What is a Mass Tort Case?

The answer is pretty simple: a mass tort case involves a large group of people who were hurt by a singular event. The most famous one in West Virginia was probably the Upper Big Branch disaster, which took the lives of twenty-nine people as a result of one explosion. Another example would be the asbestos that has poisoned thousands of West Virginia workers since the 1940s. Mass tort cases in West Virginia are handled by mass litigation panels that help experienced lawyers move the cases through the system with great efficiency.   If you have the disease mesothelioma, which was caused by the asbestos used to insulate factories in the forties, fifties, sixties and early seventies, your case will be handled as a mass tort case in West Virginia. It will be streamlined by the mass litigation panel. There’s one judge on this panel who tries mesothelioma cases four times a year, which is usually about fifteen to twenty cases each time. As a result of that, we know what discovery needs to happen and what documents we need to prepare in order to get your case to trial.   The Segal Law Firm knows what information is required by […]

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Class Action Cases: A Vehicle for the Masses

Class action lawsuits are a vehicle for several people with a similar type claim to bring a case against the same defendant all at once. Usually it involves everyone getting hurt by the same medicine or getting overcharged by the same financial institution. The good news is, you’re offered plenty of protection as part of the class action.   Let’s say the bank overcharges you five cents for a check. Well, you can’t sue the bank for five cents or even five hundred dollars! In fact, it would cost you more to hire a lawyer. But if all the people who use that bank and those checks got together in a class action, they would be able to afford to sue the bank and get that money back. That’s why you see a lot of class actions against financial institutions, lending companies and credit card companies.   It can also involve certain types of medicine. If a drug is put on the market that is dangerous and the FDA had been misled by the drug company, groups of people can ban together to bring a class action. They might ask for things like medical monitoring, which is a certain type

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A Mesothelioma Diagnosis Later in Life

The First Symptoms of Mesothelioma Dealing with a cancer of any type is a difficult process, regardless of when or how it is contracted. Mesothelioma is no different. The beginnings of this cancer usually manifest in the chest, with shortness of breath or pain in the area. If the cancer happens to form in the stomach, with is rare, then you’d start to feel the pain there. To confirm that the symptoms are in fact due to mesothelioma, the doctors begin to look at x-rays and CAT scans and, generally speaking, a biopsy of the lining of the lung is necessary to make a definitive diagnosis.   I Haven’t Been Around Asbestos For Years; Why Am I Diagnosed Now? One of the most difficult parts of this disease is that it seems to creep up on you. It’s usually an absolute shock to the families when a diagnosis is made. Mesothelioma is actually a very rare cancer but, unfortunately, it’s not so rare for those that have worked in industrial facilities. Most people who develop the disease haven’t been around asbestos for twenty, thirty or even forty years. It has what is called a long latency period. When you are

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Why Mesothelioma Takes So Long To Show Up

Mesothelioma And Its Latency Period Mesothelioma is a rare, but extremely aggressive cancer, mainly caused by the use of asbestos products in industrial facilities. The process one goes through after being diagnosed with the disease is brutal for the whole family. It’s an often shocking diagnosis because usually the patient hasn’t been around said asbestos for several decades. The disease has a long latency period, meaning exposure may not manifest as cancer for thirty plus years. This helps explain why cases are still showing up, even after OSHA, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, regulated the asbestos industry in the early 1970’s. Here we are, decades and decades after, and we’re still seeing cases of mesothelioma due to its latency. To make things clearer, think about sunburn; you go out into the sun, stay there too long and you burn immediately. A sunburn is not a latent disease. However, if you smoke cigarettes, even if you quit, you may still develop a cancer years later. Asbestos and mesothelioma are like that. It’s not unusual for folks to be diagnosed twenty, thirty or forty years after they’ve left their jobs at the chemical plants, power houses, and industrial facilities. How Much

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What is Mesothelioma and What Should I Expect?

What is Mesothelioma? Over the years, I have dealt with literally hundreds of people who have had the disease mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer in the lining of the lungs and, less frequently, the lining of your stomach. When it becomes cancerous, it is extremely aggressive and debilitating.   What Should I Do If I’ve Been Diagnosed? It is important for people suffering from mesothelioma to have a close relationship with their primary care physician and hospice because they are going to need a very intense, very carefully thought out pain management plan. Unfortunately, it is invariably a fatal cancer. A pain management plan and a good rapport with the hospice nurses and your primary care physician are critically important steps to take once you’ve been diagnosed.   What Should I Expect? Mesothelioma has side effects that can be extremely painful for both the person that contracts the disease and his/her family. One of those side effects is a great loss in appetite. As a result, we see our clients suffering severe weight loss and are almost emaciated by the time the cancer has run its course. Because the disease takes such a toll on the body, you must be

