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Shapiro & Appleton

Mesothelioma: The Preventable Cancer

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There are few kinds of cancer that you can say are entirely preventable.  Most cancer risks are primarily just a question of genetics and bad luck.  Mesothelioma, a specific kind of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is a different story.  If you don't get exposed to asbestos fibers, you don't get mesothelioma.

This argument about how mesothelioma didn't have to happen is essential in handling cases against the railroad company for exposing workers to this toxic substance.  If the railroad company had simply listened to the decades of medical science linking this harmful product and the death of humans, they could have put a stop to this long ago.  Instead, the railroad industry, like other industries, simply ignored the evidence and warnings.  All they had to do was prevent workers from being exposed to asbestos while on the job and no one had to suffer the cruel death that comes with this disease.

Our firm handles mesothelioma cases on behalf of railroad workers.  Because these cases come under the Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA), they are even stronger than mesothelioma product liability cases in other industries.  All we have to show is that the railroad worker was exposed on the job to asbestos and they got mesothelioma.  Under these circumstances, as long as the railroad exposure on the job was a cause in whole or in part of the cancer and death, the railroad company is on the hook.

The real key in these cases is having access to the kinds of libraries of documents we already have which show that workers were exposed to asbestos on the job and the railroad industry knew it.  My law partner
Rick Shapiro has been very successful in pursuing these kinds of lung cancer cases in the past including a big appellate win against Norfolk Southern in a recent West Virginia (WV) case.  In that case, the railroad tried to wiggle out of its responsibility by claiming the railroad worker signed a release paper giving up his rights and that of his family to pursue his mesothelioma case at a time when he didn't even know he had the disease.

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