According to documents recently filed in Kanawha County, West Virginia, a woman who lost her husband to the deadly cancer mesothelioma is suing multiple companies in an effort to receive compensation for her pain, suffering, loss of income and loss of consortium.
Guelda M. Wigal is executrix of the estate of John A. Wigal Sr., in addition to being Wigal’s widow. She is suing 20th Century Glove Corporation and A.O Smith Corporation, in addition to over 150 other corporations and manufacturers, claiming that the companies failed to adequately warn and protect her husband from the hazards of asbestos material while he was on the job.
Wigal later developed both mesothelioma and asbestosis as a result of having worked closely with asbestos. Since the symptoms of mesothelioma may not surface for 20 to 50 years after the exposure to asbestos initially began, it is often difficult to pinpoint the source of the disease. Most mesothelioma and other asbestos-related lawsuits, therefore, involve more than one defendant corporation. The connection between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma is well-documented.
When the microscopic fibers of the asbestos are released into the air through fabrication, cutting or simply daily use of the asbestos and asbestos-containing materials, they can enter the body. Once there, they make their way to the vulnerable membrane known as the mesothelium and begin to change the DNA of the mesothelial cells. Eventually a tumor begins to form, and it can spread across the surface of the mesothelium, which itself covers the lungs and lines the inner chest cavity.
A form of cancer with a particularly high fatality rate, mesothelioma usually claims its victims within several months of their diagnosis. It is rarely operable and does not tend to respond well to other traditional treatments such as chemo and radiation. Mrs. Wigal is seeking a trial by jury to resolve the matters related to the asbestos lawsuit.