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Your Mesothelioma Attorney: Experience Counts

When you’ve been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, the last thing you want to think about are legalities. But because of the terrible toll the disease takes on you and your family, it’s crucial to find an attorney that can protect you and make sure you get the help you deserve. When it comes to picking your lawyer, you need to find someone who has so much experience with mesothelioma cases that they can easily take over and you can focus on the more important aspects of life. Your lawyer needs to have experience with the disease, its medicine, the history of the industry, extensive knowledge of the worksites that exposed workers to asbestos and experience in the courtroom trying mesothelioma cases. Experience with the History So, let’s talk about the first one; experience with the history of the asbestos industry. Why is that important? If you don’t have experience with the history, then you won’t know which products were used during which periods of time. This is critical in finding out the specific asbestos that was the cause of your client’s mesothelioma. Many people think that all asbestos is the same- this is untrue. There’s chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite and something known

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In A Mesothelioma Case, Legal Experience Matters

When you’re dealing with a complex and dangerous cancer, such as mesothelioma, it can be overwhelming when deciding how best to protect yourself legally. The most important thing is a lawyer’s experience. The main question to ask before making any hiring decisions is has the lawyer tried mesothelioma cases in front of a jury? Obviously, asbestos companies are going to offer the most money to lawyers who are experienced in actually trying mesothelioma cases and those who have gotten verdicts against them. The second reason experience is so important is you’re going to be looking back twenty, thirty, forty, or even fifty years into your work history. At The Segal Law Firm, we have thousands of sworn statements from people who worked in power houses, chemical plants and industrial facilitates. These statements tell us what asbestos products and whose asbestos products were used at various facilities over the years. This is critically important to your case because you don’t only have to prove you have the disease mesothelioma, you have to prove whose asbestos you’ve breathed that gave you the disease and if you don’t have a lawyer who has that information in his databases, you’re going to have an

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What can lead to victory in a Mesothelioma case?

It’s not very difficult to win Mesothelioma cases because there is an enormous body of scientists who agree that the most common cause of Mesothelioma in North America is the exposure to asbestos. The question you have to ask is, how was the person exposed? Were they a pipe fitter? A boilermaker? An electrical worker? Did they work around power houses? Chemical plants? Industrial facilities where asbestos insulation was used? If you have a good exposure history and you know what products the person worked with or were around – you have a very high likelihood of succeeding in your case. Not all asbestos products cases are the same, not all asbestos exposure is the same. You have a very good likelihood of obtaining substantial settlements on your behalf and your family members because unfortunately Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer and almost always fatal. We work very closely with the worker and the family to protect them and get them good settlements, sometimes in the millions of dollars. We are able to do that because we have literally tens of thousands of depositions of workers who know where and what asbestos products were used throughout the industrial facilities in

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Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive cancer. It is rarely, if ever, curable and almost always fatal. The settlements range for these cases based on several critical factors. First, how was the person exposed and how many products containing the asbestos can we prove they were exposed to. That’s a critical part of what we do at the Segal Law Firm. We have literally thousands of workers’ depositions that identify the various types of asbestos that were used in the state of West Virginia in factories, power houses, chemical plants and other industrial facilities. The disease can tragically affect people in their 50s, 60s and 70s. For much older folks, the cases are worth less because their life expectancy at the time they contracted the disease was less than it would be for an individual who is younger. Generally, you see settlements in Mesothelioma cases where you have very difficult product identifications and much older people. Those cases may only settle in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars whereas younger people with good exposures – that would be people in their 60s and early 70s –will probably settle somewhere in the millions of dollars. It is a wide range, but

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Mesothelioma – Specialized System Gets You In Court

Some court cases take years to see the inside of a courtroom but with mesothelioma cases, things get sped up. The exigent docket or commonly referred to as the “rocket docket” is most unique and specific law that people need to be aware of. The docket basically allows mesothelioma people to get a trial within a year to two years of their diagnosis. Basically, the case is handled by two judges – one handles one type of mesothelioma cases and the other handles all railroad mesothelioma cases. They each have dockets every few months where 20 cases are chosen for trial. The cases are prioritized by: Are they a living mesothelioma? Highest priority Deceased mesothelioma Lung Cancer – living Lung Cancer – deceased There are some other variables the judges and the lawyers use, but generally speaking, these are the most important ones. Your lawyer gets you on a docket in a year, or six months or nine months, and you’re automatically under a court order that tells you what the time frames are. Your lawyers, if they’re experienced, should know exactly what the judge is going to require of you, of your lawyers, what information they have to provide

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