Colorado Asbestosis / Mesothelioma Lawyer
Asbestos are a collection of six fibrous minerals – amosite, acitinolite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite – that were used widely in industrial and commercial applications throughout the 20th century. Asbestos is extremely durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions that cause other materials to break down. For these reasons, asbestos was used in roof shingles, floor and ceiling tiles, car parts, and many other construction materials. Even the United States military mandated its in every service branch.
However, it was discovered in the 1970s that asbestos is extremely toxic – and even carcinogenic – to the human body. Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and several other potentially fatal diseases. While evidence was presented earlier, by the time researchers officially connected asbestos to these diseases, millions of workers had already been exposed. Asbestos use has declined significantly in the the U.S., however, an estimated 107.000 workers are still exposed to asbestos each year.
Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that develops, most often, in the abdomen – as peritoneal mesothelioma– and lungs – as pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, when asbestos fibers are lodged in the lungs or abdomen, and has no known cure. Mesothelioma is extremely deadly, with patients typically having a prognosis of 12-24 months after being diagnosed with the disease. Doctors diagnose nearly 3,000 mesothelioma cases each year in the United States, 30 percent of which are military veterans.
Asbestos Lung Cancer
Asbestos Lung Cancer is another aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. When asbestos fibers enter the lungs, the size of the fibers will often determine whether the patient develops lung cancer or mesothelioma. Like mesothelioma, prognosis for those diagnosed with this type of lung cancer is very poor. Asbestos lung cancer represents four percent of all lung cancer fatalities in the U.S., an estimated 4,800 death per year.
Asbestosis is a chronic respiratory disease also caused by long-term ( it can take up to 40 years to develop) exposure to asbestos. In asbestosis cases, inhaled asbestos fibers are lodged in the lung’s air sacs and cause significant scarring in the lungs, making breathing difficult. While not a cancer, asbestosis has been shown to increase the likely hood of developing lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma.
Asbestos Risks in Colorado
While Colorado has many naturally occurring deposits of asbestos (such as the Calumet Mine, Iron King Mine and Dolores Co. Falcon Mine), it was also used heavily by energy and oil companies in the 1980’s. These companies used asbestos at refinery and power plants to guard against fires caused by overheating machinery. Grand Junction industrial or job sites with potential for asbestos exposure include, but are not limited to:
- American Gilsonite Company
- City Hall
- Climax Uranium Company
- Continental Oil
- Grand Junction Regional Center
- Grand Valley Oil & Shale
- Redlands Water & Power Company
- United States Vanadium Corporation
- Veterans Administration
- Walker Lybarger Construction Company
Do I Have Legal Recourse?
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with asbestosis or mesothelioma, you absolutely have legal recourse. A mesothelioma lawsuit can help hold companies accountable for continuing to expose workers and their loved ones to harmful asbestos fibers. In addition, a lawsuit can help compensate victims to help pay medical bills and overcome a loss of income.
What if the company that exposed me to asbestos filed for bankruptcy?
Due to the widespread use of asbestos and the resulting number of asbestos-related diseases, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against companies who mined or manufactured asbestos. Many of these companies filed for bankruptcy and are no longer in business. However, in almost every case, court ordered bankruptcy trust funds were set up to ensure that the companies left money in place to compensate those whom they put at risk. In many cases, a mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis diagnosis can be traced to a particular type and manufacturer of asbestos. Speak with a Grand Junction mesothelioma attorney today.