Resources for Patients and their Families

Mesothelioma Law Firm

Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen has represented mesothelioma victims and their families honestly and effectively for over 40 years.

Cathy and I would like to extend our most sincere thanks to Jim Early, Bob Sweeney and your entire staff for the caring and professionalism in which you handled our Mesothelioma case. We are more than pleased with the settlements you have secured on our behalf and honestly, never expected such results.

Cathy and Nick Varni

For over four decades, the mesothelioma law firm of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen has limited its practice to asbestos litigation. In that time, ELSM has helped thousands of mesothelioma victims get the financial compensation they deserved for injuries they sustained from asbestos products made and sold by negligent asbestos companies.

In this section, you can learn more about our firm, our experienced legal team, and the outstanding results that we have achieved for our clients. We are confident that after you learn more about us, the clients we serve, and our past track record, you will see how we can put our decades of experience winning mesothelioma settlements to work for you and your family.

Initial consultations at Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen are always free of charge and are designed to help us evaluate your case and measure your chance for a viable, successful lawsuit. We answer any questions you may have about the process thoroughly at this time. In addition, because Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen operates on a contingency fee basis, the client pays nothing unless we succeed in your behalf and money is recovered.

Meet the Partners at Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen

The Partners at ELSM will do everything in their power to make sure you and your family get the justice and financial award that you deserve.

James Early

Jennifer Lucarelli

Robert Sweeney

Chris Meisenkothen

Ethan Early

Brian Early

Mark Bibro

Donni Young

Brian Kenney

Beyond the partners, the remaining mesothelioma lawyers at ELSM are experienced, dedicated, hard-working, and committed to their clients. They take time to get to know you and your families as individuals and they truly care about the people they serve.

Meet the Attorneys at ELSM

Meet the experienced team of attorneys at ELSM who will work tirelessly on your behalf to earn you the highest settlement award possible.

Lindalea Ludwick

Ron Meneo

Matthew Park

Derell Wilson

Catherine Ferrante

Kyle Navin

We’ve Earned National Recognition

Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen is nationally recognized for our representation of product liability and mesothelioma victims, and for our understanding of and compassion for injured parties and their families. Our experience in these matters spans two decades and our lawyers have been recognized as some of the best in the country.

We have been awarded Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV rating, we are a National, Tier 1 ranked law firm with U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms, and we have been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers rating publications.

Martindale-Hubbell's Highest AV Rating


ELSM has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV rating for excellence in ethical standards and legal expertise. This highly regarded system utilizes both client and peer review feedback to rate lawyers in the areas of experience, expertise, knowledge, judgment, communication, and ethics.

The goal of the rating system is to help those seeking legal counsel to make informed decisions with a higher level of confidence. When you choose a law firm with a Martindale-Hubbell AV rating, like Early, Lucarelli Sweeney & Meisenkothen, you can be assured that you have chosen to work with attorneys that are well-regarded by their peers, have an exceptional track record, and that work with a high degree of integrity. In short, you have chosen the best.

The following letter from Martindale-Hubbell confirms that Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen has earned an AV rating, the highest rating awarded only to those who exhibit excellence and uphold high standards of conduct in the legal profession.

Dear Mr. Early:

I am pleased to inform you that you have been awarded the highest accolade in Martindale-Hubbell; an AV rating. This is as a result of an extensive, confidential review conducted among the legal profession in your community.

Your AV rating is important because it is a confirmation of the status you have achieved as a highly respected, ethical member of the Bar. It signifies that your legal abilities are of the very highest standard and that your professional ethics are unquestioned. You now join a select group of attorneys who have been recognized by their peers for their legal expertise and professional reputation.

Martindale-Hubbell has gone to considerable lengths to confirm the validity of your rating. To maintain the accuracy of ratings, periodic reevaluations are conducted.

Our congratulations to you on your new rating.


Edward J. Roycroft, Jr.
Vice President

More About ELSM

ELSM has consistently been at the top of the list in terms of per case settlement dollars obtained for its asbestos clients. We have dedicated extensive resources to gathering information and evidence against the asbestos industry. We will explain the multiple paths to follow to maximize your recovery against asbestos manufacturers and suppliers.

We will discuss with you the options of lawsuits, out of court settlements, and claims in the bankruptcy courts. We will seek to determine and advise you as to the best course of action in your case. In many cases, we can obtain settlement offers from certain asbestos manufacturers within a few months of retention.

We urge you to consider our extensive database of medical information, mesothelioma treatment options, and product identification that dates back to the 1930s when choosing your legal representation.

