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Posts by: Steven Kazan

Financial Stress of a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

mesothelioma diagnosisFinancial hardship is a major source of stress that can put a dent in the wellbeing of even the healthiest among us. If that financial stress is the result of a mesothelioma diagnosis, the effects can be even more serious. At a time when all your attention should be on taking care of your health, the strain of a huge pile of medical bills can lead to less favorable outcomes from mesothelioma treatment.

Many people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis were not rolling in cash even before they became sick. Asbestos exposure is most common among those who worked hard all their lives as builders, welders, and engineers to create a comfortable life for their families. A mesothelioma diagnosis can mean not only a mounting stack of medical bills but also lost wages for both the patient and family caregivers, which can throw the whole family into financial distress.

People who have received a mesothelioma diagnosis have one financial resource that not all cancer patients do. Because mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, patients are often able to get compensation for their illness from the corporations that negligently exposed them to asbestos. But more on that later. First, let’s take a look at the toll that financial stress takes on people with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Finances Linked to Outcomes After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

In 2009, the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) surveyed patients, caregivers, and social workers about the effects of financial stress on recovery from cancer. The results showed that patients who struggled under the financial burden of their medical bills were less able to direct their attention to cancer treatment.

In addition, the study found that 66% of the cancer patients who were burdened by medical bills became depressed. While depression is not uncommon after a mesothelioma diagnosis (or any cancer diagnosis), the additional stress created by financial hardship increases the chances of depression. This is significant because some studies have shown that depression can affect parts of our immune system that may help our bodies fight off cancer.

Of even more concern, the AOSW study found that 29% of cancer patients who suffered from financial stress put off getting prescriptions filled and 22% skipped taking needed medications to stretch out a prescription for longer.

The patients affirmed the study’s conclusion that financial strain gets in the way of cancer treatment. More than half of those surveyed reported that the effort to stay on top of their medical bills made them less able to attend to their cancer treatment and recovery. The last thing you need after a mesothelioma diagnosis is anything that distracts you from focusing completely on getting the best treatment to fight back against this debilitating cancer.

Money, Depression, and a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

A 2012 study of patients in Ireland (where, it should be noted, there is a public health program that insulates patients from enormous medical bills) showed increased levels of stress about money in almost half of cancer patients. The study, published in Psycho-Oncology in April 2013, surveyed people with lung cancer, as well as breast and prostate cancers, more than six months after their first diagnosis with cancer. Researchers found that those who reported financial hardship due to their cancers were three times more likely to suffer from depression.

This study concluded that Ireland should do more to relieve the financial strain on families affected by cancer. In the United States, the Affordable Care Act has relieved one common source of stress for cancer patients: insurance companies can no longer place a lifetime or annual cap on coverage. If you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, you don’t have to worry that your insurance will simply run out and stop paying the bills. You can still accumulate large bills, however, for treatments not covered by your insurance plan and for copayments.

Types of Financial Stress After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

A study funded by the UK Medical Research Council that surveyed research on financial stress associated with terminal cancer noted that this is an area that needs more scientific study. Among the conclusions in their manuscript titled Financial stress and strain associated with terminal cancer – A systematic review of the evidence, the researchers noted that addressing the effects of financial stress should be considered part of palliative care for patients with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Patients indicated that they would appreciate a discussion about finances with their healthcare professionals, though the researchers also admitted that this type of conversation is outside the expertise of most medical workers. They highlighted the fact that, now that the medical profession has become more upfront about discussing a terminal mesothelioma diagnosis, “it may be that money remains a final taboo.”

The review included summaries of a number of studies from the United States. Some key findings from those studies include:

  • Up to 28% of patients with terminal cancer spent more than 10% of their income on their treatment.
  • As many as 16% had to spend their savings, sell their possessions, take out an extra mortgage, or get an extra job to cover medical costs.
  • As many as 38% more reported spending all or most of their savings to pay for cancer care.
  • A family member quit a job to care for the person with cancer at least 20% of the time (and more than 40% of the time, in one study), creating even greater financial hardship.
  • About a quarter of patients with terminal cancer lost a major income source due to their illness.
  • Up to 20% of patients weren’t able to get all their needs met (from medical expenses to other costs due to the illness to day to day expenses) during their last month of life.
  • One third of patients said that their overall financial stability was affected by the costs of their medical care.

 Relieving Financial Stress After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

These studies show the importance of taking worries about money out of the picture after you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. Negative effects from financial stress can lead to shorter life expectancy for patients with mesothelioma. You want to maximize the time you have left to spend with your loved ones and to make sure you spend your days in the best health possible.

That’s where mesothelioma lawyers can help. Your medical care is in good hands with your doctors; your financial health can be greatly improved with help from an experienced asbestos attorney. The compensation you may receive for your illness can free your mind to concentrate on fighting back against mesothelioma. It can also support your family after you are gone. Call today for a free consultation.

Kazan Law Partners Chosen For Selective Best Lawyers Listing

Positive and favorable evaluations from other lawyers, Kazan Law legal peers, have resulted in three Kazan Law partners being selected for the highly regarded The Best Lawyers in America list.  This year’s inclusion marks the tenth time that the Oakland firm’s founder Steven Kazan and his longtime partner David McClain have appeared on the prestigious list and the fifth time for our partner Denise Abrams.

Lawyers cannot pay for their name to appear on the Best Lawyers list. It is truly an honor that only can be earned through an outstanding level of achievement that is recognized by other lawyers.

Kazan Law focuses intensely on asbestos litigation, a specialty area of law practice the firm helped pioneer over forty years ago. The firm is widely respected for its relentless dedication to achieving justice for victims of asbestos exposure, and for the multimillion dollar awards it wins for its clients.

Best Lawyers’ History of Recognizing Legal Excellence

Best Lawyers is one of the most respected peer-reviewed publications in the legal profession. Being selected is considered by lawyers, clients and legal scholars as a significant honor conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For nearly three decades, the extensive lists carefully compiled  have been regarded as a credible source for the profession, the media, and the public, as a highly reliable, unbiased directory of excellent legal referrals.

