The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted society in many predictable and unpredictable ways. Now that the virus has been with us for six months, we’re beginning to see how one group—mesothelioma sufferers—is affected by the toll COVID-19 is taking on the medical system, legal system and economy.
The Rise of COVID-19 Cases Strains the Texas Medical System
Beds, ventilators, drugs and even hospital staff are all in short supply, according to a Texas Tribune article reporting that 80 to 90% of hospital beds are occupied in the cities of Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Unfortunately, this crisis could be having effects not just on COVID-19 patients, but on those with other medical issues such as mesothelioma.
Amid the outbreak, some people are hesitant to go to the hospital for fear of exposure. Someone who may be experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma might avoid going to the doctor, which means a delay in diagnosis.
Medical facilities are having to delay non-COVID-19 cases. Doctors are sometimes forced to delay X-rays, chest CT scans, pulmonary function tests and other procedures used to diagnose mesothelioma.
One South Texas doctor told the Texas Tribune, “There’s nothing else other than COVID. You treat COVID, you look at COVID. Everything’s COVID. We need people to understand that it is a dire situation going on inside the hospital.”
COVID-19 Also Affects the Legal System & the Economy
Within the legal system, pandemic impacts mesothelioma toxic tort claims related to occupational asbestos exposure. COVID-19 is causing delays in screening and testing for mesothelioma, which is affecting workers’ ability to join toxic tort lawsuits. Without testing, a person cannot show their cancer is related to asbestos exposure.
Economically, the virus has led to a surge in bankruptcies across a wide range of industries. Pandemic Impacts Mesothelioma impacts latent asbestos claims, as the companies responsible for exposing workers could become insolvent. In a recent case against a Texas-based utility company, the appeals court ruled that latent asbestos plaintiffs were barred from bringing their claim against a bankruptcy business before a certain date. This shows how the financial status of companies matters in mesothelioma litigation.
Given the issues presented by COVID-19 and the need for mesothelioma sufferers to get a diagnosis and treatment to make a legal claim, it’s more important than ever that anyone who believes they may have mesothelioma to speak with a qualified attorney. This can be done using video conferencing for everyone’s safety.
Talk to Our Texas Mesothelioma Lawyers Virtually
At Ted B. Lyon & Associates, our Dallas mesothelioma attorneys can meet with clients virtually. Your safety and health are our top priorities. If you would like to speak with a lawyer about a potential mesothelioma claim, call 800-TedLyon or send us a message to schedule a free consultation.