Financial Assistance For Mesothelioma Victims

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE For Mesothelioma Victims

Request FREE information about financial assistance that may be available for those diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Learn More About the Following:

  • Mesothelioma Trust Funds
  • $32 Billion Already Set Aside
  • Compensation for Veterans
  • It’s Easy to See if You Qualify

Recent Settlements

Since this was my first experience in such matters, I appreciated the expertise of your attorneys. Their professionalism throughout the entire deposition impressed me to no end. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend your firm to my family or friends.

Joseph Buscemi

At Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, we strive to get our clients the best settlement offers possible. Because of our long experience with litigating mesothelioma lawsuits, we know how to maximize the amount of money that asbestos companies are willing to offer to avoid a potentially lengthy and damaging trial.

Mesothelioma Settlements for ELSM Clients

The table below provides the approximate amounts of settlements that our experienced mesothelioma attorneys have helped to negotiate in the past. Please note that individual cases vary based upon a number of factors, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. If you have any questions about your legal rights, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.

State Disease Occupation / Exposure Age ~ Monies to Date
CA Mesothelioma Plumber / Mechanic 53 ~$13,100,000
IL Mesothelioma Pipefitter / Household 61 ~$11,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Bystander / Army 66 ~$11,750,000
CA Mesothelioma Pipefitter 66 ~$11,700,000
MD Mesothelioma Hairdresser / Household 68 ~$11,450,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Dry Wall Sprayer 49 ~$9,500,000
PA Mesothelioma Household / Air Force 53 ~$9,350,000
IL Mesothelioma Coast Guard / Engineer 63 ~$8,800,000
CA Mesothelioma Maintenance / Construction 56 ~$8,650,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Maintenance 56 ~$8,570,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy 58 ~$8,130,000
CA Mesothelioma Household 70 ~$7,360,000
CA Mesothelioma Plantworker 59 ~$7,000,000
NY Mesothelioma Navy Worker / Operating Engineer 61 ~$6,900,000
IL Mesothelioma Plantworker 64 ~$6,800,000
CA Mesothelioma Carpenter 63 ~$6,600,000
NY Mesothelioma Navy Worker / Machinist 53 ~$6,400,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy 66 ~$6,000,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Plantworker 69 ~$6,000,000
CA Mesothelioma Household / Technician 63 ~$6,000,000
NY Mesothelioma Navy Worker / Plumber 67 ~$5,875,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Tilesetter 50 ~$5,800,000
IL Mesothelioma Navy 68 ~$5,500,000
TX Mesothelioma Power Plant 71 ~$5,300,000
IL Mesothelioma Household 46 ~$5,300,000
WV Mesothelioma Nurse Aide 49 ~$5,200,000
CA Mesothelioma Lumber Yard Manager 42 ~$5,200,000
TX Mesothelioma Navy / Mechanic 68 ~$5,000,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Electrician 63 ~$4,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Household 67 ~$4,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Carpenter 66 ~$4,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Mechanic 60 ~$4,800,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Pipefitter 69 ~$4,700,000
CA Mesothelioma Shipyard 60 ~$4,700,000
IL Mesothelioma JM Plantworker / Shipyard 51 ~$4,600,000
IL Mesothelioma Household / Plantworker 57 ~$4,600,000
IL Mesothelioma Navy / Mechanic 51 ~$4,300,000
TX Mesothelioma Boilermaker 71 ~$4,300,000
CA Mesothelioma Pipefitter 64 ~$4,300,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Construction 72 ~$4,300,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Navy 55 ~$4,200,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Teacher 70 ~$4,200,000
CA Mesothelioma Plumber 61 ~$4,200,000
CA Mesothelioma Sheetmetal 76 ~$4,200,000
GA Mesothelioma Household 49 ~$4,200,000
TX Mesothelioma Carpenter / Marine Corps 71 ~$4,100,000
IL Mesothelioma Army / Engineer 64 ~$4,100,000
TX Mesothelioma HVAC 66 ~$4,100,000
CA Mesothelioma Plumber 67 ~$4,100,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Plantworker 58 ~$4,100,000
TX Mesothelioma Coast Guard US / Shipyard 67 ~$4,050,000
LA Mesothelioma Household / Office Worker 62 ~$4,000,000
CA Mesothelioma Plantworker Rogers 47 ~$3,900,000
IL Mesothelioma Plantworker / Household 59 ~$3,900,000
TX Mesothelioma Hospital Worker / Hospital Worker 52 ~$3,800,000
IL Mesothelioma Navy / Electrician 68 ~$3,800,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Nuclear Plant 62 ~$3,800,000
NY Mesothelioma Carpenter / Trimmer / Mechanic 64 ~$3,750,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Welder 58 ~$3,700,000
PA Mesothelioma Plumber 79 ~$3,500,000
HI Mesothelioma Plantworker 70 ~$3,500,000
IL Mesothelioma Painter / Merchant Marine 79 ~$3,500,000
NY Mesothelioma Household / Machine Operator 54 ~$3,500,000
IL Mesothelioma Household 71 ~$3,500,000
IL Mesothelioma Navy / Mechanic 57 ~$3,400,000
SC Mesothelioma Navy / Powerhouse 62 ~$3,400,000
PA Mesothelioma Navy / Boilerman 54 ~$3,400,000
NY Mesothelioma Pipe Organ Builder 71 ~$3,300,000
IL Mesothelioma Sheetmetal 69 ~$3,300,000
OH Mesothelioma Maintenance 62 ~$3,200,000
NY Mesothelioma Merchant Marine / Longshoreman 59 ~$3,200,000
NY Mesothelioma Plantworker / Sales Worker 65 ~$3,100,000
CT Mesothelioma Electrician 56 ~$3,100,000

