mesothelioma lawyer will respond to the defendants that deny responsibility for your sickness.
  • Discovery – During this portion of the process your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will gather information about your accusations. The defendant and their lawyer will try to find evidence that they were not responsible for your sickness and they will use a few different methods to do this. The opposing side will ask you to answer written questions, ask you to participate in a videotaped deposition, and ask you for documents such as your medical history report. It’s common that the opposing lawyer ask for information from people that are close to you, they may even ask about your personal habits. Your lawyer will also take these steps and ask the defendant questions to gather proof that they, in fact, caused your sickness. This step may seem intimidating but your trusted mesothelioma attorney will be there to help prepare you for your deposition.
  • Settlement – If the defendant decides they don’t want to take this case to trial, now is when they would offer a settlement offer to you.
  • Trial – Where you live will decide how the trial process goes; there are instances where you may not need to show up in court. If you win the case, however, that may not be the end of your process – the defendant always has the chance to file an appeal.
  • Appeal – Some of the reasons an appeal may be filed is if the defendant believes the rules of the court were not correctly applied to the case or if there was a mistake that affected the trial outcome. One of our lawyers here at Hotze & Runkle will be able to further explain the appeal process to you.

If you or a loved one are suffering from malignant mesothelioma after being repeatedly exposed to asbestos, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830 for a free consultation.

Which Type of Mesothelioma Lawsuit is Best for Me?

Diagnosis Mesothelioma and stethoscope on a desk.
Every mesothelioma case comes with its own unique details, making every lawsuit different. Not every lawyer is capable of handling the varying types of mesothelioma lawsuits that could apply to your situation.

That is why it is so important to begin the process of finding the right mesothelioma lawyer immediately after you have been diagnosed. There are statutes of limitations that can affect your ability to seek the compensation you deserve if you wait to long for legal protection.

Every mesothelioma case is unique, and because of this, could be handled individually or as part of a class action lawsuit. The experienced mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC will advise you about which type is best for you.

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Every mesothelioma case is unique, and because of this, could be handled individually or as part of a class action lawsuit. The experienced mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC will advise you about which type is best for you.

The different types include:

Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury lawsuit is filed after an individual is diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. Personal injury lawsuits seek to hold the company or companies responsible for exposing the individual to asbestos. If this type of lawsuit is won, it would result in compensation for lost income (due to the injury), any medical care the patient received and will need, pain and suffering, and any related costs due to illness or recovery.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by a surviving family member on behalf of the decedent. Like a personal injury lawsuit, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed against the company or companies that are responsible for the asbestos exposure that led to the illness and death.

Family members can receive compensation for damages including but not limited to: outstanding medical bills, funeral costs, loss of benefits to the family from the relationship with the decedent, loss of potential income, pain and suffering, and other related losses.

Class Action Lawsuits

A class action lawsuit is one lawsuit filed by a group of people (referred to as a class) who may be suffering from similar damages caused by the same company/companies. In a class action lawsuit, the representing attorney will choose one individual case to be the sole representative of the entire group.

If your class action lawsuit is rejected, then all the cases within the class will still be able to move forward individually. If it is granted, then identifying members of the class action suit begins. Most class action lawsuits settle before going to court, and if compensation is won, then the damages are split between the members of the class.

Multidistrict Litigation

Multidistrict litigation, also known as MDL, allows individuals to file a claim under a streamlined process to allow the courts to handle more cases without the fear of back logging. A panel of several judges will determine whether they will consolidate these cases.

Benefits of Veterans

Veterans are able to file a claim with the VA for compensation for any injuries or illnesses that occurred as a result of their military service. Those that served in the U.S. military are at a greater risk of developing mesothelioma because of the asbestos used in military vessels, barracks, pipe coverings, and other tools or machinery. Individuals who were in the U.S. Navy are at the most risk because of their work in shipyards.

If you or someone you love is suffering from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830 for a free consultation. Our mesothelioma lawyers are ready to fight for you.

