Asbestos Allegedly Causes Mesothelioma in Male Patient

Stephen Gomez

Written by
— Updated on January 10, 2022

This case involves exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff was the spouse of the decedent, who passed away after battling mesothelioma. The decedent worked for a large urban construction company for thirty-three years, from the age of twenty-four until retirement at the age of fifty-seven. During his years working in construction, the plaintiff regularly installed asbestos into offices and homes as insulation. Eight years after retiring, the decedent began experiencing shortness of breath, pain in his chest, and developed a constant cough. He complained of the symptoms to his primary physician. The doctor performed a physical examination and X-rayed the decedent’s chest, which revealed pleural thickening. Subsequently, he ordered a CT scan, which also showed a large amount of fluid was present. The physician referred the decedent to an oncologist, who he saw three weeks later. The oncologist performed a thoracoscopy of biopsy tissue from the defendant’s chest. The test results confirmed that the decedent had malignant mesothelioma. Nine months after battling with mesothelioma, the decedent passed away and his family brought suit against the construction company for not providing adequate warning of the poor environmental working conditions.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. How has exposure to asbestos been linked to mesothelioma and what harm can it have on the body?

Expert Witness Response

Asbestos is a group of fiber-like minerals that naturally occurs in the environment. These fibers are resistant against heat, fire, chemicals, and do not conduct electricity. Thus, it is commonly used as an insulator in many industries. These fibers can break up are released into the air. When they are inhaled, they can become trapped in the lungs. Asbestos is a classified carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the EPA. Studies have shown that exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the membranes that line the chest cavity. Evidence has shown that individuals who frequently encountered the mineral are at a greater risk for developing mesothelioma, as well as a similar medical condition known as asbestosis. Early signs of the disease include difficulty breathing and chest wall pain. At an advanced stage, mesothelioma can lead to pleural effusion, jaundice, and blood clotting in the veins. I have over thirty-five years practicing medicine and have diagnosed numerous cases of mesothelioma.

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