Twelve Reasons to Hire ELSM

I am very pleased with the law firm Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen and feel that they have always had my best interest at heart.

Shirley Lamphere

At Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, we believe our clients always come first. Here are twelve reasons that you should feel comfortable choosing us to represent you and your family.

  1. Over 30 Years of Experience

    The firm of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen has been representing mesothelioma and asbestos disease victims and their families for over 35 years. ELSM has been given the highest rating in legal ability and legal ethics by Martindale-Hubbell, the most respected organization that rates lawyers.

  2. We Focus on Mesothelioma Cases Only

    Other firms typically handle many areas of litigation whereas ELSM devotes nearly 100 percent of our resources to mesothelioma cases. We understand the concerns of our clients suffering from mesothelioma, and we understand the unique legal concerns of these cases.

  3. Nationwide Representation

    While our physical offices are located in the states of Connecticut and New York, our attorneys are also licensed to practice law in the following states: California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. In addition, our established affiliations with top asbestos law firms across the nation extends our capability to represent mesothelioma clients in every state within the U.S. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions.

  4. Unparalleled Industry Knowledge

    Our firm has extensive knowledge about the companies that manufactured, distributed and supplied products containing asbestos, and we apply this knowledge to make your case as strong as possible.

  5. Extensive Medical Knowledge

    Our team of professionals remains firmly dedicated to keeping informed about the latest research, diagnosis and treatment options for asbestos-related diseases.

  6. Top Jury Awards/Settlements

    Our lawyers will fight hard to get you the financial compensation to which you are entitled. The jury awards and settlements we have received for our clients are among the highest in the country.

  7. A Dedicated Team Assigned to Maximize Recovery from Asbestos Trusts

    Over 65 Asbestos Trusts have been setup with billions of dollars set aside to compensate mesothelioma victims. ELSM has an entire department dedicated to recovering funds quickly from these trusts on your behalf.

  8. Quick Compensation and Fast Trial Dates

    We understand that recovering funds quickly to help cover medical expenses is important to our clients. To that end, we work quickly on recovering funds from the asbestos trusts and securing the earliest possible trial date on your behalf. You can expect to see results as early as 3 to 6 months after starting the process.

  9. Individual Attention and Accessibility

    Each case is assigned a team of attorneys and legal assistants which allows us to give you individual attention and address your unique needs. We make ourselves accessible to you at all times, including nights and weekends.

  10. We Keep You Informed

    Dedicated attorneys and paralegals keep you informed about the progress of your case on a regular basis. We also make it our business to keep abreast of the latest medical news and legislative acts and keep you aware of this information as it becomes available.

  11. No Legal Fees Unless We Win

    We operate on a contingency fee basis which means you pay absolutely nothing until money is recovered. At that point we receive a minor percentage of the awarded settlement. You will find our contingency fees to be among the lowest in the country.

  12. Free Case Consultation

    Take advantage of our Free Case Evaluation to see how we can help you seek justice. We will travel to meet with you anywhere in the country. Our welcome team is ready to assist in any way you may need help.

Nationwide Experience

Nationwide Experience

Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen has over 35 years experience representing thousands of mesothelioma victims from every state across the Nation. In the majority of cases, local law firms do not have the breadth and depth of experience to handle the complex nature of asbestos litigation. With experience you can trust, ELSM is a nationwide firm dedicated exclusively to representing victims in mesothelioma lawsuits.

