A 1964 study of asbestos workers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association proved that people working with asbestos-containing materials had an abnormal incidence of asbestosis, lung cancer and Mesothelioma. Steven Kazan filed a precedent-setting litigation in 1966 on behalf of Reba Rudkin, who developed asbestosis after working for 29 years at the Johns-Manville manufacturing plant in Pittsburg , Calif.

    The first OSHA asbestos-exposure standard was issued in 1971, followed by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ban on spray-on asbestos insulation in 1973. The Manville Trust was formed in 1974 to settle asbestos personal-injury claims resulting from exposure to asbestos-related products mined or manufactured by the Johns-Manville Corp. and its affiliated entities. By 1978, a judge ruled there was "a conscious effort by the [asbestos] industry in the 1930s to downplay or arguably suppress the dissemination of information to employees and the public for fear of the promotion of lawsuits." After this statement, the EPA announced its intention to issue a rule banning all uses of asbestos.

    First Government Asbestos Ban

    OSHA tightened asbestos-exposure standard in 1986. By 1989, the EPA had banned asbestos in most major uses. However, a federal law suit by the asbestos companies in 1991 overturned the EPA's asbestos ban. OSHA tightened asbestos-exposure standards again in 1994. Finally, in 1999, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Owens Corning willfully withheld information about the danger of working with the company's asbestos products stating, "It would be difficult to envision a more egregious set of circumstances... a blatant disregard for human safety involving large numbers of people put at life-threatening risk."

    In 2003, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced legislation to set up a $108 billion national trust fund to compensate asbestos victims, cap business liability and ease the filing of lawsuits.

    Choosing a Mesothelioma lawyer

    Now that you're aware of the above fees for your mesothelioma litigation, consider some crucial points regarding choosing your asbestos attorney.

    • Mesothelioma Cancer Network Recommendation - Have you joined any mailing list for mesothelioma or cancer in general? If so, ask for personal recommendations. Why did the person choose that mesothelioma lawyer? How was their personal attention? What's their track record in settling asbestos cases? etc.etc.etc. Lawyers depend on good client relations and word of mouth reference for good business. However, you should not expect any type of guarantee just because a fellow mesothelioma patient may have done well in their case - everyone's circumstances are different, and therefore so are the results.
    • Check records - Check background, experience, disciplinary record of any potential mesothelioma lawyer candidate. Many states currently require all lawyers to graduate from college and law school, pass a written exam, pass a character and fitness review, and be licensed to practice law. Also, many lawyers take continuing legal education classes each year. You can find out about many mesothelioma lawyers' backgrounds by checking legal source books in your local law library or public library.
    • Consider the mesothelioma lawyer's training and experience - Ask if the lawyer has handled similar asbestos matters, and what the outcomes were. Also ask if the lawyer has taken any continuing legal education courses regarding asbestos law and mesothelioma lititgation which relate to your problem.
    Consider mesothelioma specialization - Can you uncover lawyers who concentrate exclusively or almost exclusively in the representation of individuals and families of individuals with mesothelioma and lung cancer? If so, this can be very advantageous because mesothelioma is the main focus - the lawyers won't be subjected to distrations of other legal, non-asbestos cases