The Law Offices of Justinian C. Lane have spent nearly a decade fighting for the rights of Americans injured by asbestos. Since our founding, we have helped our clients across the country recover millions of dollars in compensation.
The Law Offices of Justinian C. Lane, Esq.-PLLC, Only Practices Asbestos and Mesothelioma Claims Law
When Justinian C. Lane was first working as a law student, he was assigned two naval veterans as clients. Both had veterans who developed serious respiratory conditions after having been exposed to asbestos aboard ships while serving in WWII.
Like 20th-century industrial workers of all kinds, many soldiers and sailors never realized that even after combat, their body could be harboring a life-threatening disease.
As Justinian studied the law and history of the asbestos industry, he realized its troubled history had impacted him more personally than he had first realized.
Justinian realized that many of his own family members had passed away from asbestos-related illnesses, too. His father, who once worked in a titanium foundry, died from cancer. So did his grandparents, who were both exposed to asbestos dust during the Second World War.
Understanding how big the asbestos problem is…
Justinian never had the chance to find out if his father and grandparents’ illnesses were caused by asbestos exposure.
However, asbestos continues to exact a devastating toll on communities across the country.
We know today that asbestos is a potent human carcinogen, capable of causing medical conditions up to and including cancer. For decades, though, asbestos was a mainstay of American industry. Easy to mine and resilient to fire, electricity, and corrosion, asbestos had near-unlimited potential. During the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers identified asbestos as a promising solution to age-old concerns about fire safety and management.
By the time the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued its final asbestos regulations in 1989, most towns in the United States had been built using a wide range of asbestos-containing materials.
Even today, over 30 years since the E.P.A.’s last asbestos ban, scientists believe that most American homes built before the 1980s likely harbor hazardous concentrations of asbestos-containing material.
Asbestos Continues to Claim Lives Across the Country
Asbestos was prized both for its strength and durability.
But both qualities make asbestos such a significant risk to human health.
|Asbestos cannot be destroyed by fire or rain, but it can lose its structural integrity.|
|When asbestos-containing materials begin to degrade, they become friable. Friable asbestos, or asbestos that is easily crumbled, is very dangerous. It can be disturbed during routine home repairs, renovations, or other construction work.|
|When friable asbestos is disturbed, it can scatter microscopic asbestos fibers into the surrounding environment. These fibers are invisible, odorless, and small enough to be inhaled.|
Once asbestos is inside the body, it is all but impossible to fully eradicate.
|The American Lung Association notes the likelihood that once inhaled, some asbestos fibers will never leave the body.1|
Over time, asbestos fibers can become embedded in the lungs, causing scarring, inflammation, and even genetic mutations. Asbestos-related genetic mutations can provoke uncontrolled cellular growth, prompting the formation of malignant tumors.
|The National Cancer Institute states that “there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.” 2|
Assessing Your Risk for Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma
Almost anyone could be diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Mesothelioma and other cancers do not discriminate on the basis of age, location, or education.
However, some people face an elevated risk of asbestos-related mesothelioma.
In general, men over the age of 65 who served in the military or worked in a blue-collar occupation are the most likely to be diagnosed.
Occupations at high risk of asbestos exposure include, but are not limited to:
- Chemical refining
- Military service
- Power supply and generation
While former asbestos workers are at the highest risk, asbestos can also injure people who never worked with or around the mineral.
Mesothelioma in Modern America
Asbestos can cause a variety of serious respiratory conditions.
Mesothelioma, an especially aggressive cancer, is closely associated with asbestos exposure. It takes its name from the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue that surrounds most of the body’s major organs.
Since mesothelial tissue is spread throughout the body, cancers of the mesothelium can occur almost anywhere.
However, mesothelioma is most frequently diagnosed as:
- Pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma, or malignant pleural mesothelioma, is a cancer that affects the pleural lining of the lungs. Malignant pleural mesothelioma has a very long latency period and can take decades to develop. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age of diagnosis is 72.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects abdominal tissue. It can cause symptoms including abdominal pain, swelling, and nausea.
- Pericardial mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the tissue around the heart. While pericardial mesothelioma is relatively rare, it can cause significant health complications, including strained breathing and intense chest pain.
While mesothelioma diagnoses are reaching an all-time low, new cases are still anything but uncommon. Each year, an estimated 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, accounting for less than 0.3% of all cancer diagnoses. Scientists believe that older Americans, especially those who worked with or around asbestos, reman at the highest risk.
Mesothelioma Has No Cure, But Treatment Can Provide Hope
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is difficult to treat.
While mesothelioma has no known cure, there are common treatment options known in some cases to minimize pain and extend a prognosis:
Surgery may be performed for either of these reasons:
- To try to remove a tumor and cure the cancer
- To relieve pain and other symptoms caused by the tumor
During an operation, the surgeon might try to remove individual tumors or all of the affected tissue in a region. Since surgery is a physically intensive procedure, it is usually reserved for patients who are otherwise in good health.
Under certain, limited circumstances, surgery can successfully eradicate the cancer.
However, it is difficult for surgeons to remove every cancer-containing tissue. Even if a treatment appears to have served its purpose, residual cancer cells could cause later complications.
Radiation therapy uses targeted energy to damage and kill cancer cells.