Our goal is to ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement dollars to compensate you for your injury. Many times, the state in which you reside is not the state in which it would be most advantageous to file your lawsuit. Our attorneys have the expertise that it takes to determine the best state for your case to be filed in to ensure the greatest outcome. If it is determined that it would be most advantageous to file your asbestos case out of state, we will coordinate with one of our reputable partner attorneys in that state.

The following list illustrates the cities and states where just some of the mesothelioma clients we have represented live:

Mesothelioma Clients By State

Client Testimonials

We are honored to work with each and every one of our clients and are always happy to hear when we’ve exceeded their expectations.

Client Profiles

We represent a wide range of clients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

To start the process of seeking compensation for a mesothelioma client, ELSM begins with a brief introductory meeting. During this meeting, an attorney from ELSM will outline the various steps of the legal process; address any questions or concerns you may have related to the legal process; and discuss the ways in which a mesothelioma client has been exposed to asbestos.

After this introductory meeting, ELSM will work on your behalf to collect all diagnosing medical reports from the medical facilities where you were treated. Before a mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, ELSM performs a thorough work history investigation of the diagnosed party. ELSM will collect work history records, including, union records, military service records, and other documents to substantiate employment history.

Have a QUESTION? Ask Jennifer

Attorney Jennifer Lucarelli

Ask a question and Jennifer will respond to you promptly.

Meet Attorney Jennifer Lucarelli:

  • Advocate for over 1,000 mesothelioma victims
  • Knowledge of Navy shipyard asbestos exposure
  • Well versed in the latest mesothelioma treatment options
  • Experience with the VA disability claim filing process

In addition to interviewing the mesothelioma client, ELSM will also identify any potential family members, co-workers, and other product identification witnesses who can assist in providing details about the work history and potential asbestos exposure in the case.

After we have completed a thorough product identification and work history investigation, our next step is to identify potential recoveries through asbestos trusts. A number of companies have admitted past asbestos liability and have set up asbestos trusts to compensate mesothelioma clients who present qualifying claims. ELSM is familiar with these asbestos trusts and their requirements for successful claims submission. For the most part, compensation through these trusts happens relatively quickly assuming your particular case meets each trust’s exposure criteria.

Learn More about the Different Resources Available to You

Financial Help is Available

Asbestos Trust Funds

Dont Lose Your Rights

Compensation for Veterans

  • VA benefit claims
  • Social Security Disability Income
  • State level assistance and grants

After your case has been evaluated for recovery through the asbestos trusts, ELSM then begins investigation of your case against viable companies who have yet to fully admit their asbestos liability. After an investigation period of about 30 to 60 days, ELSM will determine the proper venue to file the legal action. Venue selection is extremely important and is determined based on a number of factors including: a thorough understanding of scheduling, process time-frame, settlement history, and local laws. ELSM can file a lawsuit in any forum where a mesothelioma client has resided, worked, or served in the military. ELSM can also file your lawsuit in “open forum” states that are agreeable to allowing non-resident / non-exposure claimants to file.

As soon as the proper forum is determined, ELSM will file a formal Complaint on behalf of the mesothelioma client. The Complaint will typically assert various legal causes of action against the asbestos companies likely responsible for causing or contributing to a mesothelioma client’s diagnosis. The number of asbestos companies or defendants named in the Complaint will vary based on the specific type and amount of exposure a mesothelioma client may have had during his/her lifetime.

After filing the Complaint, the Discovery phase commences and usually lasts 3 to 4 months. Discovery allows ELSM to present information to the Defendant asbestos companies which document where, when, and how the mesothelioma client was exposed to particular asbestos products. ELSM can present this information via written documents (interrogatories) and/or oral testimony (deposition) to the Defendant asbestos companies. The Defendant asbestos companies will also be entitled to present information and/or documentation to your attorney during this period. ELSM will also file appropriate motions in Court during the Discovery phase on the mesothelioma client's behalf. Additionally, ELSM will likely try to reach some financial settlement(s) during the Discovery phase.

Most mesothelioma lawsuits will not end up going to trial, but rather will resolve in settlements well in advance of the trial date. Throughout the entire process, ELSM will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of seeking trial resolution vs. settlement with the mesothelioma client. ELSM values continued client input and respects the client’s right to decide what may be in his/her best legal interests. Should a matter proceed to trial with your approval, ELSM is experienced, qualified, and prepared to do so.

Common Questions

Legal FAQ

At Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, we offer an unprecedented level of attention to our mesothelioma clients. Whether you have mesothelioma yourself or you are researching information on behalf of a loved one, we hope these answers to commonly asked questions will help you understand more about how we work and demonstrate our passion for helping you through this difficult time.