How the Best Lawyers Selection Process Works

Best Lawyers lists of outstanding lawyers are assembled through conducting very thorough peer-review surveys. In these surveys, tens of thousands of attorneys confidentially rate their professional peers.

Being included in the Best Lawyers list one year does not guarantee inclusion for the following year.  If the evaluations for an attorney are positive enough for inclusion in Best Lawyers, that attorney must maintain those favorable evaluations in subsequent polls to remain on the list for each new edition. Lawyers are not permitted to pay any fee to participate in or be included on these lists.

The 2016 edition of Best Lawyers includes 55,041 attorneys in 140 practice areas. It covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This year’s publication is based on over 6.7 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

Best Lawyers Reach

Because of Best Lawyers credibility, their lists reach a wide audience. More than 17 million readers see Best Lawyers lists in dozens of city and regional publications in the U.S. including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune, as well as in major business publications. Best Lawyers peer-reviewed listings are now published in almost 70 countries around the world, and its profile is increasing in the international legal community.

Kazan Law’s Ongoing Commitment to Legal Excellence

Since it was founded by Steven Kazan in 1974, Kazan Law has represented thousands of people suffering from asbestos-related illnesses, especially mesothelioma. On our staff we are proud to have some of the most experienced mesothelioma lawyers in the country, including those honored this year by Best Lawyers, Steven Kazan, David McClain and Denise Abrams.

We are extremely grateful for the support and accolades given to us by our legal colleagues by choosing these principals from our firm for inclusion in Best Lawyers.  But we do not do the work we do to seek praise and adulation, however much we appreciate it. Our main focus remains as it has for over – forty years – seeking justice for our clients and for workers everywhere whose health has been knowingly jeopardized by exposure to asbestos.


Mesothelioma Attorneys Pioneering Asbestos Litigation

mesothelioma attorneysMesothelioma attorneys are not all the same. Some mesothelioma attorneys are very experienced and knowledgeable. Others sadly are unscrupulous and out to profit from someone else’s tragic circumstances. They will settle a case quickly just to get their fee. Still other mesothelioma attorneys may be well-intended but inexperienced and inept. Asbestos litigation is a very intricate and detailed legal niche.

What if you could have the mesothelioma attorneys who pioneered asbestos litigation handle your case?  It would be like having Bill Gates install your computer’s software or Mark Zuckerberg create your Facebook page. While those two are unlikely to be available, it is really possible for you to have the mesothelioma attorneys who helped invent mesothelioma law, from the beginning, handle your case. You can be represented by Kazan Law.

Mesothelioma Attorneys with The Most Asbestos Case Experience

The founding partner of Kazan Law pioneered asbestos litigation over 40 years ago.  Today Steven Kazan is acknowledged as a leading global expert on asbestos law whose knowledge and skill continue to define this area of litigation.

Since the firm was founded by Steven Kazan in 1974, Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, A Professional Law Corporation, has represented hundreds of people suffering from mesothelioma. They have won landmark victories and settlements totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients. They have also achieved precedent-setting verdicts that have changed the way asbestos law cases are determined.

Today Kazan Law has grown to include 22 full-time mesothelioma attorneys.  But Steven Kazan, and his  partners at Kazan Law, still personally oversee every asbestos case the firm takes on. They remain as dedicated to obtaining justice for innocent working people whose lives have been jeopardized by callous profit-seeking companies as they were when they took on some of the first asbestos cases. Asbestos litigation at its best is about standing up for the rights of the little guy against big powerful corporate interests. And that is the kind of asbestos litigation expertly practiced by the mesothelioma attorneys at Kazan Law. They understand instinctively what to do because after all they were the ones who helped create asbestos litigation.

How Mesothelioma Attorneys Pioneered Asbestos Litigation

Over 40 years ago, many of the workers at the Johns-Manville plant in Lompoc, California were sick and dying.  Workers were upset about losing people they had worked with for many years. The labor union representative collected death certificates of all those who had died in the last five years and wrote a letter to someone he thought could help them.  That someone was Steven Kazan.

That was in 1974. Telephones were attached to walls, a computer took up an entire room and companies that produced asbestos-containing products were getting away with murder. Employees exposed to asbestos at work were dying from asbestosis and mesothelioma without their employers being held accountable.

In Oakland, California, at that time, Steven Kazan, a recent Harvard Law School graduate, had just started his law practice. He was already known for litigating complex medical and scientific issues, and had worked with an attorney who was trying to get workers compensation benefits for some of the men from the Pittsburg, California Johns Manville asbestos products plant.

Then, in 1974, Mr. Kazan was asked to take on litigating the civil lawsuits for those workers.  He won a precedent-setting suit for Reba Rudkin, who had developed asbestosis after 29 years of working at the Johns-Manville plant in Pittsburg, California. After winning this landmark case, he represented over 100 asbestos-affected workers from the same company.

In 1982, he won a $150,000 verdict for Bob Speake, one of the Johns-Manville workers, in a test case trial ordered by the Superior Court in Contra Costa County, CA.  This case is regarded as a “threshold verdict” because it created the opportunity for punitive damage verdicts against Johns-Manville. Months later, just as Steven Kazan was getting ready to go to settlement conferences on a large group of those cases, Johns –Manville filed for bankruptcy court protection. Steven had 393 cases pending against the company which he resolved with the trust fund set up as a result  of that bankruptcy.

Today Kazan Law is still headquartered in Oakland California. The firm’s mesothelioma attorneys continue to excel at pursuing justice for mesothelioma victims and others exposed to asbestos.  Kazan Law daily puts its 40 plus years of experience in pioneering asbestos lawsuits and setting precedents to work for its clients.

Kazan Law has remained at the forefront of asbestos litigation in California and nationally.  Kazan Law is proud of its history as pioneers in asbestos litigation. But as mesothelioma attorneys who are among the most experienced mesothelioma lawyers in the United States, we do not dwell in the past – we continue to win major settlements for our clients.

