A Short Primer on Mesothelioma

State Bar of Michigan - The Mentor - Fall 2019

3 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2019

Date Written: August 21, 2019


Mesothelioma is a disease caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos particles are inhaled or injected into the body. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma that grows in the area between the chest wall and lungs. From this area it progresses to the lungs and other areas of the thoracic cavity.

The automobile industry in Michigan used asbestos in many car parts prior to 1990. Brake pads, clutches and related electrical systems gaskets are just some of the parts containing asbestos. Occupations such as electricians, pipe fitters and construction workers are at an increased risk of developing asbestos related health problems.

Diagnosing mesothelioma requires careful testing because symptoms are similar to other cancers.
Tightness in the chest, inability to take a deep breath, severe coughing, difficulty swallowing, pain in the chest, weight loss are common complaints.

A number of treatment options are available such as chemotherapy prior to surgical intervention to decrease the size of the tumor.

In 2018 a New Jersey jury returned $37 million verdict in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson. It was determined that that talc baby powder contained asbestos.

A $30 billion fund has been set aside to compensate workers and their families.

Keywords: Mesothelioma, Asbestos, Lung Disease, Cancer, Auto Industry Diseases

Suggested Citation

Johnson, James A., A Short Primer on Mesothelioma (August 21, 2019). State Bar of Michigan - The Mentor - Fall 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3472061

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