The Importance of an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney

Mesothelioma is an extremely deadly form of cancer. Fortunately, it is also extremely rare. Mesothelioma metastases throughout the internal lining of the organs of the body. Mesothelioma largely afflicts those who have worked in businesses where they have been exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma’s most common symptoms include chest pains, difficulty breathing and extreme weight loss.

If you, or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will need to seek out the services of a competent mesothelioma attorney. A mesothelioma attorney specializes on asbestos related cases. Because they are specialists in this field, they can deal with the specific problems associated with asbestos related cases.

In the United State and much of the industrialized world, millions have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives in their jobs and even in their homes. Asbestos becomes a problem when it becomes “friable”, that is, when the individual fibers break away from the material and become airborne. It is when these airborne fibers are inhaled and become lodged deep within the body that the problems begin. Mesothelioma can only be treated. It cannot be cured. There is no known “safe” level of asbestos exposure. Because of this, if you believe you may be working around asbestos it is crucial that you war proper safety gear to prevent the possibility of inhaling asbestos fibers.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos related disease, there are attorneys ready to fight for you. Of course it is vital that you seek help quickly, as time is limited due to the statute of limitations. Those diagnosed with mesothelioma will face certain financial needs including medical bills, treatments, as well as the basics of life for the for the family when you’re no longer able to work. Finding a qualified mesothelioma attorney to represent you is a necessary step those suffering from mesothelioma will need to take.You’ll need to find a mesothelioma attorney who has the experience you’ll need in this specialized field. handling asbestos cancer claims. You’ll find numerous mesothelioma attorneys available in the United States. Your job is is to seek out the most qualified attorney to represent your particular circumstances.

Most states have a limited time frame in which you will be able to file a lawsuit against a negligent company . For this reason, it is vital that you seek out a qualified mesothelioma attorney as soon as you’ve been diagnosed with the disease.Depending on your specific situation, an attorney may provide you the opportunity to settle out of court, or your case may go to trial. An experienced attorney should e able to help you decide which option will be best for your situation.

Hernia patch lawsuits

Hernia Patch Litigation Court Will Hear Claims by Patients With Non-Recalled Hernia Mesh and Patch Devices Manufactured by Bard, Inc. and Davol, Inc.

The court assigned to oversee the nationwide hernia patch and mesh lawsuits will hear claims of patients with both recalled and non-recalled hernia mesh and patch devices.
Over the last few years a number of patients have brought hernia mesh patch lawsuits against C.R. Bard, Inc., and Davol, Inc. alleging that their hernia mesh patch devices were defective and caused injuries. A large number of the claims were brought after an FDA hernia patch recall including claims based on defects in hernia mesh patches non-recalled hernia mesh patch devices.

Hernia patch lawsuits from across the United States have now been consolidated into a single court for all pretrial proceedings. In a recent ruling the court clarified the scope of the consolidated proceedings to include both recalled and non-recalled devices.

The federal Multi-District Litigation court has announced that it will hear hernia mesh and patch lawsuits involving both recalled and non-recalled devices manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc., and Davol, Inc., including the following;
-All nine (9) models of Bard ComposiX Kugel Hernia Patches (Product Codes 0010201 through 0010209);
-All other Davol hernia patches with PET rings, including the Bard Kugel Hernia Patch; Bard VentraleX Hernia Patch; Bard CK Parastomal Patch; and Bard Modified Kugel Patch; and
-Other Davol hernia meshes composed of layers of polypropylene and ePTFE, including the Bard Composix E/X Mesh.

Hernia patch lawyers at The Johnson Law Firm, a national law firm representing a large number of patients who have been injured by the recalled Bard Composix Kugel Hernia Mesh Patch are evaluating claims by patients with non-recalled hernia patch and mesh products manufactured by Davol, Inc. and C. R. Bard, Inc. Hernia patch lawsuit information, hernia patch class action information, hernia patch recall information and claims evaluations are available at no cost to affected patients at and toll free at 1-866-374-0338.

Potential Immigration Problems after Japan Tsunami Tragedy

As we all are well known about this thing that at that time Japan has suffered with terrible tragedy. It has profoundly affected all of us and made us reflect on the truly important things in life. While dwarfed by other problems that some people may have difficulties in immigration if they does not pay attention.