Mesothelioma Attorneys at Kazan Law Have the Expertise to Win Major Verdicts

Today well into the 21st century, Kazan Law’s dedication to legal excellence and justice for asbestos victims continues to result in major verdicts.  These verdicts gain Kazan Law recognition in the legal profession among their peers in the United States and throughout the world. A brief list of some of the verdicts won by Kazan Law:

  • $48 Million Verdict: Won by a former construction worker vs. the Union Carbide Corporation —this 2012 verdict was nationally recognized as the highest mesothelioma verdict on record for the year.
  • $27 Million Verdict: Against Owens-Illinois in a lawsuit filed by the former wife of a pipe insulator.
  • $11 Million Verdict: Won against Pneumo Abex  , Inc. in a wrongful death suit filed by the family of an automobile parts worker. This came after a separate $13 million award in the family’s personal injury suit.

As many activists and professionals throughout the world continue to fight for a global ban of asbestos, victims of asbestos exposure continue to contract mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. For these people a chance to hold accountable those companies that exposed them to asbestos, pay for mounting medical bills, and provide for their families futures in the wake of their certain passing is motivation enough to seek the best and brightest asbestos litigators in the country. See what asbestos pioneers Kazan Law can do to help you and your family.





Choosing a Mesothelioma Attorney

mesothelioma attorneyThe mesothelioma attorney you choose should be someone whose reputation and experience inspires you with confidence and the people you sue with fear. But it should also be someone with whom you feel comfortable and with whom you will be able to easily talk about your situation. At Kazan Law, we have over 40 years of experience helping mesothelioma patients and their families.

Our firm helped pioneer asbestos law as it exists today. But we never forget that behind the laws and legal briefs are innocent people who are suffering because of wrongs done to them. We believe that every case is unique and all mesothelioma patients and their families deserve to be listened to and helped in any way possible. Work With a

Mesothelioma Attorney Who Listens to You

When mesothelioma symptoms have emerged and a mesothelioma diagnosis is received, that usually means that the illness is advanced and time is of the essence.  Timing is especially critical when it comes to presenting a legal case, because even the best-handled legal case can take time.  In addition to legal expertise in mesothelioma and asbestos, a good mesothelioma attorney knows a great deal about the disease itself.

At Kazan Law, we understand the challenges that you and your family face following diagnosis with an asbestos-related illness.  We also are sensitive to your need to focus on your treatment, and, protect your time with loved ones. At the same time, we also know that it is important for all involved to file your claim and gather evidence as soon as possible.  We take care of as much as possible to move your case forward while helping you to optimize your time so you can take care of yourself and be with your family instead of in a law office.

  • We come to you. You do not need to travel to us.
  • We do all the research. You focus on taking care of yourself and your family.
  • We arrange medical liens so you get all the care you need now.
  • We review all your medical bills to make sure you are not overcharged.

A Mesothelioma Attorney with Experience Makes a Difference

Asbestos law is an  intensive practice area focusing exclusively on asbestos-related disease, typically caused by occupational exposure or military service. The laws and rules regarding winning a lawsuit are complicated. Only an expert mesothelioma attorney has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case and secure the justice and compensation you deserve. You and your family are entitled to nothing less than the best.

At Kazan Law, we not only know asbestos law, we helped invent it. When founding partner Steven Kazan started his practice in 1974, there was no such thing as asbestos law.  There was no such thing as a mesothelioma attorney. Workers who died of mesothelioma were considered unlucky and their employers were not held responsible. As Steven Kazan began helping with workers compensation cases, he took on some of the first civil lawsuits ever filed against companies for intentionally causing fatal asbestos exposure to their workers. And he won.

Steven Kazan’s victory for the workers from the Johns-Manville plant in Pittsburg, CA is regarded as a “threshold verdict”. It created the opportunity for punitive damage verdicts against Johns-Manville and many other companies throughout the United States and the world. Kazan eventually had 393 cases pending against Johns-Manville. Although Johns-Manville lawyers could not pretend the company was innocent, they found a way to pay less to victims. They filed for bankruptcy, one of the first companies to do so as a result of asbestos litigation, and created a trust fund from which each victim would be paid a reduced amount.

A Mesothelioma Attorney Whose Advice is Sought by the US Government

As a pioneering mesothelioma attorney, Steven’s advice and experience have made him sought after by federal courts and government agencies trying to regulate corporate trust funds for asbestos victims. He is always willing to dedicate his time and wisdom to try to make sure that the interests of asbestos victims are represented in these bankruptcy reorganizations.

Steven has been appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to serve as a member or as counsel to victim members for all major asbestos bankruptcy reorganizations, including W.R. Grace, Kaiser Aluminum, Owens Corning, Fibreboard, U.S. Gypsum, General Motors, and many others.

Whenever a bankruptcy reorganization is approved, Steven is the key mesothelioma attorney in the U.S. nearly always approved by the Federal Court to serve as a member of The Trustees’ Advisory Committee on behalf of asbestos victims.

Mesothelioma Attorneys Who Win Top Settlements

As a mesothelioma attorney of historical prominence with over four decades of experience in mesothelioma law, Steven Kazan today heads a firm of 22 fulltime mesothelioma attorneys. Steven Kazan continues to be rated as one of the U.S.’s Super Lawyers along with six of his partners and associates; and the firm receives top accolades for the victories they win for mesothelioma victims.

In 2014, Kazan Law received first place for highest wrongful death verdict amount in California. This recognition was given by the California legal profession’s top publication The Recorder in its annual review of top verdicts. The $11,800,000 wrongful death verdict followed a $9 million verdict Kazan Law won the family for punitive damages for a total of $20,800,000.

