As many Americans are all too aware, lung cancer continues to be the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. It is mainly seen as a disease of the elderly, with more than 82 percent of those suffering 60 years of age or older. This is due in part to aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused primarily by asbestos inhalation, taking up to 50 years or more to manifest, and lung cancer from smoking developing over years and in relation to the person’s degree of exposure.
Because of its long history and ever-changing medical developments, to present the best possible case for our clients, lung cancer attorneys need to stay as much on top of the medical aspects of this debilitating disease as possible. They also need to know the latest in state-by-state filing procedures.
These are only a couple of the reasons I’m looking forward to co-chairing the upcoming HarrisMartin Asbestos Litigation Conference on emerging issues in lung cancer. This one-day seminar on October 17, 2014, is an opportunity for all levels of asbestos and lung cancer attorneys, on both sides of the bar, to learn about recent developments in litigation, emerging pathological studies, ongoing research and efficient and effective trial preparation.
I will be speaking on “Alternative Causes of Lung Cancer” and the likelihood that this disease is attributable to asbestos exposure over other toxic and environmental possibilities. Of all of the diseases caused by asbestos, lung cancer constitutes the greatest health risk for American asbestos workers as exposure to this carcinogen has been shown to contribute to “79.4 percent of lung cancer deaths among asbestos-exposed workers who smoke, and 77.2 percent of lung cancer deaths among non-smoking asbestos workers.”
My colleague, Motley Rice asbestos attorney and head of the firm’s occupational disease group John Herrick, will also present at the conference, discussing maritime law and lung cancer cases.
From the medical perspective, Dr. Thomas A Sporn, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology at Duke University School of Medicine and co-editor of Pathology of Asbestos-Associated Diseases, will discuss the combined effect of asbestos exposure and cigarette smoking, and Dr. Allan Feingold, Medical Director for South Miami Hospital, will share essential points and details on what to expect from an expert witness when it comes to smoking and non-smoking lung cancer cases.
Another topic of interest to many asbestos lawyers will be a presentation providing updated information on current filings and trends in key states, especially related to some states that have enacted minimal medical criteria. In Florida, for example, you cannot bring an asbestos lung cancer case if the individual has smoked within 15 years of diagnosis. Important information will be shared on current filings and trends in several states and the discussion will include a review of statutes, case law and case management orders governing lung cancer case filing, including procedural criteria.
Asbestos-related lung cancer cases are unfortunately continuing to occur at significant rates, and conferences like this one allow for essential continued learning on how to best help clients get the justice they deserve.
Registration for the HarrisMartin Asbestos Litigation Conference: Emerging Issues in Lung Cancer is open until the day of the conference on October 17, 2014. Click here to view the full agenda and to register.
Authored by Alex Straus, a Motley Rice attorney from 2010 to 2016.