People those came into U. S. by using the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) are the most vulnerable, because if 90 days of those people are expires while they are in the U.S., they have violated their immigration status, and just because of this they can face problems in the future. If appropriate measures are taken then they may avoid this problem.

The simplest way, in terms of immigration, is to leave the U.S. before the expiry of 90 days, even if they go elsewhere than Japan.

If this is impossible, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that the Japanese tourists and other foreigners to stay in the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the United States, may be allowed up to an additional 30 days to go . Travelers are currently in the United States under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program), or the possession of a nonimmigrant visa may apply for benefits through the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. Persons with a nonimmigrant visa which did not use the VWP may also file an extension by mail by sending the Form I-539 and other documents including an application fee of $ 290. People on the VWP cannot make an extension of the mission and must go to the local immigration office for additional 30 days.

You can request an extension of 30 days of the local immigration is a book much better than going to the office. Making a nomination is a very simple process.

Click on top left of English (unless you prefer one of the other languages there) Click on “Create an info pass appointment Enter your zip code and click “Continue” If you applied for more than one role then please select the most appropriate Select “You need the information services or other” Click to continue File and get your appointment day

Go to the interview, Service Request ID questions relating to the appointment, which you received when you made the appointment online, and stamp your passport and ask you to extend the legal status. For further knowledge on this topic please visit on Global Visas Fraud Department .

Nitin Sharma works as Online Marketer at a British Company. He loves to write articles about Global Visas Fraud and in this way he has submitted many articles over internet. He aware people about the increased fraud cases now days.

Summary of Popular US Visa Categories

Here, we will discuss different Visa Types issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Every foreign national, seeking to enter the United States for different reasons must obtain a US Visa, before entering United States. Depending upon the different needs of foreign nationals United States Citizenship and Immigration Services offer different types of Visa.

Normally we can categorize different Visa types into two popular categories:
1.Nonimmigrant Visa (For temporary stay in United States)
2.Immigrant Visa (For permanent stay in United States)

Depending upon particular requirements of foreign nationals and their purpose of visit to United States, US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer following types of Visa:

1.B-1 Business Visa US Citizenship and Immigration Services offer B-1 Business Visa to foreign nationals working for any foreign company. Foreign citizens willing to visit the United States for business purposes (it should not involve receiving salary or payment) are eligible to apply for a B-1 Business Visa.

2.B-2 Tourist Visa Foreign national who wish to visit United States for touring purposes, spending vacations or for medical treatment are eligible to apply for B-2 Tourist Visa. Citizens of countries qualifying for Visa Waiver Program also need B-2 Tourist Visa, if they plan to stay in United States for more than 90 days.

3.H-1B Work Visa This type of Visa helps college educated professionals with special skills (like Doctors, Engineers, Scientists) to enter United States, in order to make valuable contribution in American development. However, there is one constraint, a maximum of 65,000 H-1B Visas can be issued in one year. Professionals with H-1B Visa can stay in United States for a maximum of three years. However, it can be extended if required, but the maximum period of stay cannot exceed more than six years. One advantage with H-1B Visa holders is that, they can apply for Permanent Immigrant Status (Green Card), if their company is ready to sponsor.

4.H-2B Work Visa H-2B Visa is a different type of work Visa which is issued to skilled and unskilled workers (for non-agricultural jobs). Every year a maximum of 66,000 H-2B Visas are issued. Those foreign nationals are eligible for H-2B work Visas who are eager to come to United States for a temporary or seasonal job (non-agricultural) offered by US employer.

5.C-1 Transit Visa Foreign nationals who need to enter United States in order to transit to another country need C-1 Transit Visa. People with C-1 Transit Visa are allowed to travel (for a maximum of 29 days) in United States when their destination is another country. However, people holding B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa doesnt need Transit Visa. Citizens from countries eligible for Visa Waiver Program also dont need a Transit Visa.

6.F-1 Student Visa USCIS offers F-1 Student Visa to foreign Students willing to undergo higher studies in United States. Foreign students seeking F-1 Students Visa must have a valid educational purpose for coming to United States. However, only students participating in full time educational programs are eligible to apply for F-1 Student Visa, this type of Visa is not for part time students. Students with F-1 Visa can stay in United States till the end of their educational session. F-1 Visa is multi-entry Visa, and they are free to enter United States many times (before end of their study period). They are also allowed to travel freely anywhere in United States. They are also allowed to do practical trainings during their study period to gain work experience. In many cases, students obtaining a bachelor or master’s degree are sponsored by their employer for an H-1B Work Visa. This is the most important advantage attached with F-1 Students Visa.

