A thousand things run through your mind once you are diagnosed with Mesothelioma.  One of those thousand things for me was when and how I had been exposed to asbestos. My parents had 8 children and I was the second oldest. My dad had always had a desk job and my mom stayed at home to raise us kids.  We lived in an old farm house that was built in the 1920’s or 1930’s and we had added an addition onto the house. I was worried that if I had been exposed so could anyone of my family members.

At the Mayo Clinic they have computers with Internet access set aside for people to use.  One day I was looking up information on Mesothelioma and came across a lawyer who dealt with litigation for asbestos exposure.  I sent them a request to get more information on what it was that they did.  I received a package in the mail with a full detailed explanation on what it was they could do for me and how much it would be.  I read the information and talked with my dad to see what he thought about me hiring a lawyer.  I had never hired a lawyer or sued anyone before, it made me a bit uneasy.  I wanted to be sure I was doing this for all the right reasons.

I called the number listed and was informed that they wouldn’t be able to represent me because they didn’t have offices in Minnesota.  They referred me to a firm here in Minnesota and I got in touch with them.  I decided to hire them as my attorney and spent many hours going over my background.  They wanted to know where I was born, where I had lived, what schools I had gone to, what my parents did for a living, how to get in contact with my parents and whatever I could remember about my childhood.  After they had gathered all this information they started digging into my background to find the cause of my mesothelioma.  I don’t know everything they did, but it was an intensive search.

After several months and many phone calls later I was told what they had found out.  They weren’t able to pinpoint a time or way I was exposed to asbestos.  The schools I had attended had gotten rid of the asbestos in the building above Minnesota codes.  My dad’s jobs didn’t pose any risk of exposure.  They only could come up with one small possible exposure.  It was when my parents added onto the house.  My dad bought a board with asbestos in it to help with the installation of the burning stove that was placed in the home.

I got a small settlement from the board that my dad bought and the lawyers got a small percentage of that.  I have never regretted hiring those lawyers and having them look into my background.  It was a relief to know of the possibility of exposure and share that with my family.  No amount of money will ever make up for the suffering we and our family will go through.  The government and companies knew the dangers to asbestos exposure and many chose to use the product anyway. You do deserve some compensation for being exposed to asbestos and going through the pain associated with it. You should do research on what lawyer to hire and to be not afraid to speak with several lawyers to ensure the best fit for you.

The idea of filing a lawsuit can make you uneasy, but there’s nothing to feel bad about.

We’re victims of a crime.

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About the Writer, Jodi Page