Choose A Mesothelioma Attorney Who Strives to Make the World a Better Place

Any good mesothelioma attorney should also contribute to helping to find a cure for mesothelioma. We have seen close up thousands of times the toll mesothelioma takes on individuals and families.  Kazan Law has its own foundation set up for that purpose. Over the last 20 years we have given over $20 million in grants to a wide array of community and civic organizations, including $6 million for mesothelioma research. This is one way we are giving back to the community of mesothelioma patients and families whose rights we fight for as asbestos litigation attorneys.

We also believe in giving back to the community our law practice calls home as well as communities all across the US by supporting programs that help provide relief to the poor, distressed or under-privileged everywhere.

Another way we try to help is by having a top mesothelioma attorney on our staff work full-time on better laws to protect workers.  Frances Schreiberg, who has many decades of experience, works with unions for free to get CalOsha and the California legislature to try to eliminate the workplace hazards that lead to mesothelioma and other causes of injury and death.


Asbestos Exposure in the Military

asbestos exposure The most common place where people have experienced asbestos exposure is in the workplace. The work sites with some of the highest rates of asbestos related disease may come as a surprise: the US Armed Forces’ ships and installations around the world. Veterans are more than three times as likely to develop mesothelioma as those who have never served in the military. Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Exposure in the Navy

While members of every branch of the military run a higher risk of asbestos disease than the civilian population, the Navy has the highest rates of asbestos exposure. Members of the Navy and civilians who built and serviced naval vessels worked in an environment awash in deadly asbestos fibers.

Because asbestos is a good heat insulator, US Navy ships built between 1930 and the early 1970s were loaded with the toxic mineral. It was used for insulation in boiler rooms and around piping that ran throughout the ships. Asbestos was also used to construct rooms and entranceways in areas of the ship that might be prone to fire, since it is also resistant to fire.

One of the greatest risk factors for developing mesothelioma, asbestos-caused lung cancer, or other asbestos related disease is a stint working in the boiler room of a Navy ship. In the heat and hustle, it was not uncommon for tiny asbestos fibers to come loose. Floating through the air and invisible to the naked eye, these fibers were easily inhaled and could stick and stay in the lungs.

Because mesothelioma usually takes decades to develop, Navy veterans are still being diagnosed with this and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure that may have occurred forty or more years ago.

Asbestos Exposure in the Army

Starting in the early 1980s, the US Armed Forces stopped using asbestos as an insulator and construction material. The legacy of asbestos lingered on much longer, though, since buildings constructed with asbestos-laden materials continued to be used for many more years. And military vehicles like trucks, cars, and motorcycles used asbestos brakes and other parts.

Veterans of the Marines and Air Force, as well as the Army, may have suffered asbestos exposure while they worked and lived in buildings on military bases that were built with asbestos in ceiling tiles, insulation, or other parts of the structures. In addition, asbestos brake linings were used on military vehicles which may have remained in service for years after the toxic properties of asbestos were understood or the dangers simply ignored. Service members who worked repairing those vehicles may have a special risk of asbestos exposure.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides a list of military occupations that are particularly associated with asbestos exposure: “mining, milling, shipyard work, insulation work, demolition of old buildings, carpentry and construction, the manufacturing and installation of products such as flooring, roofing, cement sheet, pipe products, or the servicing of friction products such as clutch facings and brake linings.” Even if you didn’t fill one of these roles, you may have been exposed to asbestos during your military service if you were around others doing those tasks.

Asbestos Exposure in Vietnam and Beyond

One group of veterans who appear to have an elevated chance of asbestos exposure are those who served in Vietnam. During their deployment, military ships, vehicles, and structures would all still have contained asbestos.

One of the times where there is the greatest hazard of asbestos exposure is during removal of asbestos from boiler rooms and infrastructure. Construction workers who engage in this type of work today wear special protective gear. During Vietnam, some soldiers were tasked with ripping out asbestos-laden materials, often without proper protective gear.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs also notes that veterans who served in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries may have been subjected to asbestos exposure. Although the conflicts in the Middle East happened after the military had stopped building with asbestos, hazardous fibers may have been released when buildings built in previous decades were damaged or destroyed in the fighting.

VA Benefits and Mesothelioma

The Veterans Administration does offer healthcare for veterans suffering from mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure during their military service. If you have an asbestos-related disease due to asbestos exposure in the military, you are eligible to apply for disability benefits through the VA.

In fact, the VA even has special centers at some of its facilities which employ experts in mesothelioma care. Veterans can travel to these centers or receive care remotely from the specialists there.

The good news is that the cost of mesothelioma care at the VA is likely to be lower than if you pursue treatment through private insurance. The VA gives highest priority to veterans with mesothelioma, so you shouldn’t have to wait for care – once you are approved for benefits.

The bad news is that these VA benefits are not always easy to claim for diseases due to asbestos exposure. Because mesothelioma takes so long to manifest, it can be difficult to prove that your asbestos exposure took place during your military service.

Compensation for Veterans

Veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases have another option to seek compensation for their illness. Like civilians who suffer from the long term consequences of asbestos exposure, veterans have the right to file a lawsuit against the corporations that manufactured or sold the asbestos materials that made them sick.

If you served in the military prior to the late 1990s and you develop mesothelioma or another disease caused by asbestos exposure, you should talk to an experienced asbestos attorney. An asbestos lawyer can guide you through the process of claiming compensation for your illness, pain and suffering, and lost wages. A lawyer can help you protect your rights and receive the compensation you and your family need to insure that you get the best possible healthcare and that your family is taken care of once you are gone.

When Should I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

mesothelioma lawsuitFiling a mesothelioma lawsuit should be a priority for you and your family if you are reading this.  When you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is because you worked with asbestos or because you lived with someone who worked with asbestos. That means you’ve got a good chance of winning a large amount of money in damages in a mesothelioma lawsuit.  Timing is critical. Mesothelioma is a fast-moving disease. Court systems can move slowly. You will need an experienced asbestos lawyer to help you get compensation from the companies that manufactured or installed the asbestos materials you were exposed to.