7.J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa As the name suggests, J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is for individuals participating in exchange visitor programs organized by Education and Cultural Institutions or Business Houses. J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa helps industrial trainees, students, teachers, research assistants, scholars, and people on cultural missions who are participating in a program of studies, training, research, or a cultural enrichment program designed for such individuals by the United States Department of State, through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

There are several other Visa Types targeting specific needs of people. You will get detailed information about them in next edition of our Newsletter.

Finding The Right Chicago Workers Comp Attorney

A Chicago workers comp attorney could assist you if you have been injured on duty. Chicago, the house of the Stanley Mug Champion Blackhawks, has nearly 8 thousand individuals in the metro location. In truth, Chicago is the third most populated city in the Usa. You could locate the best workers comp attorney amongst so several people, but you need the best suggestions.

Chicago workers comp attorney – what you have to understand

Employees are safeguarded by a series of laws that regulate what occurs if they are included in a work environment collision. They will get taken care of monetary awards if they are injured or turned off while doing their work; lawsuits is not required in these cases. Relative are typically covered by workers comp laws in instance an injury leaves the single employed household participant hurt. Fellow workers and companies are also safeguarded because several of these laws restrict the quantity of compensation a worker can obtain from companies, and they also restrict the liability of their fellow workers, in a lot of instances. Work laws establish this structure in state laws. Federal workers in the non-military field are shielded by the FECA (Federal Employment Compensation Act), and most of its guidelines are typical of the compensation laws of a lot of workers. Seamen get defense from the Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act).

Where to seek the best attorney

A workers comp attorney has to be spoken to if your insurance firm is refuting your case, or you are not obtaining the clinical therapy that you have to receive, or your licensed snacking physician has purchased surgery or examinations yet you are not getting them. You additionally need the help of a workers comp attorney if you could not work and your employer is not paying you. It is an excellent concept to contact a Chicago workers comp attorney promptly, despite exactly how well your company is snacking you.

There are a lot of issues that turn up when someone is injured on duty. It is a good idea to select an attorney that has a tested performance history of successfully getting compensation for various other damaged workers. Co-workers, family members and good friends will aid you get the best lawyers for these scenarios. They will tell you regarding the lawyers they enjoy with and considerably more. Effort unions will certainly make workers as well. A Chicago workers comp attorney will certainly supply you an initial appointment free. They will also take your instance in a “backup fee” basis, meanings that they will obtain their cash as a percentage of a winning case. Simply puts, they just earn if you do.

Workers compensation commission

You should submit a claim to the workers compensation commission of your state if your company does not want to sue to his/her insurance firm. You likewise should employ a Chicago workers comp attorney to deal with this challenging process. The workers compensation payment of your state has the power to award negotiations for these types of circumstances. You will certainly not need to shell out a great deal of money to your attorney due to the fact that state laws limit the quantity of cash they can ask for in these situations. Most of the times, lawyers rise to 33 % of an ultimate award as their fee in the United States, however this portion differs from area to area. State statutes are produced to manage exactly what an attorney might charge in these cases, yet government approval may be required too. In your scenario, a workers comp attorney will take into account aspects such as loss of wages, health care expenses, and others to obtain you the most cash for your case.

A Chicago workers comp attorney is essential, and you should know a bit concerning the policies in your state for these situations. The workers ‘compensation commission of your state is the most vital government workplace you should visit, and they award negotiations in these compensation situations.

Immigration Bonds Are Here To Help Migrants

Immigration bonds are not frequently talked about when it comes to bail bonds. If you are not an immigrant, then you will not need this form of specialized bond nor a bail bond agency that specializes in immigration. If you are a natural citizen, then you will not need the services of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS, to help bail you out of a problem.

Immigration bonds are issued by the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service to bail bond agents who specialize and are licensed to bond out immigrants to the United States. It is not just any old license.

It is one that is specially given out by the INS for a bail agency that knows the inner workings and risks associated with immigrants. Studies have shown that immigrants from certain countries are more likely to run and force a bail enforcement agent to try to track them down.

There are two ways a bond is posted. The first is a cash bond in which the immigrant puts up the entire amount in cash him or herself. The second is through a bail agency that will guarantee the bond but requires a percentage of the bond as their fee.

