Mesothelioma Injury Lawsuits: Legal Action

What is a Mesothelioma Lawsuit, and Should I File an Asbestos Lawsuit? Companies that manufactured asbestos and products using asbestos knew for decades that asbestos could cause serious medical issues, yet many of them deliberately hid this information from workers who later developed mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses. Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer associated with exposure to asbestos that has an extremely long latency period between exposure and symptoms development (20-50 years).

The very first asbestos lawsuits were filed in the 1930s, however, the “modern” history of asbestos litigation began in 1966 when the first asbestos product lawsuit was filed in Beaumont, Texas. Plaintiff Claude Tomplait was diagnosed with asbestosis in July of 1966 and filed a lawsuit against eleven manufacturers of insulation products containing asbestos—including Johns-Manville and Owens Corning. The case finally made its way to trial in 1969, where a verdict was returned in favor of the defendants.

A co-worker of Tomplait then filed a similar case in October 1969, again, against numerous asbestos manufacturers. There was a very different outcome in this case—Plaintiff Clarence Borel was awarded almost $80,000 in damages. Beginning in 1973, when the EPA began banning certain asbestos products, many more asbestos lawsuits were filed across the United States. A lawsuit was filed in 1974 on behalf of Plaintiff Reba Rudkin who developed asbestosis after working for nearly three decades at the Pittsburg, CA Johns-Manville manufacturing plant. The lawsuit included fraud and conspiracy charges against Johns-Manville.

At the trial, it came out that there had been a “policy” at the company to not talk to employees about chest x-rays that suggested mesothelioma or asbestosis. It was eventually proven in court that company conspiracies to suppress knowledge regarding the hazards of asbestos began as early as the 1930s.  By the 80s and 90s, the lawsuits against companies that knowingly exposed their employees to asbestos grew by leaps and bounds, with thousands of lawsuits filed. Many of these companies resorted to bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, resulting in many of the responsible companies dissolving in the 90s.

Early asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits generally involved litigants who worked in asbestos mines and factories. A secondary group of litigants involved workers exposed to asbestos on railways, shipyards, and power plants. These workers were suing distributors of asbestos-laden products and owners of the premises where the exposure occurred. Later, a third group of litigants that consisted of both workers and private individuals who were exposed to asbestos due to its use in construction began suing employers and property owners.

There is a significant amount of liability to go around, including manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos products, retailers of products containing asbestos, owners of premises containing asbestos, and even banks that financed projects that involved the use of asbestos. Asbestos-related illnesses have been responsible for the longest-running and most expensive mass tort litigation in U.S. history, with total costs running into the billions.

If you have been exposed to asbestos and as a result developed mesothelioma (a relatively rare cancer resulting primarily from asbestos exposure) or asbestosis (a lung disease associated with asbestos exposure), you may want to consider a mesothelioma lawsuit. Certain sources cite the cost of mesothelioma treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to average around $12,000 per month. More effective treatments from a mesothelioma specialist can increase these costs. Having an experienced mesothelioma attorney to help you file your asbestos lawsuit can result in reimbursement for your medical expenses and lost wages, and payment for your pain and suffering as well.

What is the Process of Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit? There are several different types of asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits that can be filed—your asbestos lawyer will help you determine which type of mesothelioma lawsuit is most appropriate for your specific circumstances. You may decide to file a personal injury mesothelioma lawsuit in which you will be the plaintiff, and the product manufacturers (which could be your place of work) will be the defendants. Your compensation will be determined based on your age, how much you have spent on medical treatments—and how much you can expect to spend on medical treatments in the future—lost current and future wages, and your level of pain and suffering.

Your settlement will also depend on how many defendants are named in your lawsuit, how many dependents you have (spouse and children), and your travel expenses. If a loved one has died from exposure to asbestos, then you will file a wrongful death claim on behalf of close family members. Like a personal injury claim, medical expenses and lost wages are included, as well as burial and funeral expenses and payment for lost consortium, lost care and guidance (for children), and even lost inheritance. There is also about $30 billion in trust funds for victims of mesothelioma.

