Category Archives: diagnosis

Milwaukee Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Not long ago, I met with a man suffering from mesothelioma.  This man had worked his entire career at Wisconsin Electric also know as WE Energies.  The man worked at a variety of power plants in Wisconsin, including the Oak Creek power plant, the downtown Milwaukee plant, the Miller valley power plant in Milwaukee, the Pleasant Prairie plant near Kenosha, and various other Wisconsin Electric power plants and substations.  On a number of occasions, he would work around asbestos included electrical work, plumbing related work, and oil treatment work.  The asbestos was in gaskets, insulating pipes, used around wire and joints.  Asbestos was used because it was a good insulator.

Sadly, the man was living a nice life of retirement in Florida enjoying when he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma is a deadly disease that is only caused by asbestos exposure.  He was suffering from shortness of breath when his doctor discovered fluid on his lungs.  Eventually, a thoracic surgeon was seen and he did a biopsy, which led to the definitive diagnosis of asbestos-related mesothelioma.

When I handle these mesothelioma lawsuits, the victims generally know that their disease is a fatal one.  However, the victims also know that the monies that are involved in these asbestos cases will do at least two things, punish the companies responsible (as many knew asbestos was carcinogenic and caused mesothelioma) and help the families of the victim of mesothelioma.

Wisconsin Shipyard Cited for Asbestos Violations

Fraser Shipyards, Inc. of Superior, Wisconsin, has been recently cited for numerous violations of safety laws including those rules relating to asbestos.  Mesothelioma victims who were exposed at Fraser Shipyards should contact a Wisconsin attorney with experience in handling asbestos mesothelioma cases, such as ours.  Ship building facilities and numerous shipyards around the country and in Wisconsin are known to be responsible for killing many shipyard workers, and the dangers have been known by the corporations running these businesses for quite sometime.  Responsible ship builders obeyed safety laws and protected employees from the hazards relating to asbestos.  If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please immediately find a lawyer.

Wisconsin’s Top Super Lawyers – Asbestos Mesothelioma

Honored to share with you my recent recognition in Milwaukee Magazine (December 2014) via Super Lawyers again as one of the Top 50 Wisconsin Super Lawyers.  Not one other Wisconsin lawyer handling a large number of Wisconsin asbestos victims’ mesothelioma cases is selected to this list, similar to my recognition in The Best Lawyers in America.  I have assisted dozens of families to recover well in excess of $20 million after diagnosis of mesothelioma as the result of asbestos exposure and consider it a privilege to represent these Wisconsin victims.  I have found that though there are law firms that advertise nationally for these cases, my client greatly prefer having legal representation in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Mesothelioma Cases and Awards

Each asbestos mesothelioma case is different.  Thus, awards typically vary from six figures to eight figures since wrongful death by mesothelioma is horrible.  Our Wisconsin mesothelioma lawyers  have had excellent results working on behalf of asbestos victims and their families.  In the last five years, we have helped these families recover more than $21,000,000.00.

Again, every case is different, but to give you an idea of the type of case that was successful, I summarize one below.

John Doe was born and lived in Wisconsin most of his life.  He grew up in the Milwaukee area and lived in the Fox Valley for many years.  After retirement, his pulmonologist diagnosed him with pleural mesothelioma after a lung biopsy and PET Scan.  Mr. Doe had served in the U.S. Navy after high school, a typical fact for many mesothelioma victims, and was exposed to asbestos in the power systems, HVAC systems and mechanicals of various ships and at shipyards.

After serving in the armed forces, Mr. Doe also did a lot of maintenance and machinist work involving plumbing, electrical power, utilities, insulation, boilers, water systems, pumps, and hydraulics.  He worked many years for a couple of the Wisconsin companies facing asbestos litigation or alleged to have some link to asbestos or mesothelioma.

Mr. Doe’s mesothelioma eventually killed him, but before he died, he was most worried about his family and how they would do after he passed.  Though he died shortly after I met him, we continued to work for his family and eventually recovered more than $3,500,000.00.

Asbestos Insulation & Contractors

Recently read an Illinois law firm’s article “Asbestos Liabilities of Dissolved Industrial Insulation Contractor.”  The case involved asbestos and mesothelioma wrongful death cases against Sprinkmann Insulation based on its takeover of Sprinkmann Sons Corp. of Illinois.  The latter was a former asbestos insulation contractor.

That asbestos lawsuit reminded me a of client I represented who was a former employee of Sprinkmann Sons in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Sadly, he died of mesothelioma related to his asbestos exposure after working decades for Sprinkmann Sons in Wisconsin.  After a pleural biopsy, his oncologist diagnosed mesothelial hyperplasia showing malignant messothelial cells and epithelioid malignant mesothelioma.  His mesothelioma was the result of working for many years in industrial locations around Milwaukee, such as the Pabst Brewery.  The company was a contractor and distributor of insulation, cold storage facilities and interiors and worked in places like that processed cold and frozen foods, chemical plants, nuclear power plants, electric stations, and of course, breweries.  He worked as an installer and contractor with all the hundreds of products that were laced with asbestos fibers, including blankets, boilers, expansion joints, HVAC systems, insulation, pipes, plumbing, tanks, turbines, valves, and industrial equipment.  Though every asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuit is different, the recovery I was able to help obtain for this man’s family exceeded $1.5 million.

Lawsuit against Asbestos Doctor

Corporate America’s beloved Forbes loves to try to hammer trial lawyers, and when it comes to asbestos lawyers that’s probably even more true.  So it publishes this story, which appears to be a Mississippi lawsuit against Mississippi doctors who may have been working the system improperly.  But the Forbes spin seems to be that these poor asbestos companies – who’ve killed literally thousands of people with their mesothelioma causing toxin – are the victims.  Seriously, though I won’t dispute that it’s possible the company here might have been wronged, asbestos victims and lawyers who help them are hardly the bad guys in the world of asbestosis, asbestos and mesothelioma.

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Symptoms of mesothelioma are not easily diagnosed especially in the early stage. In fact, typically after mesothelioma is diagnosed, patients often relate symptoms to their doctor that have been present for many months.  Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma of chest) include low back pain, chest pain beneath arms, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, cough, fever, fatigue, weight loss, hoarseness, facial swelling or swelling in the arms, and muscle weakness.  Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal fluid or mass.  Certainly, if you have such symptoms visit a physician immediately, especially if you know you were exposed to asbestos.

Those having symptoms will undergo a physical to determine whether there are additional signs of mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer. Patients with pleural mesothelioma will often have pleural effusion (fluid in lungs). Some may have ascites (fluid in abdomine) in cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, or pericardial effusion (fluid in pericardium) in cases of pericardial mesothelioma. If the foregoing shows the potential for a diagnosis of mesothelioma, then other tests will be done, including imaging tests like x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and PET scans. Tests may reveal irregular thickening of pleura, calcium deposits or fluid in pleural space.  Tests may also allow the doctor to begin determining the extent of cancer (staging). If a pleural effusion, ascites or pericardial effusion is found, the doctor may sample fluid for diagnosing cancer by a pathologist. Also, tissue samples may be taken via thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, mediastinoscopy or bronchoscopy, or sometimes surgery, thoracotomy or laparotomy, may be done by a surgeon.

Mesothelioma is generally very difficult to diagnose and in all cases, I always recommend a biopsy. In case of death, I also recommend an autopsy. A great place for information on the symptoms and diagnosis of mesothelioma is the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes for Health MedlinePlus: Mesothelioma page, which I used along with the American Cancer Society website in writing this.