Best Mesothelioma Lawsuit Timing Improves Chances of Winning

Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit should be done as soon as a mesothelioma diagnosis can be verified.  A mesothelioma diagnosis, verifying the fact that you or a loved one has mesothelioma, is the key piece of evidence of harm from asbestos exposure.  Without it, you might risk wasting your time and possibly your money for unnecessary court fees. Knowing that you have been exposed to asbestos is upsetting but it is not sufficient grounds to file an asbestos lawsuit. A lawyer who tells you otherwise is not telling you the truth.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, but have not been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos disease, we recommend that you:

  • Monitor your health carefully
  • Tell your doctor that you have been exposed to asbestos
  • Seek medical attention promptly if you feel unwell
  • Be aware that mesothelioma symptoms can seem like flu symptoms
  • Find out more about asbestos-related diseases and their symptoms

A Mesothelioma Lawsuit Requires a Medical Diagnosis

To help you win a mesothelioma lawsuit as quickly as possible, even the best attorney needs solid evidence on your behalf.  A lawsuit cannot be filed without vital information that only you can provide.  Getting this information pulled together ahead of time will help a good mesothelioma lawyer know you have a solid case and enable them to move swiftly on your behalf.

Because mesothelioma symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and coughing can be similar to symptoms of other illnesses such as a flu or bronchitis, it is important to be persistent in seeking a diagnosis. If your doctor is dismissive of you, seek another opinion as soon as possible.  A firm mesothelioma diagnosis that will stand up in court will require lab test results. You need to see a physician who knows what lab tests are needed and will order them for you.

You need to provide several pieces of information to verify that you are suffering from mesothelioma. Be prepared to provide the:

  • Date and place of your diagnosis
  • Name and number of physician who diagnosed you Pathology report, chest X-ray reports, CT-chest reports which your physician can give you

This is the cornerstone you need to start a mesothelioma lawsuit. And if you can’t have these reports a good mesothelioma lawyer can get them with your permission, but that takes extra time. The information below is also necessary but it is information your mesothelioma lawyer can help acquire after you have filed a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Needs Employment History to Move Forward

If you have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, it is time to call a lawyer. Mesothelioma is not genetic.  It is not caused by risky behavior like smoking.  You receive a mesothelioma diagnosis because someone else chose to put you and your family at risk by exposing you to asbestos.

In your mesothelioma lawsuit, you need to prove that you developed mesothelioma because you or someone in your family was exposed to asbestos at work or in the military.  Below is work history information that will be needed. If you cannot provide this information, don’t worry.  Part of what a good mesothelioma attorney can do is all of the investigative work needed to find out this information. It is called the “discovery” part of a lawsuit. However it will help your mesothelioma lawsuit proceed more quickly if you can provide:

  • The name of the company or companies you worked for. If any company has been sold to another company, try to find out that name, too.
  • The dates you worked for each company – when you started and when you stopped. Try to find and make copies of tax returns or W2 forms that support those dates.
  • The names of products and materials you handled as part of your job.
  • Your job title and specific job duties and job site locations.

If you do not remember the names of the products or have your old tax returns, your mesothelioma lawyer can put together this information for you.  But even the best mesothelioma lawyers like the best detectives, need clues to work with, so gather up these documents if you can:

  • Marriage, death, birth certificates
  • Health insurance cards, Medicare cards
  • Social Security records (detailed earnings with employer names)
  • Job resumes or job summary/timeline
  • Military: DD214, other documents

Statute of Limitations and Mesothelioma Lawsuit Timing

A statute of limitations sets legal deadlines for filing a lawsuit. Most lawsuits need to be filed within a certain amount of time. Once the period allowed for a statute of limitations passes, your time is up and you no longer have a valid legal claim.

In California time is critical so get the best mesothelioma lawyer you can find, as quickly as you can; you normally have one year to file a mesothelioma lawsuit from the date of your diagnosis. However, unlike in other states you do not need to know at the time you file your mesothelioma lawsuit who is responsible.  This can help you move forward with a mesothelioma lawsuits before the statute of limitations time period ends.





What Are Asbestos Compensation Claims?

asbestos compensation claimsMesothelioma is a particularly unforgiving form of cancer. Its victims usually succumb to the disease within one to two years. Sometimes the end may come much more quickly. There may be no time to pursue compensation while a family member is still living unless the family acts quickly. Ensuring proper healthcare and that your loved one is as comfortable as possible are your top priorities. This doesn’t change the fact that when someone in your family passes away due to mesothelioma, caused by asbestos, or another asbestos disease, you are likely to have very valuable asbestos compensation claims against the corporations responsible for exposing your loved one to asbestos.

After mesothelioma has claimed the life of your loved one, it is not too late to pursue asbestos compensation claims. You can file a type of lawsuit called a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Purpose of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

When you lose a family member to mesothelioma or other asbestos disease, you can file asbestos compensation claims for your own losses and on behalf of your loved one. Your claims may include the loss of future financial support and wages, the cost of medical bills, and the pain and suffering experienced between the diagnosis and the death of your family member. If the person you have lost was your spouse, you may be able to recover damages due to loss of consortium. This category of damages covers the loss of emotional support and comfort that the death has cost you.

The Basics of Asbestos Compensation Claims After Death

All legal claims are subject to statutes of limitations. This means that you need to take action within a certain amount of time or you lose your right to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims varies from state to state. You will most likely need to file a wrongful death lawsuit within one to three years after the death of your family member due to asbestos exposure. It’s a good idea to consult an experienced asbestos attorney as soon as you can, to be sure you preserve your rights to your asbestos compensation claims.

There are some limits on who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be able to pursue asbestos compensation claims on behalf of your deceased loved one if you are a close family member: child (natural or adopted), spouse, parent, grandparent, sister, or brother.

If you are not a family member but you relied on the person who died for significant financial support, you may also have valid asbestos compensation claims that you can pursue through a wrongful death lawsuit. You must have a serious financial loss to qualify as financially dependent. California, for example, will allow non-family members to file wrongful death lawsuits if they received, at minimum, half their financial support from the person who died due to asbestos exposure.

