Mesothelioma Compensation Claims
You or a loved one may recently have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and advised to seek legal support. You may have developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure: this could be through an occupation such as shipbuilding, railway engineering or asbestos product manufacturing. You may have been exposed as a family member of an individual whose work clothes were contaminated with asbestos fibres, or as a teacher or pupil in a school. You may not even remember where you were exposed to asbestos.
You may wish to seek compensation to assist with your wellbeing and that of your loved ones. You will need specialist legal advice throughout the process.
How we can help…
Your employer owes you a duty of care to ensure your health and safety are safeguarded at work, including not exposing you to dangerous substances such as asbestos: we can help trace the employer responsible for your exposure.
Our lawyers specialise in mesothelioma compensation claims and we have close working relationships with medical experts such as consultant physicians and specialist nurses. We can help you throughout each stage of the process, from establishing a case through to advising you on the additional support available. As a sufferer of mesothelioma, you are very likely to be eligible to receive immediate financial help.
We are mindful of bringing cases to a timely and satisfactory conclusion and your dedicated legal advisor will be on hand to discuss any queries or concerns you may have throughout your case.
Our team of mesothelioma solicitors have substantial experience in mesothelioma cases and will take away the anxiety of making a compensation claim. We can discuss your case either at your home or by telephone or email and members of the team can be available outside of normal office hours to offer support and guidance.
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Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the pleura – the mesothelium (membranous lining) surrounding the lungs.
Over 90% of cases are linked to asbestos exposure. When asbestos fibres are inhaled or swallowed, they can cause scarring of the lung tissues, cancer of the bronchial tree (lung cancer) and sometimes cancers in the pleura and peritoneum.
A wide range of occupations, notably shipbuilding, railway engineering and asbestos product manufacture, are associated with an increased risk.
Family members of people whose work clothes were contaminated with asbestos fibres are also at risk, as well as individuals exposed as children or teachers in schools. The condition is significantly more common in men, with a male to female ratio of 5:1.
People suffering with mesothelioma are diagnosed by a consultant chest physician following a short illness with symptoms such as breathlessness and coughing.
Diagnosis is usually between the ages of 60 and 79 years, but although this is the most common age range, a significant number of much younger and also much older people are also affected.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma usually develops 20–50 years after exposure to asbestos. More than 2,000 cases were diagnosed each year between 2011 and 2015, reflecting a lag from the highest use of asbestos in the 1970s. An estimated 65,000 cases are expected to occur between 2002 and 2050.
The use of asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999 however asbestos is still present in buildings, for example in old floor or ceiling tiles, insulation and pipes.
Most patients complain of chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue. Many have pleural effusions (build-up of fluid in their lungs) evident on examination and x-ray. Tiredness, excessive sweating, persistent coughing, unusual weight loss or anorexia, pain or difficulty in swallowing and altered sense of taste can become common. The NHS recommend that anyone suffering from a persistent cough, lasting for more than 3 weeks, should get checked out by a doctor.
There is no standard treatment pathway for malignant pleural mesothelioma in England and Wales. A patient may receive a combination of treatments from different medical disciplines. The NHS and NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) publish guidelines for cancer diagnosis and treatment pathways, specific to the type of cancer involved. There is a dedicated Mesothelioma Framework, just as there is for Lung Cancer, Skin Cancer, Bowel Cancer etc.
Treatments for mesothelioma (and lung cancer) may include draining excess fluid from the pleural cavity and applying a talc pleurodesis (the insertion of talc to bind the lung wall to the mesothelium aimed to prevent further fluid accumulation in this cavity), palliative radiotherapy, analgesics (pain killers), steroids, appetite stimulants and bronchodilators. Subject to the staging and condition of the patient, surgery may be offered.
Pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin is the only chemotherapy regimen that is currently licensed and approved by NICE. However, a variety of combination and single-agent regimens such as the mitomycin C, vinblastine and cisplatin combination (MVP) or vinorelbine may be offered and have been demonstrated to be effective.