A mesothelioma lawsuit may help provide peace of mind that your family will be well cared for
One very important decision that deserves consideration is whether or not to pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit against the companies that manufactured the asbestos products. In many cases, the makers of the asbestos products that lead to the mesothelioma have already been found guilty of negligence, product liability, and consumer fraud (for covering up the dangers of asbestos).
While each case is different, a company with a prior judgment against them may be weary of a prolonged court trial and more likely to seek an out-of-court settlement.
History of Asbestos Litigation
Asbestos litigation is the longest, most expensive mass tort in U.S. history, involving more than 6,000 defendants and 600,000 claimants. Current trends indicate that the rate at which people are diagnosed with the disease will likely increase though the next decade. Analysts have estimated that the total costs of asbestos litigation in the USA alone will eventually reach $200 billion. The amounts and method of allocating compensation have been the source of many court cases, and attempts of the government to resolve existing and future cases.
The controversy over asbestos-related liability issues is reflected by recent press reports and the position taken by the American Bar Association.
The first lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers were in 1929. Since then, many mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed against asbestos manufacturers and employers, for neglecting to implement safety measures after the links between asbestos, asbestosis, and mesothelioma became known (some reports seem to place this as early as 1898).
Many attempts have been made at legislation that would compensate victims of asbestos, however none have been successful. At one point, Congress was considering legislation entitled the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005. The Act would have established a $140 billion trust fund to supplant litigation as a means to compensate victims of asbestos and limit liability. The American Public Health Association and the Asbestos Workers Union, were among strong critics of the bill.
On June 14, 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee Committee approved an amendment to the Act which would have provided victims of mesothelioma $1.1M within 30 days of their claim’s approval. This version would have also expand eligible claimants to people exposed to asbestos from the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and to construction debris in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This legislation never made it out of the House.
Statute of limitations
A statute of limitations sets forth the maximum period of time in which legal proceedings may be initiated. There may be a number of factors which will affect the tolling of a statute of limitations. In many cases, the discovery of the harm starts the statute running. In some jurisdictions the action is said to have not accrued until the harm is discovered, while in others the action accrues when the injured party discovers the harm.
Due to several asbestos-related actions, countries such as Australia have amended their laws relating to limitations to accumulate starting from time of discovery rather than the time when the action occurred.
Once the statute of limitations on a case runs out, any further litigation is generally prohibited.
Do you have a mesothelioma claim?
If your loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as a result of asbestos exposure or mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
Please contact our mesothelioma lawyers today by filling out the brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number (1-800-898-2034) for a free, no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your case.