A mesothelioma trust fund is created on behalf of companies who are guilty of asbestos negligence but have declared bankruptcy. The purpose of these trusts is to protect mesothelioma victims who deserve compensation by setting aside money for future asbestos claims. It is extremely important that you find an experienced asbestos attorney who is well-versed in both typical personal injury asbestos claims as well as the trust fund claims process for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a preventable disease with virtually one cause—asbestos exposure. Since the manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products hid the dangers of asbestos from the public simply to make a profit, you are entitled to compensation for your damages.

Although each case is different, most mesothelioma lawsuits follow the same basic legal process. Your mesothelioma law firm will conduct a free case review to determine when you were exposed to asbestos, how you were exposed, where you were exposed, and which manufacturers could be held responsible. A lawsuit will be filed by your asbestos lawyer after it is determined which court system is the best to file, and which type of asbestos lawsuit you will be filing.

The defendant will have a chance to respond to the lawsuit—usually thirty days or less. They will either agree to your demands for compensation or they will refuse. If they refuse, both sides will begin gathering evidence in preparation for a trial if a settlement cannot be reached. This evidence is known as discovery, and can include the following:

  • Your employment history
  • All documents related to your employment history
  • Documentation of your exposure to asbestos
  • Your medical history and current medical records that confirm your diagnosis of mesothelioma
  • If applicable, your military service records
  • Statements from witnesses who may have worked with you during the time of asbestos exposure or who have information regarding the asbestos exposure

Your asbestos attorney will negotiate with the other side to reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. Most all personal injury claims are settled outside a courtroom, but many occur shortly before the trial date. If your asbestos claim does go to trial, both legal teams will present their case before a judge or jury.

How Can an Experienced Mesothelioma Cancer Lawyer Help Me and How Do I Find Asbestos Lawyers Near Me? Compensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit can help ensure a more stable financial future for you and your loved ones. Your medical expenses will be reimbursed, and you may be able to pursue new treatments that your insurance would not cover. Your lost wages, both current and future will be paid in a settlement, as well as money for pain and suffering.

This includes actual physical pain as well as mental and emotional pain related to your mesothelioma. Asbestos mesothelioma lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to file a mesothelioma lawsuit on your behalf, securing the best settlement possible for you and your family.

If you have determined you should file an asbestos lawsuit, you will want to find a mesothelioma law firm near you that has the necessary experience to file an asbestos lawsuit on your behalf. Mesothelioma lawyers specialize in asbestos compensation through litigation, including settlements, lawsuits, and asbestos trust funds.

The best mesothelioma attorneys work for well-established law firms and have proven track records. You want an attorney who can effectively represent you in court because they are well-familiar with the complex asbestos and mesothelioma legal process. Your asbestos attorney can access the necessary tools to win your case, obtaining compensation you are entitled to receive from your wrongful asbestos exposure.

The best mesothelioma attorneys will provide a free consultation to comprehensively address your legal options regarding an asbestos lawsuit. You want to ensure your attorney has a proven record of winning asbestos lawsuits, recovering large settlements following successful settlements and verdicts. The best asbestos attorneys know state and federal laws regarding asbestos lawsuits and have very good communication skills as well. If you do not feel comfortable when talking to your mesothelioma attorney regarding your health and work details, then you need to find a different attorney.

Your asbestos lawyer must have access to databases that contain information regarding companies that used asbestos and manufactured asbestos as well as extensive knowledge regarding the potential compensation available to you and your loved ones. This is your chance to hold the company that caused your mesothelioma responsible, so you want the best asbestos attorney for the best outcome.  

DISCLAIMER: Statutes of Limitations limit the amount of time that an individual has to file a lawsuit, and not only vary from state to state, but also vary by cause of action. The information provided above and in the state-specific pages in this section is meant as a general guide, and is for informational purposes only. Each client’s case is unique, and the specific circumstances of any individual case can have significant bearing on the applicable statute of limitations. Any person who believes they may have a viable cause of action is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney about the statute of limitations for his or her case. Attorney Andrew Sullo is licensed to practice law in Texas, and can prosecute cases that are part of a federal multi-district litigation. Andrew Sullo does not practice law in any other state, and is not certified by the Boards of Legal Specialization in any state. Not all states have board certifications. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Texas. Our firm is not accepting cases in any state where it would be impermissible for it to do so. Sullo & Sullo, LLP maintains its principal office in Houston, Texas.

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