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Interview with Asbestos Attorney Michael Hodges

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July 23, 2008

Interview with Asbestos Attorney Michael Hodges

Kansas City, MO: Attorney Michael Hodges of Hodges Law Firm, based in Kansas City, is involved with a group of lawyers who concentrate exclusively on representing people in asbestos litigation. "We represent people across the US who have developed asbestos-related cancer," says Hodges.

His background has been focused primarily with medical cases but over the last several years, Hodges has been involved in asbestos cases with co-counsel in St. Louis. "With these lawsuits, there are so many filed in Madison county that there is a 'fast track' to the litigation, which means cases will normally get set for trial within a year of filing," explains Hodges. "This means that asbestos litigation has become so developed that most of the liability discovery is not necessary for individual cases. In other words, plaintiffs can get fairly fast justice in that county—in many parts of the US it takes years to get your case to trial."

Science has made it clear that mesolthelioma is directly linked to asbestos but Hodges points out that now it has also become clear that a variety of cancers are also caused by asbestos, such as lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer, to name a few. Obviously, mesothelioma is a significant illness, but these other cancers have all been related to asbestos.

Many victims develop asbestos-related illnesses from occupational exposure, but you can develop mesothelioma anywhere from 10-50 years after exposure. "We are currently representing a 37-year-old man who was diagnosed with mesothelioma and the occupation of his grandfather was a contributing factor," says Hodges. "Look back at the latency period."

Asbestos related diseases are insidious—an entire family can suffer, both physically and of course, emotionally. "You can be exposed to asbestos in all kinds of products, from shingles on your house to the brake linings of cars to the wrappings around heat pipes," says Hodges. In fact, we have all likely been exposed to asbestos at some time during our lives, particularly anyone growing up pre-1970s.

Sadly, victims are often diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers and mesothelioma with only a short time left to live. Oftentimes their loved ones will file in their stead.

In our next conversation with Michael Hodges, LawyersandSettlements will find out how the passing of the new Asbestos Bill can affect your potential asbestos lawsuit. And Michael Hodges will discuss what information you need and whether you qualify for an asbestos lawsuit, either as a sufferer from asbestos-related illness, or as a family member who is considering filing a suit. And finally, the advantages and/or disadvantages of filing an individual lawsuit versus a class action lawsuit.

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