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Jennifer Dawson

From 1980-1982, when Jennifer was an infant, her father worked in replacing old heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in a Texas school district. He would come home from work dusty with asbestos and play with Jennifer, unaware that he was endangering her health.

When Jennifer began experiencing pains in her side at age 14, cancer was the furthest thing from her mind. Even her doctors had a hard time diagnosing her illness, mesothelioma, correctly. Jennifer is hardly a typical victim of this rare form of cancer--mesothelioma is usually found in men in the middle or later years of life, decades after exposure.

Jennifer is now 23 years old. Thanks to radical experimental surgery for mesothelioma patients at the National Institute for Health in Bethesda, she was able to graduate from high school. But her future is too uncertain to think about college.

With the help of HendlerLaw, Jennifer and her family pursued a claim against the asbestos manufacturers responsible for her illness and received more than $3 million. Although the money will not cure her cancer, the civil justice system can, at the very least, give Jennifer and her family the peace of mind that justice has in some way been served, and that the corporations responsible were held accountable for the consequences of their actions.