Wrongful Death Verdicts and Settlements

Jury trials are not the only way to resolve asbestos compensation claims. About 95% of asbestos lawsuits are completely settled before trial. Settlement is appealing to corporations because it saves them the expense and embarrassment of a jury trial. The responsible companies can provide compensation without admitting guilt, in most cases, and the amount of the settlement is usually confidential.

Settlement is also beneficial for plaintiffs, because it spares you from the process of going through trial, which can be stressful and costly. While settlements are usually smaller than jury verdicts, they make up for this by saving plaintiffs legal costs. A settlement can also be the quickest way for you to get the compensation you need to make up for lost wages and pay medical bills.

There is a third avenue for asbestos compensation claims: asbestos trust funds. A number of companies have filed for bankruptcy due to asbestos lawsuits. Those corporations set up asbestos compensation funds, to pay their victims of asbestos exposure. If your loved one was exposed to asbestos by a corporation which has set up an asbestos trust fund, your attorney can make a wrongful death claim against the fund.

How Large Are Asbestos Compensation Claims After Death?

Like asbestos lawsuits filed by people with mesothelioma, wrongful death lawsuits relating to asbestos compensation claims can result in large payouts. Kazan Law has a track record of gaining large settlements and jury verdicts for its clients. In fact, Kazan Law won the highest wrongful death jury verdict in the State of California in 2014. A Kazan attorney was able to obtain $11.3 million in compensation for the widow and daughters of a man who had died due to exposure to asbestos-lined brakes at his workplace.

The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors, including the age and work prospects of the family member who died, the nature of the illness before death, and the weight of the evidence connecting his or her death to asbestos exposure at the hands of particular corporations. The amount you receive can also vary depending on whether you get it from an asbestos trust fund or through a settlement or verdict. An experienced asbestos attorney can walk you through these factors and help you assess the strength of your claim and the range of compensation you may be likely to receive.

That said, asbestos compensation claims often lead to settlements and verdicts worth millions of dollars.

How Do I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Your most important ally in recovering your asbestos compensation claims after the death of your loved one is your asbestos attorney. Good asbestos attorneys will take your case on a contingency basis. This means that you pay no legal fees unless your attorney is able to win compensation for your wrongful death claims; when you do receive payment, your attorney’s fees are a percentage of that money.

The most important decision you will make after the death of your family member – indeed, one of the most important financial decisions of your life – is the choice of your asbestos law firm. When you work with an experienced asbestos firm with a track record of winning compensation for mesothelioma clients, such as Kazan Law, it can mean the difference of millions of dollars in recovery for your asbestos compensation claims.

Mesothelioma Lawyers Verdicts and Settlements

mesothelioma lawyers Mesothelioma lawyers want to obtain compensation for you and your family for the wrongs done to you that caused your mesothelioma.  If you are suffering from mesothelioma it is because you were exposed to lethal asbestos dust without your permission.  In nearly all cases, the asbestos exposure occurred on the job – either at work or in the military.

Even though mesothelioma emerges decades after the exposure, which it typically does, skilled mesothelioma lawyers know how to investigate and discover what products and product manufacturers, distributors and other companies may be to blame.

Mesothelioma lawyers will then file a lawsuit on your behalf.  The lawsuit will result in either a verdict or a settlement.

How Mesothelioma Lawyers View Verdicts vs. Settlements

You may have heard of “settlements” or “verdicts” in lawsuits where one party has suffered great harm and injury because of another party. But what is the difference between the two, and how do mesothelioma lawyers decide which outcome will be in your best interests?

A settlement is an out-of-court agreement. It means that two parties in a lawsuit have reached an agreement without completing all the legal proceedings of a full trial. In some cases when all the parties settle, that means no trial.

Mesothelioma lawyers seek to file a lawsuit on behalf of a client with mesothelioma against the persons and/or businesses that caused their mesothelioma due to negligence or deliberate wrongdoing. The plaintiff is the person suffering from mesothelioma and the defendants are the parties accused of causing this harm to the plaintiff. If the plaintiff’s mesothelioma lawyer files a lawsuit against defendants but the lawyers for both sides are able to reach a negotiated compensation agreement before or during civil court proceedings, this is considered a settlement.  It generally involves an agreed upon sum of money to be paid to the plaintiff.

Either the plaintiff or the defendant may make the offer of a certain amount to be paid to the plaintiff to settle the case. The other side can choose to accept, counter or reject the offer.

Mesothelioma Lawyers and Trial Verdicts

A verdict or judgment is the final decision reached by a judge and/or jury in court proceedings. If your mesothelioma lawyers take your mesothelioma lawsuit to trial, both sides of the case will be heard. Then evidence will be evaluated in order to determine whether your opponents are guilty or not guilty. Unlike criminal court, where guilt must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the proof needed in a mesothelioma lawsuit is a “preponderance of evidence” in your favor. Preponderance is defined as most of the evidence.

If the defendant is found guilty, the jury may have the task of determining what amount of financial compensation the defendant will pay to the plaintiff. Mesothelioma lawyers will typically show evidence of the amount of compensation that should be awarded by reviewing current and future medical expenses, lost earnings and also the emotional impact that mesothelioma has had. Verdicts reached in civil court typically result in higher payouts to plaintiffs than settlements, but this can vary depending on specific factors in the case.

Why Mesothelioma Cases Settle

Mesothelioma lawyers sometimes advise their plaintiffs to settle mesothelioma cases out of court. This could be in your best interests so you can avoid a long courtroom battle. Whether your particular case goes to court and results in a verdict will depend on the circumstances, such as the defendants  willingness to pay fair settlements and your determination to seek maximum compensation even if it means going to trial. Your mesothelioma lawyers should discuss your options ahead of time to determine whether settling out of court or going to trial will be best for you , and regularly revisit this subject as the trial continues.

