Asbestos Related Injury under Texas Law
Asbestos is a mineral consisting of oxygen, silicon, hydrogen and other metal ions. Asbestos consists of fibers smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair. When inhaled, asbestos fibers cannot be processed by the human body. These fibers remain lodged in an individual's lungs and never dissipate. The fibers accumulate and cause scarring of the lungs.
Pulmonary fibrosis refers to the scarring of the lungs caused by the inability of the body to break down the asbestos fibers. A physician must determine whether the scarring has been caused by asbestosis or from other causes such as smoking.
Asbestosis is a term used to describe the condition of persons lungs caused by the presence of asbestos fibers. Usually, an individual diagnosed with asbestosis is also said to have pulmonary fibrosis. People with cases of asbestos are often ultimately diagnosed with lung cancer.
A non-smoker diagnosed with lung cancer who has inhaled asbestos must determine if the cancer is mesothelioma. A doctor must determine if the cancer is related to or in the mesothelial membrane.
Even in cases where an individual has non-mesothelioma lung cancer, the presence of asbestos in the lungs can increase the likelihood of non-asbestos cancer.
The term mesothelioma, can be used to describe asbestos related cancer not only the lungs, but also the heart, stomach and testicles.
Common products that contain asbestos include insulation, textiles, brake lining, floor products, cement and roofing shingles.
In July of 1989 the United States Congress banned all the uses of asbestos. Companies that knowingly exposed workers to asbestos fibers may be financially responsible for that person's ongoing medical problems. A person diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer may have legal remedy against manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of asbestos products. They may also have the right to sue contractors who installed or removed asbestos products.
There may be a statute of limitations imposed limiting the time within which a suit may be filed after exposure or diagnosis. The right to sue and recover damages extends to the family of a deceased person.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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