Dr. Pietro Bertino, from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii, was recently awarded a six-figure grant from U.S. Department of defense to develop a mesothelioma vaccine, according to Asbestos.com. Dr. Bertino is a research assistant in Cell and Molecular Biology Department at the university. The three-year, $550,000 research grant is for the purpose of developing a multi antigen vaccine aimed at therapeutics and prevention. The vaccine will target those at high risk for mesothelioma, particularly those with long-term occupational exposure to asbestos, as well as those genetically predisposed to developing the cancer.
Mesothelioma is almost entirely caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers, which are microscopic and can become lodged in the thin membranes that surround the abdomen or lungs. As time passes, the fibers create scarring that generally leads to health issues including cancer. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that has no known cure and a poor prognosis.
There are two ways to classify the type of mesothelioma a person has. One method is by where the tumors are found within the body. For example, peritoneal mesothelioma is found in the abdomen while pleural mesothelioma is found the lungs and percardial mesothelioma is found in the heart. The other way to classify the type of mesothelioma is the cell structure the cancer may have – biphasic, sarcomatoid, or epithelioid.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be able to file a claim for damages. While every asbestos case is different, below are some basic steps that can be expected during the your case:
- Research and evidence gathering: Perhaps the most important step in the process, a well researched claim that contains substantial evidence regarding work history that ties to asbestos exposure resulting in illness by the defendant is a primary goal;
- Filing a lawsuit in court: Your mesothelioma attorney will prepare the complaint, which details the damages suffered, alleges who is to blame, and expresses what remedy is sought for compensation;
- Dealing with the answer: The defense attorney for the accused – and there may be more than one defendant – will respond to the complaint by denying all of the accusations and likely filing a motion to dismiss the case altogether. All of these are standard responses;
- Discovery phase: Once the case goes forward, a phase known as “discovery” begins. This is where attorneys from both sides take depositions seeking answers from the other side that will strengthen their case. This is generally the most contentious part of litigation;
- Settlement or Trial: An asbestos lawsuit may settle or go to trial. During settlement negotiations, the parties will go back and forth through a third-party neutral (known as a mediator) in an attempt to come to a resolution. During trial, a jury will decide if the defendant was guilty of causing the illness and resulting damages and determine the award amount. Either side may appeal the decision.
Victims of mesothelioma and surviving family members of those who have died of the disease both have valid legal claims for damages. These cases are complex and require detailed scientific and medical information. For this reason, it is critical that a seasoned mesothelioma lawyer handle this type of claim. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma contact the attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC at (212) 397-1000 as soon as possible for a case evaluation.
How have you been impacted? Get a Free Case Evaluation