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North Carolina Asbestos Law Blog

Time between mesothelioma surgeries indicative of longer survival

North Carolina residents may be interested to hear that recently, cancer researchers analyzed patients with peritoneal surface cancers to determine if the interval between cytoreductive surgeries with heated hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is a marker for survival. Fourteen percent of patients in the study had peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of malignant mesothelioma initially affecting the lining of the abdomen. The other patients had peritoneal appendiceal, colorectal or ovarian cancer-related tumors. The study concludes that patients who live longer between surgeries have a greater chance of longer survival overall.

The researchers used a database of 1,314 patients who had CRS/HIPEC over approximately 22 years and determined there were 103 patients who underwent the procedures more than once. Examination of the 103 patients revealed that those who lived the longest after the first procedure (before undergoing a second) also lived the longest after the second procedure. According to the study, the time interval between surgeries is a major surrogate of tumor biology, which is helpful for doctors in selecting patients for repeat CRS/HIPEC.

Wrongful death suits for survivors of asbestos victims

Exposure to asbestos-containing products may have devastating consequences. If exposed for long periods of time, asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma can develop. With no known cure and a lengthy latency period, mesothelioma may claim the lives of those in North Carolina suffering without warning. In those situations, family members of the deceased may file a wrongful death suit to hold responsible parties accountable and receive compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of income and loss of parental guidance or love and companionship.

Wrongful death suits may be filed for several different circumstances including medical malpractice, elder abuse and exposure to occupational hazards such as asbestos. To prevail in a wrongful death suit for asbestos product exposure the victim's survivors must prove that the defendant caused the victim's death by either their intention to cause harm or negligence, that the survivors suffered monetary injury as a result of the victim's death and that a surviving family member is an official representative of the decedent's estate.

How should house flippers and remodelers handle asbestos?

Many people in North Carolina own older homes and decide that the time has come to remodel. Others flip houses, a usually profitable endeavor that involves purchasing a house, remodeling it and putting it back on the market within a short period of time. These older houses may present potential improvement or profit, but they may also contain unique hazards like asbestos if they were built before asbestos bans and regulations were enacted.

Asbestos exposure can lead to serious diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Therefore, it is imperative to be able to identify whether there is asbestos in the house and to know how to handle asbestos-containing materials prior to remodeling. The United States Environmental Protection Agency provides some helpful guidelines for safely identifying and handling asbestos.

New requirement for asbestos lawsuits passes House

Residents of North Carolina who have been made ill due to asbestos exposure may be concerned to hear that a bill imposing additional requirements on victims suing for asbestos exposure has just passed the North Carolina House Judiciary Committee. This proposed legislation raises concerns for asbestos victims, who may have a more difficult time obtaining compensation if the bill becomes law.

As discussed in a previous post, asbestos trust funds allow companies that are responsible for victims' asbestos-related diseases to compensate asbestos exposure victims despite claiming bankruptcy. Asbestos exposure victims are then able to avoid lengthy litigation by filing a trust fund claim and receiving compensation from the trust's reserves based on the type of disease they have and the amount of money the trust is able to provide.

Recent FDA approval may be promising for lung cancer patients

A previous blog post discussed an ongoing trial (Keynote-028) of a promising new treatment for mesothelioma. The study aimed to examine the effects of Keytruda, a checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy drug, on patients with mesothelioma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now approved Keytruda for treatment of advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, bringing it one step closer to becoming an approved treatment option for those with mesothelioma.

The Keynote-045 study aimed to test the effects of Keytruda on patients with advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, also called transitional cell carcinoma. This is a type of cancer most commonly affecting the urinary system. It is important to note that the inhalation or consumption of liquids containing asbestos may enter the urinary system. Even asbestos in the lungs can eventually pass into the blood stream, working its way toward the kidneys, which are connected to the bladder.

Wrongful death suits for secondhand asbestos victims

Despite its drastic reduction in use, asbestos is still claiming the lives of thousands of people each year. Prolonged exposure to the deadly mineral can result in fatal asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, COPD and mesothelioma. These diseases affect not only those in North Carolina who are exposed to asbestos directly, but also those who are exposed to it secondhand.

What are asbestos trust funds?

Over four decades ago, it was established that companies were using asbestos in their products despite their knowledge of its lethal health risks. As more people began to file lawsuits and companies were unable to satisfy their financial liabilities, asbestos trust funds were created.

North Carolina residents may know that asbestos is responsible for many illnesses including mesothelioma, which has no known cure. People who contracted mesothelioma and other types of asbestos-related diseases were filing individual lawsuits against the companies they worked for. This not only placed a burden on the victims, but also companies that were forced to file for bankruptcy.

Mesothelioma: symptoms and risk factors

Thousands of people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. The latency period for mesothelioma is particularly long. Consequently, it has decades to establish itself in the body before disease diagnosis and treatment.

Especially for people in high-risk occupations due to asbestos exposure, it is critical to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms associated with mesothelioma. The earlier it can be detected, the more treatment options are available and therefore, the higher the chance of survival.

$81.5 million awarded in wrongful asbestos-related death case

$81.5 million was the verdict in an asbestos- related death case last week - it was among the largest amounts ever awarded in the state. The award went to the family of a heavy equipment operator who died in 2015 from complications associated with mesothelioma that resulted from asbestos exposure.

NAPA Auto Parts and Genuine Parts Corp. were found to be strictly liable for their companies' asbestos-containing products that led to the victim's death.

Asbestos-related deaths still high despite regulation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that asbestos-related deaths are still occurring at alarming rates. Despite regulations imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos remains a danger to workers in susceptible fields of labor such as construction.

Mesothelioma, a type of cancer resulting from asbestos exposure, is taking a fatal toll on people exposed to asbestos many years ago. The reason for this is that it can take up to 70 years for mesothelioma to develop after initial inhalation of asbestos fibers.

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