North Carolina Mesothelioma Lawyer

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North Carolina Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure Attorney

Wallace & Graham, P.A. has fought for and won compensation for hundreds of victims of mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and other cancers from asbestos exposure. We have secured substantial settlements and jury verdicts across the United States in litigation against asbestos companies, product manufacturers and employers.

Our firm won a record-breaking $32.7 million* for the widow of a mesothelioma victim who was exposed to asbestos on the job. It’s the largest single-plaintiff verdict in North Carolina history.

Holding Manufacturers and Employers Accountable for Asbestos Disease

Due to the fatal nature of most asbestos-related diseases, they are a devastating diagnosis for the individual and heartbreaking for his or her family. Contact our attorneys to discuss your possible personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. From our office in Charlotte, North Carolina, we offer a free consultation.

Call now: 800-849-5291. Our No. 1 concern is ensuring that clients get proper diagnosis and timely medical treatment.

Asbestos Health Risks: They Knew. And They Should Pay.

The dangers of asbestos exposure were well-known for decades before the toxic substance was eventually banned for most uses. Paying off diseased workers became a business expense. Investing in protective gear or safer processes was out of the question. Keeping millions of working men and women in the dark was a high priority.

Hundreds of thousands of American workers have developed the lethal cancer mesothelioma or disabling asbestos diseases because of corporate greed, knowing indifference and unforgivable inaction.

Asbestos was prevalent in seemingly everything for much of the 20th century. Not only were asbestos miners exposed, but millions of Americans in manufacturing, industrial plants, construction and aboard U.S. Navy ships had close contact with high concentrations of friable asbestos. Millions more were exposed from workplace machines and consumer products that contained asbestos.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma: Making the Connection

The link between asbestos and mesothelioma (asbestos cancer) is no longer disputed. Asbestosis and lung cancer are also caused by asbestos exposure. But the time lag from exposure to symptoms is 10, 20, even 50 years.

Our challenge is tracing the source of exposure to determine which corporations are liable for damages (most clients were exposed at multiple jobs) and to get clients qualified for benefits such as workers’ compensation. Partners Bill Graham and Mona Lisa Wallace have nearly 40 combined years in asbestos litigation, supported by a dedicated team of experienced lawyers, paralegals and support staff.

We have worked on cases against some of the largest corporations in the U.S. We have tried cases in almost every one of the 50 states, and even represented citizens of other countries in international litigation over U.S.-manufactured products.

FAQs About North Carolina Mesothelioma Claims

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is sometimes mistakenly called lung cancer. It is actually a cancer of the linings around the lungs and adjacent organs.

About 75 percent of malignant mesotheliomas are pleural mesothelioma. Tumors form in the pleura, the thin protective sac encasing the lungs. Accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity (pleural effusion) is often how the disease is diagnosed. Another 10 to 20 percent of cases are peritoneal mesothelioma — whereby the cancer starts in the peritoneum, the lining around the abdominal organs. More rarely, mesothelioma originates in the pericardium (lining around the heart) or a pouch of the peritoneum encasing the testicles. A small percentage of mesothelioma tumors are benign (noncancerous).

Mesothelioma commonly goes undiagnosed until late stages when it has migrated to other organs and tissues. If you or your family member has symptoms of mesothelioma, contact Wallace and Graham, P.A.. Our experienced team helps clients get an accurate diagnosis and explore aggressive mesothelioma treatments to help keep the cancer at bay.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Asbestos exposure is the only proven cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a mineral once widely used in thousands of products and machines for its fire retardant, heat insulation and chemical resistance properties.

Asbestos fibers are microscopic, sharp and very light, remaining airborne for as long as 72 hours. When inhaled, the scarring can cause debilitating asbestosis and other lung illness. Mesothelioma develops as the fibers migrate from the lungs into adjacent tissues.

What are the symptoms for mesothelioma?

Symptoms for mesothelioma can include:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Irregular heartbeat

Note that lung problems such as a pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung, are also common symptoms of mesothelioma.

What are the stages of mesothelioma?