The higher the risk of running, the larger the bond will be and thus the percentage, which is non-refundable, will be higher as well. As long as the immigrant shows up to the court on the designated day there will be no problems.

There is one note that needs attention when dealing with the INS. Just because an immigrant is arrested does not mean they will automatically be deported back to their home country. It depends largely on the degree of crime and whether or not they are in the United States legally.

Chances are pretty high that if they are here illegally, they will be deported back to their home country. Just as with American citizens, immigrants are innocent until proven guilty.

Since immigration bonds are a specialized form of bond, it takes a person familiar with the laws of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in order to write the bond. The INS can point the immigrant towards agencies and attorneys who are familiar with these laws and who can help them out if they find themselves in trouble with the law.

It does not have to be a fruitless endeavor of hunting and searching. That is why the INS is a perfect place to begin the search. They help immigrants get the help they need in order to be tried fairly.

Visit Mike Selvon portal to learn more about the immigration bonds. Your feedback is much appreciated at our bail bond services blog where a free gift awaits you.

Citizenship and Immigration

For many Americans, their U.S. citizenship issued at birth is something they dont think twice about. But for applying immigrants, citizenship is a serious goal.

Hopefully most American natural born citizens understand that citizenship is one of the most greatly desired gifts this countrys government can bestow on its citizens. For those of us who have not had to go through the process of becoming a U.S Citizen apart from being naturally born here, there is only one other way to become U.S. citizens and that is by the often times-lengthy process of what is known as “naturalization”.

Naturalization can often times be a complicated process so you should consult with an immigration lawyer rather than attempting this yourself. Even something as simple as travel within the country or state is something that a person needs to know the rules about and this is where an Immigration lawyer is needed so that you have someone to ask questions such as “How long does it take for USCIS to issue work permission and travel permission?” or “When should I renew my work and travel permission?”

Learning about your new country and its rights and the responsibilities that accompany citizenship is an important part of being a good citizen and at the USCIS and the Office of Citizenship they have developed a great amount of resources and a variety of educational materials that allow immigrants to learn more about U.S. history and government as they prepare for the naturalization test.

A final thought on the naturalization process; in addition to finding good counsel and being represented by an immigration lawyer, there are general requirements that the USCIS will look for by those who look to make our great country their home, to name just a few: good moral character, a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government, and favorable disposition toward the United States.

Islamic Divorce in New York State

Muslims residing in the State of New York are in a dual situation when it comes to the implementation of family law. On one hand, they are governed by the religious law of Islam, known as Islamic sharia, and on the other hand, the secular family law of the state of New York. To Muslims, the family law of Islam mandates that marriage and divorce among Muslims should be done in accordance with the Islamic sharia, regardless of whether they live in an Islamic or secular country. Civil divorce decrees obtained by secular courts are not recognized by Islamic sharia.

Under Islamic law, a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, whereas a Muslim woman is prohibited from marrying non-Muslim man. Under these rules, a non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man in compliance with Islamic sharia is subject to the rules of Islam in the areas of divorce, child custody and inheritance. In other words, a non-Muslim woman who gets married to a Muslim man in accordance with Islamic sharia, loses custody of her children in case of divorce, or in case the husband dies. Consequently, a non-Muslim woman marrying to a Muslim man is forced, under the rules of Islamic sharia, to surrender custody of her son when he reaches the age of seven, and her daughter at the age of nine. She also prohibited from inheritance. These rules are applied throughout Muslim countries with a system of sharia-based family law in place.

Marriage Contracts in Islamic Sharia
Under the rules of Islamic sharia, the marriage contract should include: (1) names and addresses of the couple; (2) name of the guardian of the bride; (3) names and addresses of two male witnesses; and (4) the amount of mahr, or a promise of money or its equivalent to be given by the husband to the bride. Like any other civil contracts, Islamic marriage contract should be in the form of offer and acceptance by the parties.

Contrary to the popular notion that mahr is dowry; it is not. A dowry is what the wife contributes to her marriage while mahr is an obligation on the husband to pay his future bride. Others call it a gift; it is not a gift either, because mahr is an obligation on the husband and is mandated by the Quran. The Quran calls it sadaq (Quran 4:4). If no stipulation of mahr is provided in the marriage contract, the marriage remains legal and in effect; in such a situation, the “qadi” (judge) will determine the amount of mahr, which remains a property of the wife alone. The amount of mahr can be paid partially: up-front (Arabic, muqaddam), and deferred until divorce or death of the husband (Arabic, muakhar), or it may be prepaid in full before the consummation of the marriage.

