People who develop mesothelioma are often shocked and hurt to learn their disease was caused by exposure to asbestos and that their exposure could have — and should have — been prevented. It’s why after learning about their illness, many decide to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
“It was devastating when the doctors told me I had mesothelioma — for me and my family,” said Simmons Hanly Conroy client Forrest Wulf, who learned he had mesothelioma at 56-years-old.
Wulf was exposed to asbestos after working for 30 years in the construction industry as a general laborer and then later as a carpenter. At various job sites, he would come into regular contact with asbestos-containing materials such as concrete and drywall compounds.
Used abundantly throughout the 20th century, asbestos was hailed by companies and industry leaders as a “miracle” mineral. Asbestos-containing materials were sold to all branches of the U.S. military and incorporated into thousands of products. These companies, however, concealed their true knowledge about the dangers of asbestos.
“When I got told that [these companies] knew many years prior what it would do to the human being, I got mad,” said Simmons Hanly Conroy client Walter Twidwell. “I said, ‘Heck with this — they’re going to hear from me.’”
‘Companies Knew It Was Deadly, But They Used It Anyway’
For many mesothelioma clients and their families, “disbelief” is a common word used to describe their reaction upon learning that companies knew about how dangerous asbestos was, but continued to expose their workers and the general public to it. “Companies knew it was deadly, but they used it anyway,” said LaTanyta Manuel, whose husband, a Simmons Hanly Conroy client, died of mesothelioma when he was only 44 years old.
LaTanyta’s husband Andrew was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2002, and battled his disease for more than a year before tragically passing away in 2004. Andrew had been exposed to asbestos both as a child growing up in New Orleans and throughout his life. When he passed, he left behind Latanyta and their three children.
That asbestos companies knew how dangerous it was but chose not to warn their employees or the public is one of the biggest reasons why many people decide to contact a mesothelioma law firm — even when pursuing legal action isn’t something they have experience with or ever thought of doing.
As Simmons Hanly Conroy client Julie Gundlach said, “I first contacted an attorney on the advice of my physician. And it seemed initially like something I didn’t want to do. It just kind of goes against my nature.” Julie continued, “My biggest fear was that my daughter would grow up and not remember her mother.”
Growing up in the 1970s, Julie was exposed to asbestos through what is known as “take-home exposure.” Her father worked as a commercial electrician in St. Louis for 40 years. He would often return home covered in asbestos dust from installing electrical systems in commercial facilities and power plants.
Taking the First Step Toward Justice
Filing a lawsuit is unfamiliar territory for many, and it may feel like a big and overwhelming step — especially for individuals who have only recently learned they have a deadly asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma.
Nevertheless, filing a lawsuit is one of the only ways individuals and their families can seek justice against the companies responsible for exposing them to asbestos and causing their illnesses.
On top of the deadly health concerns, a mesothelioma diagnosis can also lead to financial devastation for families. Being forced to retire robs a person of their ability to make a living. Having no income is a financial blow for which very few hard-working Americans are prepared.
For Forrest Wulf, a mesothelioma lawsuit was able to recover the money he needed to live out the remainder of his life doing what he wanted to do most: spending time with his family.
“I wouldn’t have a thing if it wasn’t for my ability to hold the companies who harmed me accountable in court,” Forrest said.
Fighting Back With a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
For more than two decades, Simmons Hanly Conroy has been fighting on behalf of individuals and families whose lives have been forever altered due to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. To date, our mesothelioma law firm has secured over $7 billion in verdicts and settlements for mesothelioma survivors and their families.
The mesothelioma lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy are highly skilled at evaluating potential asbestos claims.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we may be able to help. Contact Simmons Hanly Conroy today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.