Mesothelioma FAQ


At Hotze Runkle PLLC, we understand the devastating effects that mesothelioma can have on the lives of those suffering from the disease. Companies have immorally and illegally exposed hundreds of thousands of American workers and families to mesothelioma-causing asbestos.

Hold those responsible for your pain accountable for their actions.

If you are uncertain about what comes next and whether or not you can take legal action against the party that exposed you to asbestos, then please continue reading for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about mesothelioma lawsuits.

What is mesothelioma?

According to the National Cancer Institute, malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin tissue lining of the lungs, chest wall, heart, as well as the abdominal cavity.

How does one get mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma stems from exposure to asbestos. Individuals that are most likely to suffer from mesothelioma are those that were exposed to asbestos while on the job. Others that may be suffering from the disease may have been exposed to asbestos in their household, most likely without ever knowing.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a heat-resistant mineral that can be woven into fabrics. The mineral is mostly used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as pipe insulation. Asbestos was used for decades in a number of industries. This use of asbestos was profitable for companies but dangerous and toxic for workers.

How much exposure does it take to get the disease?

Individuals with prolonged exposure to asbestos are at a greater risk of developing mesothelioma. Although, there have been cases in which people have had very little exposure.

It is important to understand that just because symptoms are not showing up right now does not mean that you are in the clear. People exposed to asbestos from the 1940’s-1970’s are now being diagnosed with the disease.

Symptoms of mesothelioma?

Some symptoms of mesothelioma that affect the lungs appear similar to pneumonia. It is essential that you seek medical care immediately to verify whether or not you are dealing with mesothelioma or some other health issue.

Symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss

Some symptoms that may affect the lining of the stomach include:

  • Swelling of the abdomen (due to the buildup of fluids)
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Obstruction of bowels
  • Anemia
  • Swelling of the feet

Some patients show no symptoms; if you have had excessive exposure to asbestos it is important to get a medical check including an x-ray.  A chest x-ray will show if you have a buildup of fluid in your lungs.

An x-ray or CT scan is helpful at showing signs of danger and are needed to properly diagnose your condition. However, a tissue sample is the only way to know for certain.

What are my treatment options for mesothelioma?

To treat malignant mesothelioma, there are four types of standard treatment options: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Each of these treatments are used for certain types of mesothelioma.


The surgical option is usually used for those that have Stage I malignant mesothelioma. Surgical treatments are used for mesothelioma in the chest and include:

  • Wide local excision is a surgery used to remove the cancer as well as some of the healthy tissue around it.
  • A pleurectomy and decortication removes the lining of the chest, as well as part of the surface of the lungs.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy is surgery to remove one entire lung and some lining on the chest, lining on the diaphragm, and lining around the sac of the heart.
  • Pleurodesis is a treatment that drains the fluid between layers of the pleura (thin layered tissue).


The patient may be given either chemotherapy or radiation therapy in order to kill any cancer cells that may be left after surgery. Usually used for Stage II, III, or IV malignant mesothelioma, doctors may use two types of radiation therapy, external and internal.


Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is used when mesothelioma has spread to the tissue that lines the abdomen and the organs of the abdomen.

Targeted Therapy

This therapy option causes less damage to healthy cells than chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Can I sue if I have mesothelioma?

Every situation is different and dependent on a number of factors including:

  • How you were exposed.
  • Where you were exposed.
  • The party responsible for your exposure.
  • Time frames of exposure.
  • When you were diagnosed.

Contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today to see if you are eligible.

Do I need a lawyer?

In any situation which you will be filing a lawsuit, hiring an attorney is a good idea. Especially one that has plenty of experience in mesothelioma lawsuits. This guarantees that your rights will be protected and that you will obtain the compensation needed to help ease your situation.

If you or a loved one are suffering from malignant mesothelioma after being repeatedly exposed to asbestos, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830 for a free consultation.