Legal Status of the Mahr Provision in Islamic Law
The most important feature of the mahr provision is that one party makes an offer and the other can accept or refuse to accept. It is a financial settlement between the couple in case a divorce occurs or the husband dies. Although, Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride.

In the State of New York, an Islamic marriage contract involving mahr may be considered premarital agreement for a divorce settlement. In legal terms, this is called a concurrence of wills or meeting of the minds of the future husband and his future wife. This also means that each party from an objective perspective engaged in conduct manifesting their acceptance, and a contract was formed when both parties met such a requirement.

The basic rule is that a premarital contract will be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the law of the state in which it was entered into. Thus an Islamic marriage contract signed in Egypt according to the Egyptian law for example, must be interpreted according to the law of Egypt. The Restatement of the Law Second Conflict of Laws 3d, Chapter 8, Contracts, is clear about the law for the state chosen by the parties to a contract. The text of the Restatement reads: “(1) The law of the state chosen by the parties to govern their contractual rights and duties will be applied if the particular issues is one which the parties could have resolved by an explicit provision in their agreement directed to that issue.”

Looking at both academic and case studies in this area of law, this article points the reader in the direction of the current trends in the treatment of mahr in New York State and to address Islamic family law issues relevant to New York State law and the working of its legal system. The mahr provision in an Islamic marriage contract has been interpreted differently in other states. For more information on treatment of mahr in other states, the individual should seek legal advice.

Interpretation of the Mahr in New York State
Muslim men and women assert their Islamic legal rights in American family courts; as a result, Islamic sharia governing their marriages and divorces becomes an important and complicated part of the American legal landscape. This leads to a discussion of court cases involving Muslim marriage and divorce litigations in the State of New York, as well as whether New York courts will enforce the terms of Muslim marriage contracts, mainly the mahr provision.

New York courts have jurisdiction over divorce cases within its territory, with specific focus on premarital contract structured in accordance with foreign laws. And, various state courts have found no public policy prohibition in enforcing such agreements. In New York, a mahr agreement may be interpreted within the context of a contractual obligation.

In Aziz v. Aziz, the couple entered into a mahr agreement which required the payment of $5,032, with $32 advanced and $5,000 deferred until divorce. The New York court ruled that the contract conformed to New Yorks contract requirements, and that “its secular terms are enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” (See Aziz v. Aziz, N.Y.S.2d at 124).

In this case, the husband argued that the mahr agreement provided in the Islamic marriage contract could not be enforced because it was a religious document and was not enforceable as a contract. The wife responded by stating that although the mahr is a religious stipulation; its secular terms can be properly enforced by the court. The court agreed with the wife and ordered the husband to pay the deferred mahr. The court found that the mahr agreement complied with the necessary statutory requirements to be recognized and enforceable as a premarital agreement and held that the secular terms of the mahr agreement were “enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” The court stated that the mahr agreed to by the couple constituted a secular debt of $5,000 and ordered the husband to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

The case was based entirely on another New York of Appeals case of Avitzur v. Avitzur involving a Jewish Ketubah in which a Jewish woman sued for specific performance to force her ex-husband to appear before a Beth Din (Jewish Court). Under Jewish Law, only a man can grant a divorce, or “Get”. Until he does, the woman cannot remarry within the Jewish faith to anybody. Her children will then be considered illegitimate. In order that a “Get” may be obtained, both husband and wife have to appear before the Beth Din. The husband refused to appear, leaving the woman in a state of marital limbo, making her an “agunah.” The New York Court of Appeals found that the Jewish ketubah constituted a valid premarital agreement that could be enforced despite the religious underpinnings of the agreement.

Conclusion
As the second largest religion, and with the number of Muslims immigrating to the United State on the rise, American courts are more frequently looking into Islamic divorce litigations between Muslim couples. Out of respect to Islamic law and culture, American courts attempt to apply certain provisions from Islamic sharia, such as the mahr contract in divorce cases involving Muslim couples. By doing so, American courts risk involving their arguments with gender and economic inequalities between Muslim men and women, leaving Muslim women destitute. The application of mahr agreements in Islamic divorce in the United States prevents women from exercising their rights to equitable distribution of marital assets upon divorce. If the courts need to extend their respect to Islamic law in divorce situations, they should look into whether the wife had a choice in signing the mahr agreement. Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, the Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride. Other states do not regard the mahr to be a premarital contract. Individuals seeking information on the treatment of mahr by other states should seek legal advice from a competent attorney.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Republishing of this article is hereby granted by the author.

