Tennessee has been around since before asbestos became a preferred fire retardant used in all kinds of home and commercial building. While asbestos is banned, it remains inside many older buildings, including locally. That makes the potential for suffering ill-effects and developing deadly mesothelioma even greater. When that happens, job providers and others are liable for damages.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are rising
Mesothelioma can occur when the fibers in asbestos are inhaled and embed themselves in the lungs. Over time, the lungs become irritated and grow scar tissue that greatly reduces oxygen intake and can develop into a deadly cancer. Although asbestos use is greatly reduced, mesothelioma lawsuits continue at a relatively steady pace. Other asbestos-related claims are declining at relatively high rates, but mesothelioma in particular is rising.
Long period between exposure and onset
Exposure to asbestos does not mean a rapid onset of mesothelioma. In most cases, the exposure occurred 30 to 40 years prior. OSHA banned asbestos use in the 1970s, but that leaves lots of people exposed decades ago who only might be feeling the ill effects now. That long delay can make it more difficult to pinpoint a direct cause and hold a particular party liable. Once a diagnosis of mesothelioma is made, a lawsuit is filed within a year.
Women filing claims at higher rates than men
From 2007 to 2017, filings among women more than doubled from 235 to 504. That is more than a 114 percent increase. Men greatly outnumber women in legal filings over mesothelioma but are not experiencing quite an increase in filings. Some 1,336 men filed lawsuits in 2007. That number rose by nearly 66 percent to 2,124 in 2017. When diagnosis occurs, an attorney experienced in mesothelioma cases can help assess the situation and build a strong case.