Mesothelioma Lawyers Who Win Multimillion Dollar Verdicts

When mesothelioma lawyers are among the best at what they do, they often win large multi-million dollar verdicts for their clients.  These clients are people who were wrongfully exposed to asbestos and are facing the tragic consequences.

Kazan Law in Oakland, California is a firm of mesothelioma lawyers who are rated as one of the premier mesothelioma law firms in the U.S.  Kazan Law won some of the first major victories for victims of asbestos exposure in the U.S. since it started over forty years ago.  Kazan Law helped establish asbestos litigation as a legal specialty and went on to win some of the biggest monetary verdicts for their clients.

Today well into the 21st century, Kazan Law’s dedication to legal excellence and justice for asbestos victims continues to result in major verdicts.  These verdicts gain Kazan Law recognition in the legal profession among their peers in the United States and throughout the world.

  • $32,800,000 – In 2016, Kazan Law won a California jury verdict for their client, a foundry worker for American Optical Corporation in Los Angeles, California, of $22.8 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages for marketing a faulty respirator. Our client used a faulty American Optical respirator for 17 years expecting that it would protect him from breathing asbestos dust.
  • $6,951,000 – In 2015, a California jury returned a verdict, after a six-week trial, in favor of Kazan Law’s client a boilermaker by trade. The jury found Union Pacific Railroad Company responsible for the suffering and wrongful death of our client who worked as a boilermaker at the Southern Pacific Railroad from 1971 to 1995. The award consisted of $6,500,000 in pain and suffering damages in the mesothelioma lawsuit. The court had already determined that Mr. Emerson’s economic damages totaled $451,265 bringing the total of the verdict to $6,951,000.
  • $29,270,000 – In 2014, Kazan Law received first place ranking for highest wrongful death verdict amount in California. The recognition was bestowed by the legal profession’s leading publication The Recorder in its review of top verdicts. The $11,800,000 wrongful death verdict followed a two-phase trial verdict Kazan Law won on behalf of the family in previous years. In December 2010, the jury awarded $3,900,000 million in compensatory damages. In January 2011, Kazan Law obtained $13,500,000 in punitive damages. The verdict total amounted to $29,270,000.
  • $27,342,500 – In another recent case, the $27, 342,500 verdict won by Kazan Law for a client made the National Law Journal’s exclusive list of Top 100 Verdicts for 2013. The verdict covered damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship and economic damages.

Super Lawyers Northern California 2016 List Features 7 Kazan Law Attorneys

Kazan Group jpegThe highly respected Super Lawyers list for 2016 has chosen seven Kazan Law attorneys for its selective compilation of the best attorneys in the United States. Seven Kazan Law attorneys were included in the list this year to represent the top lawyers in the Northern California region. Super Lawyers Kazan Law is a title each recipient continues to strive for year after year.

Considering that this exclusive peer-driven list is limited to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of California and that we are in a very specialized area of law practice, the selection of seven of our attorneys for Northern California Super Lawyers 2016 is quite an achievement.

This year’s Super Lawyers list is the 12th consecutive one to include attorneys from Kazan Law.  A dozen solid years on the Super Lawyers list is an achievement we are proud of.  Yet we never take inclusion in Super Lawyers for granted. And it is not something we are even thinking about as we pursue our daily work of seeking justice for our clients who are victims of asbestos exposure.  But we are very gratified that our peers have chosen us once more for this honor.

The Northern California Super Lawyers 2016 list includes our firm’s senior partners. Our firm’s full name is Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood. We are very proud that each of these principals of our firm continues to be honored by the legal community as a Northern California Super Lawyer.

In addition, we are also delighted that another one of our partners was selected to the list as a Northern California Super Lawyer. This year marks Justin Bosl’s transition from the category of Rising Star to Super Lawyer.

Super Lawyers Kazan Law

Here are the Kazan Law Northern California Super Lawyers 2016 and the years their name has appeared on this significant list:

  • Steven Kazan -2004 – 2016
  • David McClain – 2004-2016
  • Gordon Greenwood – 2004, 2006 -2016
  • Joseph Satterley – 2013(Kentucky), 2014 – 2016
  • Justin Bosl – 2011 – 2016

Kazan Law Northern California Super Lawyers 2016 Rising Stars

In 1998, Super Lawyers started a Rising Stars list to highlight the best new attorneys in each state. Rising Stars are those acknowledged by their peers as the best attorneys under 40, or who have been practicing law for 10 years or less.  Just 2.5% of the lawyers in California are named to this list. We are very proud that two of Kazan Law’s attorneys have been chosen for this important distinction:

  • William Ruiz – 2012 – 2016
  • Michael Stewart – 2013 – 2016

How Northern California Super Lawyers Are Chosen

The Super Lawyers list serves as a resource for consumers trying to find the best legal representation. Unlike many professional listings, you cannot buy a listing in the Super Lawyers list by purchasing an ad. Super Lawyers attorneys are selected for inclusion by an extensively detailed rating process consisting of nominations and evaluations by other lawyers and additional research.

Each lawyer nominated for the list is judged in 12 categories of peer recognition and professional accomplishments. A new selection process is held annually in each state.

What makes the Northern California Super Lawyers list unique is that it consists of lawyers recommended by other lawyers.  There is no other way to get on this list. To be held in such high regard by our colleagues is a great honor.

How the Super Lawyers List is Distributed

The Super Lawyers list includes lawyers chosen from more than 70 practice areas who are highly rated by their peers and who have been successful in their area of law practice. The list is published in Super Lawyers Magazine, a publication that is distributed to attorneys and accredited law school libraries throughout the 50 states and Washington, D.C., reaching more than 13 million readers. The list is also available in the magazine’s online digital edition.

Northern California Super Lawyers 2016 Inclusion Supports Our Mission

Northern California Super Lawyers 2016 inclusion of seven Kazan Law attorneys provides us with wonderful support for the work we do. It offers us a great tribute from our colleagues that our asbestos law firm continues to be on the right track. After more than 40 years of fighting for justice for our clients, it is nice to know that our professional colleagues continue to respect and admire our work. But for us, winning for our clients is what truly matters.