While radiation therapy cannot always eradicate mesothelioma, it can prevent tumors from spreading to other parts of the body. Radiation can also help reduce pain-related symptoms, making it easier for patients to live independent lives.
Chemotherapy can be either of the following:
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which is a treatment designed to reduce cancerous tumors before curative surgery; or
- Adjuvant chemotherapy, which can be administered after surgery to purge any remaining cancer cells.
Chemotherapeutic medications can be taken as pills, but they are often either intravenous or surgically implanted.
Virotherapy is a novel cancer treatment that uses viral cells to destroy cancerous masses.
Once inside the body, virotherapeutic agents can infect cancerous cells and replicate, spreading to other tumors without affecting healthy tissue.
Immunotherapy uses drugs to stimulate a mesothelioma patient’s natural immune system, improving its ability to target and destroy cancer cells.
Clinical trials have shown that a combination of some experimental drugs—including Opdivo and Yervoy—could decrease tumor growth by enhancing special cellular functions.
The High Costs of a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
According to Asbestos.com, the average cost of treatment can exceed $12,000 per month.
Even Americans with high-quality health insurance may struggle to meet required co-pays and high-percentage deductibles for common treatments including:
- Chemotherapy¸ which can cost up to $40,000 for a first-time regimen.
- Surgery¸ which can cost more than $26,000 per operation.
- Radiation therapy¸ which can cost more than $9,000.
Researchers have found that the median “per episode costs for mesothelioma for the inpatient setting” exceed $25,000.
In other words, when mesothelioma victims are forced to go the hospital for anything more than a routine treatment, they and their health insurance provider are likely to be billed tens of thousands of dollars.
Mesothelioma patients face other damages. Aside from paying out-of-pocket for life-saving care, they might have to:
- Pay for expensive prescription medications, including painkillers and chemotherapy agents.
- Attend physical rehabilitation sessions, which are often mandatory for patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma
- Take time away from work, costing them the same money they need to use to fund their treatment and keep a roof over their head
Justinian C. Lane is Committed to Fighting for Mesothelioma Victims’ Rights
The Law Offices of Justinian C. Lane, Esq.-PLLC, are committed to providing unparalleled assistance to the victims of America’s century-old asbestos industry.
Our founder, Justinian C. Lane, understands how asbestos devastates lives and destroys families. Before he began practicing law, Justinian lost his father and his grandparents to aggressive, asbestos-related cancers. When they passed away, Justinian and his loved ones did not know that they could have claimed compensation.
However, now that the dangers of asbestos are a matter of common knowledge, the asbestos industry is being held accountable for its gross misconduct.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured by asbestos, our attorneys could help you obtain compensation through:
Every asbestos claim is different, but courts across the country regularly award seven-figure mesothelioma settlements. This is because judges have repeatedly found that asbestos companies were negligent: while they knew that their products were dangerous, they never took the precautions needed to protect their employees and the general public.
While you might not be able to remember whether an old home or former workplace contained asbestos, our experienced team of attorneys could help you investigate your past. Using technologies like W.A.R.D., our comprehensive database of asbestos-related workplace information, our firm could help you determine when and where you may have been exposed to asbestos.
Depending on the circumstances of your asbestos claim, the Law Offices of Justinian C. Lane, Esq.-PLLC, could help you, and your family, recover damages for losses including, but not limited to:
- Past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Prescription medication co-pays
- Paid deductibles
- Experimental mesothelioma treatments
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
While most states do not cap the damages you could receive in a mesothelioma lawsuit, it is imperative that you act fast: most states have statutes of limitations, which restrict how long you can wait to take legal action after a mesothelioma diagnosis or mesothelioma-related death. If you wait too long to contact an experienced asbestos claims attorney, the court could dismiss your case without giving you the chance to tell your side of the story.
For Justinian C. Lane, getting compensation for asbestos victims is personal.
Justinian’s grandparents and his father all worked with asbestos in their younger years and died from asbestos-related cancers in their later years.
At the time of each of their deaths, no one in Justinian’s family knew that they were eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit and to seek compensation from the asbestos trusts.
Because no one in Justinian’s family knew their options, they never received any compensation for the death of their loved ones.
If you believe that you or your family member’s injury was related to asbestos exposure, you could be entitled to significant compensation.
This is money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being.
There are also asbestos trusts that offer compensation much more quickly and easily (without filing a lawsuit.)
If you’d like help with filing a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], us or call or text us at (206) 455-9190. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options. And we never charge for anything unless you receive money in your pocket.
In addition to legal claims, veterans disability, social security and employment protection like workers compensation, FELA and The Jones Act for maritime workers, there are asbestos trusts that have been set up to compensate those harmed by asbestos without having to file a lawsuit.
There is no risk or cost to speak with one of our staff about your asbestos litigation. There are no fees unless you receive money.
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, check out our website and YouTube page for videos, infographics and answers to your questions about asbestos, including health and safety, asbestos testing, removing asbestos from your home and building, and legal information about compensation for asbestos injuries.
Introducing the largest database of asbestos information on the planet.
W.A.R.D., which stands for the Worldwide Asbestos Research Database, helps clients to narrow down when and where they may have been exposed, as well as which products may still contain asbestos. W.A.R.D. will also help indicate compensation types and how much a person may be entitled to.