Workers in Pennsylvania who have been exposed to asbestos have a higher chance of developing mesothelioma, a serious type of cancer that is difficult to treat. Over the years, new drugs and other treatments have been developed to hopefully better diagnose and treat the disease.
Asbestos-related illness and deaths continue to plague residents of Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania at rates far higher than the national average and in higher numbers than was initially assessed. This, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group Action Fund. The group's report shows that at least 14,216 people died from asbestos-related illnesses between 1999 and 2013 here in Pennsylvania. PA is considered one of six states that have asbestos-related illness and deaths at 50% - 100% above the national average. Those other states include Maine, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, and Montana.
Judicial districts in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are beginning to show new trends in asbestos litigation for asbestos-related illness. Filings for asbestos cases are remaining steady in Pittsburgh and are starting to rise in Philadelphia. The difference is who those cases are being brought against. Generally, asbestos cases used to be brought against shipyard conglomerates and industry front-runners; however, there is now more of a shift toward lawsuits that involve manufacturers of building materials that contained asbestos.