Kazan Law has always been and continues to be a firm that stands up for everyday people who have had the very thing each of us values most taken away from them – their lives. We do not represent big businesses with deep pockets and powerful contacts. We represent hard-working honest people who face premature death because of a heartless business decision based on profit.

Achieving justice for our clients always has been and will continue to be the most essential accolade for us. But we are grateful for the recognition from Super Lawyers 2016. To our peers who voted for us we say a heartfelt thank you.




Mesothelioma Law and Mesothelioma Facts

mesothelioma lawIf you are considering starting a mesothelioma lawsuit, you must understand the basic facts about mesothelioma law before beginning the process of finding the right mesothelioma attorneys to represent you. First, you need medical proof that you have mesothelioma. Your efforts to proceed with the legal process rely upon a doctor’s diagnosis. Second, and often most time consuming, you need proof that specific persons or businesses exposed you to the asbestos which caused your mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Law and Medical Diagnosis

Mesothelioma lawsuits can result in verdicts or settlements for the victim representing millions of dollars in compensation. Businesses responsible for causing mesothelioma and their insurance companies would rather not take responsibility for their actions by admitting guilt or paying out millions of dollars to those they have irrevocably harmed. Because of their unwillingness to admit responsibility for your asbestos exposure, it is critical that solid proof be gathered and documented.  Mesothelioma is a devastating preventable type of cancer with only one known cause – exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma silently and slowly attacks the tissues lining vulnerable organs of the body. In most cases because microscopic asbestos dust fibers are inhaled into the lungs, mesothelioma develops in the tissue lining the lungs. This is pleural mesothelioma. But the tiny flecks of asbestos can also make their way through the body’s systems into tissue that line other organs such as the heart and the abdomen.

What makes mesothelioma unusually difficult to diagnose and makes mesothelioma law such an  intense area of litigation is that the symptoms only emerge decades after the asbestos exposure. The disease develops silently for many years with no outward signs.

When symptoms first make themselves known they can easily be mistaken for another more common illness such as a cold or flu.

If your cold or flu like symptoms linger longer than normal, and will not go away, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. Be persistent about seeing your primary care physician. If you recall working around asbestos or recall having a family member who did work around asbestos, then take immediate action. Your physician may decide it is necessary to have you go for x-rays, blood tests and possibly additional tests, or send you directly to a cancer specialist. The sooner you have definitive results, meaning a medical mesothelioma diagnosis, the sooner you can put mesothelioma law in play on your behalf.

California Mesothelioma Law Not Limited to Californians

Mesothelioma law in California is often open to  non-Californians suffering from mesothelioma. The laws are structured so that you do not have to be a California resident to file a mesothelioma lawsuit here.  Nor do the companies named in your lawsuit have to have offices or businesses here.

California has some of the strongest most favorable mesothelioma laws in the country for achieving justice for victims of asbestos exposure.  California also has some of the top expert mesothelioma lawyers in the country, like Kazan Law.  The following are a few of the reasons why California mesothelioma laws are advantageous to those filing mesothelioma lawsuits: .

  • Mesothelioma laws in California are among the most favorable in the U.S. for asbestos victims.
  • California residency is not required to file an asbestos lawsuit here.
  • California mesothelioma law allows you to initiate your lawsuit even if you have not yet identified who or what is responsible.
  • Top pioneers in the asbestos litigation field, like Kazan Law, were at the forefront in helping asbestos victims receive compensation for their injuries

Mesothelioma Law Reflects Mesothelioma Facts

Those of us who helped initiate the first mesothelioma lawsuits and have practiced mesothelioma law for decades expected that by now mesothelioma might be a thing of the past. We had hoped that once it was understood how fatal and preventable mesothelioma was, laws would be enacted to prevent people from being exposed to asbestos that causes mesothelioma.

But unfortunately mesothelioma is still very much part of the global landscape. Although recent laws have cut down on asbestos exposure they have not eliminated it.  Mesothelioma law continues to be a necessity as reflected by mesothelioma facts and statistics.

Key current statistics to know are:

  • 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. every year
  • Almost 3,000  people die from mesothelioma in the U.S. every year
  • 20 – 50 years is the usual time frame of asbestos exposure to diagnosis of mesothelioma

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tracks and analyzes mesothelioma statistics. Here are some results from the decade 2001 – 2010, the most recent data set[1] that has been compiled.

  • 26, 471 mesothelioma U.S. deaths
  • 21, 246 mesothelioma deaths in U.S. men
  •    5,225 mesothelioma deaths in U.S. women
  •        75  median age of death from mesothelioma in the U.S.

According to the CDC, these states have the highest number of deaths from mesothelioma – which remained constant over the decade even with some fluctuations from year to year:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. New York
  5. New Jersey
  6. Texas

Survival Statistics

Mesothelioma law is adamant about pursuing businesses that knowingly exposed people to asbestos because mesothelioma is almost always a fatal disease. New avenues of cancer research are making progress in developing new mesothelioma treatments. But at present many of these are not approved by the FDA and can only be accessed through participating in an investigative clinical trial, with no guarantee of results.

Conventional treatments, including surgery to remove tumors, chemotherapy and radiation, can help increase survival time. But overall survival time depends on the stage at which mesothelioma is diagnosed and age at the time of diagnosis. Earlier diagnosis and diagnosis at a younger age can improve survival odds.

Below is current median survival data for mesothelioma from the American Cancer Society[2]. Median survival is similar to an average – half the patients at each stage will not reach the survival time cited but half will live longer.

Stage Median Survival
I 21 months
II 19 months
III 16 months
IV 12 months

Consequently, if you have mesothelioma, you likely have enough time to see your mesothelioma lawsuit to conclusion, at least in California, but it is best to begin as soon as possible.

[1] Mortality multiple cause-of-death data from National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System.

[2] American Cancer Society data 02/17/16

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