Mesothelioma lawyers in Australia and Ireland are staying busy as mesothelioma rates in those countries continue to rise despite a years-old ban in those countries. It’s not clear why Australia’s mesothelioma rates have risen beyond expectations, but researchers in Ireland believe the current rise there is due to the natural progression of a disease which usually does not show for decades.
Australian Mesothelioma Claims Against Construction Firm James Hardie On the Rise
According to Australian construction firm James Hardie, rising mesothelioma claims originating with former workers who were exposed to asbestos while working for the company are not hurting profits. However, the number of claims filed by mesothelioma lawyers against the company has still risen significantly, going beyond company executives predictions.
It’s not clear what’s caused the uptick, nor is it clear whether the uptick is due to an increase in mesothelioma cases or simply an increase in mesothelioma patients looking for compensation from their former employer. At the moment, James Hardie’s payments to mesothelioma-afflicted former employees and other asbestos-related workers’ compensation cases represent about 25% of the firm’s annual cashflow.
James Hardie represents a major name in asbestos litigation because of its status as Australia’s largest asbestos manufacturer and user throughout much of the 20th century. The company ran asbestos plants all over Australia before discontinuing its use of the product in the face of an increasingly clear asbestos-mesothelioma link. Company executives were later also found guilty of lying about their mesothelioma claims compensation fund’s adequacy.
At the moment mesothelioma represents James Hardie’s most expensive disease, in compensation terms, even though it does not quite understand why mesothelioma rates have been on the rise. Australia overall has one of the world’s highest mesothelioma rates on a per capita basis, and a correspondingly aggressive mesothelioma treatment research community.
Irish Mesothelioma Rates Rise Despite Ban
An Irish study suggests that country’s rising mesothelioma rates are easier to explain than the mesothelioma jump in Australia — with the Irish asbestos ban having been enacted only in 2000, it’s normal for mesothelioma rates to continue rising as previously exposed patients are only now diagnosed.
Meosthelioma represents the most severe asbestos-related disease, and it is extremely difficult to treat. The health hazards of asbestos resulted in Ireland enacting a ban on the use of the mineral in construction and other applications, making Ireland one of 55 countries to do so.
However, that has not stopped Irish mesothelioma rates from rising. With mesothelioma often taking decades to develop, mesothelioma cases in Ireland went up from 4.98 mesothelioma cases per million, to 7.24 per million. Unusually, patients in certain parts of Ireland survived better than patients from other parts.
Regardless of location, however, this means that Irish firms will be facing claims from patients and mesothelioma lawyers for some time into the future. The study showed Irish mesothelioma patients have a one-year survival rate of just 29.6%, with patients older than 75 surviving even less on average. At the same time, almost all mesothelioma cases result from occupational exposure to asbestos, which results in the very expensive treatments and compensation falling under the purview of workers’ compensation insurance and litigation.
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