One man’s misery can be another man’s fortune. This seems to be the case with the mesothelioma victims on the one hand and mesothelioma lawyers on the other. An online feeding frenzy is currently taking place. The average mesothelioma case today is settled at around 1 million dollars, and that figure jumps to 6 million dollars when the lawsuit goes to the courts. With such enormous money to be made, legal firms are hungry for a slice of the action, and are shelling out big money for online visitors. The result is that search engines and other sites that can supply them with those visitors are racking up huge revenue.
It works like this. In the sponsored listings of search engines, clicks (visitors) are auctioned off to the highest bidder. When someone searches “mesothelioma”, the highest-bidding law firms appear. With the keen competition, these firms are paying as much as $100 per mesothelioma-related visitor to their web site. That’s $100 every time someone just clicks on their ad – and a lot of the clicks are from competitors. Less than one in ten visitors may actually submit an inquiry about the services of the legal firm. And only a fraction of the inquiries convert into clients. Therefore, it is costing lawyers tens of thousands of dollars in advertising to secure a single client.
There is something truly obscene about this situation. But, it is inevitable that while there is huge money to be made from litigation, lawyers and publishers will continue to hustle for their slice of the action. You can even find these vultures on YouTube making an undignified pitch for business. If only a portion of the money could be directed to cancer research. Perhaps these legal firms and others who profit from this horrendous disease should consider donating a portion of their gains to research organizations. By doing so, they may appear a little more genuine and less like vultures.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. In fact, 70% to 80% of mesothelioma cases are caused by a history of exposure to asbestos. It can take decades for the symptoms to appear. Each year, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are reported. In the past 20 years, the number of reported cases has increased significantly. Although it can take up to 50 years for symptoms to manifest, mesothelioma patients experience a host of symptoms. These include shortness of breath, or a wheezing and hacking cough, which often lead to chest or abdominal pain. In the more serious cases, individuals may have bowel blockages, anaemia, a bloody cough, and jaundice. It is extremely difficult to secure accurate statistics about how many individuals suffer from mesothelioma because in the early stages, the symptoms are quite similar to various other conditions. This often leads to a misdiagnosis of the disease. In addition, when an accurate diagnosis is finally made, the disease has typically already progressed to a more advanced stage.
With the renovation craze that has occurred in the past 2 or 3 decades in countries such as Australia and the US, it is expected that the high rates of diagnosis will continue for decades to come. And as long as there is money to be made from this disease, the vultures will also be around.