We understand that every individual situation is different. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you have a question that is not answered here, please sign up for a free consultation so that we can answer your questions directly.

How is ELSM different from other law firms that file asbestos lawsuits?

Our clients are our number one priority. We purposely limit the number of asbestos cases that we take on to ensure that our clients receive the first-class, individual attention they need and deserve. We have unparalleled experience in asbestos law and have been focusing in this area for over 35 years.

Each case is handled individually, and an attorney and legal assistant are personally assigned to each and every case. Your assigned legal team will be with you throughout the entire process. Other law firms take on so many cases that they lose the ability to offer the same level of personal engagement with their clients. This is an area that we will absolutely not compromise on at ELSM.

How does ELSM approach mesothelioma cases?

We handle mesothelioma lawsuits with a comprehensive approach, addressing them from both legal and medical perspectives. In many instances, our clients are still receiving medical care for their illness, and they are interested in knowing about the latest medical research as it relates to their disease.

We are well-represented at all of the major medical conferences that provide information on the latest technological breakthroughs and treatment options available to patients with mesothelioma. We also maintain relationships with medical professionals who specialize in asbestos-related illness, and we share relevant treatment information with our clients.

We also provide extensive information about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure on this website. Our blog provides up-to-date stories about recent treatment developments, legislative actions, and ideas for caregivers, among other useful information.

Can you give me some examples of clients you have helped?

Our client profiles list is broad and extensive. We have helped people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma all across America. It is one of our greatest honors to work for victims of asbestos exposure who were unknowingly exposed to harmful asbestos either directly on the job or through secondhand exposure. They have worked in a large cross-section of occupations and are from all walks of life. We are also pleased to have received many testimonials from clients we have helped.

We also receive inquiries about the settlements we win on behalf of our clients. If you are interested in this information, please view our list of recent mesothelioma settlements.

ELSM offices are located in New York and Connecticut, but I live in another state. Should I seek a local attorney to handle my mesothelioma case?

In most instances, we can handle your case no matter what U.S. state you live in, and in almost all cases ELSM will have more experience than a local law firm. We have been handling asbestos cases for over 25 years, and we bring the full breadth and depth of our experience to every mesothelioma case we handle.

As part of our research, we will look at all the available venues where a lawsuit may be filed, which can include any place where the client has lived, worked, or served in the military. Asbestos lawsuit values can be higher in some jurisdictions, such as New York City, and there may be situations where exposure even occurred in more than one state. We will work with you to determine the appropriate state to file your claim based on all the factors that will help to receive the greatest possible compensation.

If we do determine that it’s in your best interest to file your claim outside of the states where we practice, we will partner with a local attorney from the extensive mesothelioma attorney network that we have developed over the last 25 years.

Is it expensive to hire an experienced law firm like ELSM?

At ELSM we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless money is awarded to you, the lawsuit will cost you nothing. There are no financial risks involved in filing a lawsuit with us, and you will not have to pay us anything up front.

Because of our many years of experience with asbestos litigation, we know how to keep expenses low compared to less experienced firms. For cases that are settled without going to trial, expenses typically run from 3 – 5%.

Meet Our Welcome Team

We are eager to serve you. ELSM's initial consultations are 100% free of charge and, since ELSM works on a contingency basis, you will NEVER be charged anything out of your own pocket. ELSM only gets paid if it makes a recovery on your behalf.

Annette Charlevois

Kim McDonald

Your first contact with the firm will usually be with Annette Charlevois or Kim McDonald. They are experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate asbestos paralegals who have dedicated their lives to helping mesothelioma clients. They will listen to your individual situation and, together with you, decide on the next best course of action. Often a conference call or an in-home visit with one of our lawyers is arranged at your convenience. Click on the links above to learn more about Annette and Kim.

Don't Lose Your Rights to File a Mesothelioma Claim

Each state has its own deadlines, called statutes of limitations, which allow victims of mesothelioma to file lawsuits. Don't wait until it is too late to protect your rights! Request a Free Evaluation now if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The evaluation will cost you nothing. Our attorneys will travel to visit you at your convenience. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also fill out the form below to receive a free Mesothelioma packet, or call us toll-free at 1-800-336-0086.

James F. Early in Newsweek's 2012 Leaders of Asbestos Law Super Lawyers Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney, & Meisenkothen is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Attorneys - Mesothelioma in New Haven CT U.S. News Best Law Firms 2018

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Jennifer R. Lucarelli

Lawyer for Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families

Jennifer R. Lucarelli