Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive, and thus far incurable form of cancer of the mesothelium, a protective lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a heat-resistant material heavily used in commercial construction in the United States in buildings built before 1980. Over the years, Weitz & Luxenberg has supported hospitals and researchers who continue to develop treatments for mesothelioma, yet while tremendous strides have been made to prolong the lives of individuals who suffer from this insidious disease, a cure has remained elusive.

Treatment, But No Cure

Privately, some clinicians have argued that large pharmaceutical companies don’t devote adequate resources to finding a cure for mesothelioma because there aren’t enough patients suffering from the disease to make developing a cure worth the financial investment. If true, that view is shortsighted and misinformed. The Environmental Working Group estimates that up to 15,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to diseases caused by exposure to asbestos, with 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed annually.

Weitz & Luxenberg has handled more than 33,000 cases for people who have been affected by asbestos. We know firsthand the impacts of this devastating disease which, because it often isn’t diagnosed until an advanced stage, is very hard to treat. Patients diagnosed with stage 1-4 pleural mesothelioma have an unfortunately limited life expectancy.

While treatments that improve life expectancy and quality of life are critical, it is equally important that we continue to search for a cure to this deadly disease that disproportionally affects working people like constructions workers, miners, factory workers, insulation manufacturers and installers, railroad and automotive workers, plumbers, and firefighters.

New Yorkers Especially at Risk

New Yorkers have a unique history and are particularly at risk when it comes to asbestos exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that New York State ranked fourth in the U.S. for the highest number of deaths due to mesothelioma between 2001-2010, in part because an estimated 68 percent of buildings in New York contain asbestos.

Standing with Families

Every September 26, the mesothelioma community comes together for Mesothelioma Awareness Day to better educate the public about the dangers and causes of this deadly cancer.

Weitz & Luxenberg continues to be an advocate for patients suffering from mesothelioma and their families. We have 30 years of experience helping more than 55,000 families confront this disease and receive justice so victims of asbestos exposure can focus on their health and loved ones. To that end, we’ve secured more than $8.5 billion dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our asbestos-disease clients alone, and continue to support and advocate for medical research to improve treatments and develop a cure.

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