There are four progressive mesothelioma stages. The earlier the stage, the less severe the condition. The sooner in the stage that the cancer receives treatment, the better the prognosis for the patient. The stages include:

  • Stage 1 mesothelioma: A mesothelial tumor begins to grow in a localized area such as the pleura or the lining of one of the patient’s lungs. It is rare to receive a diagnosis this early in the stages of mesothelioma, but chemotherapy or surgery can usually treat it successfully.
  • Stage 2 mesothelioma: The mesothelial tumor spreads to the pleura on both sides of the body, to the lungs or to the diaphragm. Chemotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy can still offer the patient an optimistic prognosis.
  • Stage 3 mesothelioma: The tumor spreads to the lymph nodes, the outer layer of the pericardium around the heart or to the wall of the chest. Although surgery can effectively remove mesothelioma in some stage 3 cases, treatment usually includes palliative care.
  • Stage 4 mesothelioma: In the most severe stage, the mesothelioma has spread to the lining of the abdomen, the inner layer of the pericardium or the organs in the chest. Surgery can no longer treat the condition at this stage, and it is often terminal.

Whether you are currently in stage 1 or stage 3, you should contact an attorney. They will help you understand your legal options and can connect you to various mesothelioma treatment options.

How long before I see symptoms of mesothelioma?

The typical latency period (time between exposure and diagnosis) is 25 to 40 years, although it can be shorter than 10 years or longer than 50 years. Most asbestos products are now banned, but there are more than 2,000 new diagnoses each year because millions of Americans in a wide range of occupations were heavily exposed in the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and even into the ’80s. Others developed mesothelioma from second-hand exposure.

The typical person has no symptoms until the cancer has taken hold and spread. Average life expectancy from diagnosis is just 18 months. Those diagnosed in very late stages may die within a few months; others have survived several years if the cancer was detected and treated in an early stage.

Wallace & Graham, P.A. stays abreast of promising new treatments, including radical surgery to remove the diseased pleura. We associate with leading physicians at major research medical centers to help our clients expand their options for prolonging life and alleviating the agonizing symptoms of mesothelioma.

What kinds of cancer come from exposure to asbestos?

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused exclusively by asbestos exposure. The cancer develops by the inhaling of asbestos fibers. It may even develop from ingestion of asbestos, as some traces may be found in water.

How rare is mesothelioma?

Every year there are an estimated 3,000 cases reported of individuals with mesothelioma.

Is mesothelioma cancer curable?

If caught early, there may be successful treatments for mesothelioma. However, many people do not notice the disease until later on in life – in which case the cancer has developed, and the survival rate is significantly lower.

How much exposure to asbestos is cause for concern?

While many people may experience asbestos exposure at some point in their lives, the truth is that no amount of exposure to asbestos is safe. Any exposure is a cause for concern. Every circumstance is different, and you simply do not know how the exposure may affect you.

What is biphasic pleural mesothelioma?

Sarcomatoid, epithelial and desmoplastic are all different cell subtypes of mesothelioma. Biphasic pleural makes up for around one quarter of malignant mesothelioma cases and it contains both sarcomatoid and epithelial cells.

How does pleural mesothelioma affect the respiratory system?

The pleura is a membrane covering the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma is a very common form of mesothelioma. In these cases, the pleura may thicken and prevent the lung from expanding, thus complicating the lung’s performance.

Do I have a certain amount of time in which to file a mesothelioma lawsuit?

Depending on your state laws, the average amount of time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit is two years from your diagnosis. Note, however, that North Carolina and South Carolina have a three-year statute of limitations. Georgia holds to a two-year statute of limitations. And Tennessee’s statute of limitations is one year from diagnosis.

Talk to Our North Carolina Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure Attorneys

Call 800-849-5291 or contact us online for your free case evaluation.

“(Our competitors) are a bunch of fools for notifying employees who had asbestosis.”
“Do you mean to tell me you would let them work until they dropped dead?”
“Yes. We save a lot of money that way.”
— A 1943 conversation with the president of an asbestos company, as quoted in the testimony of attorney Charles H. Roemer, in his 1984 deposition in a civil lawsuit. (Johns-Manville Corp., et al v. the United States of America, U.S. Claims Court Civ. No. 465-83C)

*Each case is different and must be evaluated on its individual facts. Prior results do not guarantee any future outcomes.

North Carolina Mesothelioma Resources