Mesothelioma survival rates, even knowing that most mesothelioma cases are protracted, have still yet to improve despite advancements in medicine designed to spot early warning signs of this harrowing disease. While medical advancements are wonderful for everyone, technological advances need to speed things up before more lives are lost.
Mesothelioma Litigation Abuse?
Take Bestwall LLC, a subsidiary of Georgia Pacific, who just filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy while citing abuses in tort system. While certainly no local economy wants companies folding, litigation is necessary to help improve mesothelioma survival rates. This, too, forces companies to change manufacturing processes so future cases are minimal.
But are excessive claims ‘tainting’ the system?
Many law firms were started for the sole purpose of winning large settlements for clients – many who ‘claim’ they were injured, or related to family that was injured, due to asbestos exposure. Bestwall has felt the fury of hundreds of money-hungry claimants seeking financial awards exceeding six figures or more. This adds up quickly.
While the victories are adding up quickly, one cannot help but wonder if many of these claims are illegitimate. Especially since many mesothelioma law firms seem to beg people to step forward.
See, many companies will settle out of court simply to make their problems go away. Settling out of court doesn’t promise manufacturing processes will change – they only mean victims have been made whole. Several months down the road, when a company sends more retired folk into the community, these claims again increase because methods of production never changed.
Since 1977, it is estimated $2.9 billion has been paid to satisfy 430,000 suits. Bestwall, of late, has defended 80% of all mesothelioma suits. Most, of course, being settled before trial. The average mesothelioma case settlement? $1 – $1.4 million. Ouch.
Why Litigation Increases Mesothelioma Survival Rates
The law is designed to prevent abuse of ’cause and effect’. When pharmaceutical companies fail to disclose side effects, litigation gets them compliant. As such, litigating mesothelioma cases in large quantities doesn’t just happen for monetary reasons: the goal is bringing asbestos-abusing manufacturers into compliance.
The more compliant companies like Bestwall are, the more mesothelioma survival rates will improve.
Developing drugs and researching potential cures for lungs damaged by asbestos are perhaps more important, yet are roads less traveled in court.
Research costs money. Many companies who deal with substances that cause mesothelioma spend excess revenues on product development rather than setting aside funds to research.
Until our government totally outlaws the use of asbestos, courtrooms will continue to hear mesothelioma cases. It is the hope that eventually companies will either go broke, or start doing something about it.
Bear in mind that many companies existing today stopped using asbestos, so mesothelioma survival rates are improving; lawyers are going back as far as the statue of limitations allows to try and recover funds for in-laws, outlaws or anyone with a believable case of mesothelioma exposure.
Make no mistake: companies are fighting back these claims, especially ones that lack merit or irrefutable evidence. Johnson & Johnson won in a jury trial against a woman claiming their talc-based products were ‘tainted’ and responsible for asbestos fibers ingested by the plaintiff.
However, many cases don’t go so well for defendants.
In my opinion, more cases need litigated for the sole purpose of waking companies up. Because, as we all know, there’s no value one can put on human life. And the end game is increasing mesothelioma survival rates by decreasing asbestos-based fibers in manufacturing.