Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that can result from asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mineral used in the manufacturing and construction industries. Asbestos was once considered safe, but now it’s known that inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma.
Some individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma after asbestos exposure seek compensation from their employers. Mesothelioma lawsuits seek compensation from companies responsible for exposing their workers to asbestos. There are several steps involved in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Some attorneys specialize in mesothelioma cases. It’s common for attorneys to have one or more areas of expertise, and at least one specialty should include mesothelioma. An attorney with experience in this area will have a better understanding of how to handle the situation.
You must have solid proof that your mesothelioma results from asbestos exposure. You must also have proof that the exposure occurred on your job. You’ll need to show that products containing asbestos were present while you were working and that you were exposed to those products. Other proof can include items such as your employment history and medical records.
Find the Responsible Parties
It’s possible for several parties to share blame in a mesothelioma case. Your attorney can help identify employers, individuals, or companies responsible for the asbestos exposure. Manufacturers of products that contain asbestos or owners of property where the exposure occurred are also possibly responsible.
File the Lawsuit
You will proceed to file the lawsuit if you have enough evidence. Your attorney will let you know if you have a solid case.
The process of “discovery” is when both sides in a lawsuit exchange information and evidence. Discovery allows both sides to become familiar with the facts associated with the lawsuit. This is the time to request documents, depositions, and interrogatories.
Decide to Negotiate or Have a Trial
Some mesothelioma cases never go to court. If a case is settled out of court, both parties reach a mutual agreement without court involvement. If negotiations fail, the case will go to trial.
Settlement or Verdict
You’ll receive a settlement if you and the defendant reach an agreement. The settlement amount depends on what’s stated in the agreement. If the case goes to court, a jury or judge will reach a verdict in your favor or against it.
If the judge or jury decides the case in your favor, you’ll likely receive compensation. The compensation can help pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other mesothelioma-related expenses.
What is a Class-Action Lawsuit?
A mesothelioma class action lawsuit starts with a group of people diagnosed with mesothelioma. All the people in the lawsuit were exposed to asbestos from the same source.
If the court recognizes the lawsuit as a class action, more people in the same situation can also join the claim. If you don’t want to file your own claim, you can possibly join an available class-action lawsuit if you’re eligible.
What is an Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust or Mesothelioma Trust Fund?
Companies that have gone bankrupt have created an asbestos bankruptcy trust or a mesothelioma trust fund because of exposing workers to asbestos. Funds are put aside to pay current and future asbestos claims. The aim is to compensate those diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma, even if the company at fault filed for bankruptcy.
Several mesothelioma cases and settlements have occurred. Most of these cases involve several defendants and several plaintiffs. Mesothelioma cases can become complicated, especially when there are several people involved.
W.R. Grace and Co. manufactures building materials and chemicals that were faced with hundreds of lawsuits related to mesothelioma and asbestos. The company was financially overwhelmed and filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The company created a trust to compensate victims and has paid more than a billion dollars to claimants.
In 2019, a widow received $2.38 million in a mesothelioma asbestos-related lawsuit against Union Carbide Corporation. The widow filed the lawsuit on behalf of her husband, who died from mesothelioma after exposure to Union Carbide’s asbestos.
The lawsuits mentioned above are a few out of many that occur in the U.S. These types of lawsuits have been occurring since the discovery of the link between asbestos and mesothelioma.