Understanding the Objectives of Criminal Law

Los Angeles is governed by different laws that guide its residents on what they should and shouldn’t do. Any violation of the law is punishable and the degree of punishment depends on the extent of the offense. Severe violations of the law that causes serious damages are categorized under criminal offenses. These are weighed by the jury using the guidelines of criminal laws.

Offenses that fall under criminal law are murder, theft, battery, and sexual abuse. Even aiding and abetting, burglary, and assault are considered criminal offenses in Los Angeles and in most part of United States. Criminal offenses are enforced with corporal punishments in different forms and levels.

Criminal law enforcement is commonly done by -balancing the scales-. This is due to the thinking that criminals have to suffer the same way that their victims did. For example, a murderer deserves to undergo death penalty to balance the scales. This enforcement objective is called retribution.

Another enforcement objective is called deterrence, whether individual or general. Individual deterrence aims to punish the sole offender, while general deterrence aims to punish a greater group of society to discourage others from violating the law. A criminal attorney in los angeles may also be handling a case in which the law enforcers aim to incapacitate the client. Incapacitation is the act of extracting the offender from the society through death penalties or life imprisonment.

A criminal attorney in los angeles may also encounter law enforcers who aim only to rehabilitate the offender. This applies to criminal cases brought about by a certain form of addiction of the offender. There is also another form of enforcement objective called restitution where the only aim is to repair the damage done. These may seem like subtle consequences, yet these cases still need the assistance of criminal lawyers.

A criminal attorney in los angeles handles these cases because of his or her expertise in criminal law. Criminal charges are filed in courts and undergo a long process of stressful court proceedings. Once an accused person is proven guilty, enforcement of criminal law is done for different objectives.

Asbestos Lawsuits in Louisiana

In towns and cities throughout the United States, asbestos lawsuits are increasingly prolific as individuals exposed to asbestos twenty and thirty years ago are today developing and dying from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and extremely lethal form of cancer, in which malignant cells are found in the protective sac covering most of the bodys internal organs. Mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos, takes up to three decades to strike its victims. Those with the greatest risk of developing mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways.

Today, a growing number of mesothelioma lawsuits have succeeded in recovering hundreds of millions in compensation for the tens of thousands of mesothelioma victims. Compensation is paid by the companies that make these asbestos products, and enables victims to cover their medical expenses and to be compensated for their pain and suffering.

A current center of concern for asbestos victims is New Orleans. In the post-Katrina era, New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana is undergoing a boom in construction a business infamous for its use of asbestos products. Post-storm rehabilitations of homes, the related large-scale demolitions, and even just the ubiquitous roofing jobs currently underway are exposing thousands of people to asbestos. Despite these dangers, however, Congress is considering a Bill that would prevent someone who becomes ill with cancer as a result of post-Katrina asbestos exposure from getting financial relief.

The introduction of the Bill is being motivated by calls for tort reform among asbestos-related industries. Financially crippled by increasingly high rewards to asbestos victims, these industries want a cap on their liability. They cite a recent asbestos lawsuit in Louisiana, in which homeowners who purchased asbestos-contaminated fill dirt sued the contractor who sold them the soil, as well as the oil company where the dirt had been removed. Although none of the plaintiffs have yet become sick, a jury awarded them compensatory and punitive damages due to their fear of harm (rather than actual harm). The verdict was upheld by a Louisiana appeals court, which ruled that any exposure to a harmful substance, no matter how slight, justifies a lawsuit.

The new Bill, set for debate by Congress in February, would halt asbestos lawsuits. The Bill is seeking to protect companies with asbestos liability from further lawsuits by paying into a government administered trust fund, which would screen claimants through established medical criteria. Victims would be awarded compensation based on the severity of their illness. The Bill specifically states that the fund would not cover victims of environmental and neighborhood exposure, with the prime example being post-Katrina victims in New Orleans and across Louisiana. The Bill is widely opposed by the medical community, as well as by labor unions and citizens rights activists, particularly in the state of Louisiana.