If you have lived and worked in Illinois for a substantial period of time, you may have been exposed to asbestos, a term for silicate minerals that were historically used in a number of products. Long-term exposure to asbestos can cause serious illnesses, chief among them mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.
There is no known cure for mesothelioma. The disease can take decades to develop, and physicians frequently fail to diagnose it in a timely fashion because of how uncommon it is. All of this can create costly, chronic problems for mesothelioma sufferers.
And many of them live in Illinois. According to the CDC, Illinois has a mesothelioma mortality rate of about nine people per million annually, with 2,003 Illinois residents dying from the disease between 1995 and 2015. Certain counties in Illinois have ranked among the 50 highest in the nation in terms of the age-adjusted mesothelioma mortality rate, including Lake, LaSalle, and McClean, but asbestos exposure has occurred in major cities throughout the state, such as Chicago, Libertyville, and Rockford.
Fortunately, those suffering from asbestos-related injuries may be eligible to receive a financial settlement. To help make sure that you are fully and fairly compensated for your asbestos claim, turn to the Chicago mesothelioma attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
For more than four decades, GWC has fought to obtain the largest verdicts and settlements possible for wrongfully injured clients. So if you are suffering from the effects of prolonged exposure to asbestos, contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Chicago mesothelioma lawyer. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is caused by the inhalation of asbestos. Over time, asbestos fibers become trapped in the protective lining of the lungs or other organs in the chest and abdomen, irritating the cells and potentially causing them to mutate and form tumors.
What Other Diseases Are Caused by Asbestos?
In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos can also trigger such diseases as asbestosis – a painful and scarring illness that impacts lung tissue – and lung cancer.
Who Is At Risk of Developing Mesothelioma?
Anyone exposed regularly to asbestos is potentially at risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. However, because Illinois is not home to any naturally occurring asbestos or active asbestos prospects, the majority of mesothelioma patients are exposed in the workplace, without their knowledge and through no fault of their own. Certain workplaces offer a greater risk of exposure because they more heavily utilize common asbestos products, including:
- Electric Wiring
- Naval Vessels
- Roofing Materials
- Ceiling Tiles
- Brake Shoes
Illinois has had a number of workplaces that make heavy use of these potentially asbestos-rich materials, such as:
- Oil Refineries – The oil industry commonly used asbestos because of its extreme resistance to heat.
- Paper Mills – Asbestos was often utilized in building materials, machinery, and insulation in paper mills built between the 1930s and 1970s.
- Auto Assemblies – These facilities have relied on asbestos-laden materials in the assembly process, including brakes and wheel hubs.
- Steel Mills – Illinois steel mills have frequently employed asbestos insulation to protect machinery from possible fires and extreme heat.
- Military Bases – Veterans are among the groups most affected by mesothelioma because of the military’s widespread use of asbestos at a number of arsenals and bases.
- Power Plants – Plants throughout the country have employed asbestos in their machinery.
- Manufacturing Facilities – Illinois facilities took advantage of the natural resistance of asbestos to intense heat and most chemical reactions as part of their manufacturing processes.
- Chemical Plants – Asbestos could frequently be found throughout plants that produced chemicals, including in the pumps and boilers that controlled heat, cement, piping insulation, building materials, and workers’ equipment and protective clothing.
It is not only the workers using asbestos products who are at risk for mesothelioma and other related diseases. Studies have shown that asbestos fibers can spread in a 75-foot radius after a single disturbance, meaning that anyone in reasonably close proximity could be placed in harm’s way, from the technicians installing brakes on an auto assembly floor to the clerical workers filing in the office above them.
Even people who were nowhere near such environments could also be subject to contamination from asbestos. For example, workers who have gotten asbestos fibers snagged in their clothing have sometimes brought these fibers home with them, inadvertently putting their family in jeopardy as well.
Make THEM Pay for Your Asbestos-Related Disease
Though the use of asbestos has been declining dramatically since the 1970s, it is not illegal. In fact, the United States is one of the few developed countries not to have banned asbestos. This is not an oversight. It is part of a concerted effort on the part of asbestos industry supporters to oppose regulation, despite everything we know about the devastation that asbestos has left in its wake.
And this devastation continues to this day. Each year, an estimated 15,000 Americans are killed by asbestos-related diseases, while thousands of others are diagnosed with mesothelioma and incurable cancers.
The manufacturers of products containing asbestos knew how harmful it was and still used it anyway instead of available substitutes so they could continue to enjoy large profits, all without warning workers or consumers. They chose the bottom line over the public good, and generations of Americans have been paying the price ever since.
We think it is high time to make THEM pay. If you are suffering from the effects of decades of corporate greed, you should not have to worry about the financial and human costs of your asbestos-related illness. The United States Congress has set up an asbestos trust fund that could provide significant financial compensation for victims and their families. To help maximize the value of your asbestos claim, contact the Chicago mesothelioma attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC today.
At GWC, we have recovered over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Our reputation for success precedes us wherever we go, both inside and outside of the courtroom. GWC’s dedicated personal injury lawyers would be honored to fight to get you the justice you deserve for your mesothelioma diagnosis.
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