Mesothelioma lawsuits, which emerged in the early 1970s and continue to be filed today, comprise the longest running mass tort litigation in U.S. history. In fact, according to a 2005 study conducted by the RAND Corporation, some 730,000 asbestos-related lawsuits were filed through the end of 2002, costing businesses and insurance companies more than $70 billion.
Although the number of mesothelioma lawsuits filed annually started off small, the numbers sharply rose during the 1990s. This sharp rise was presumably caused by increased public awareness about mesothelioma, asbestos, and the availability of compensation. By the end of 2002, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related lawsuits had been filed against more than 8,400 businesses.
What are Mesothelioma Lawsuits About?
Mesothelioma lawsuits are mainly filed by victims who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Generally, mesothelioma lawsuits are filed against a victim’s former employer, and assert that the employer failed to warn the victim about the risks associated with asbestos exposure. In addition, mesothelioma lawsuits typically contend that the employer failed to adequately protect the victim from asbestos exposure. Sometimes, when a victim was exposed to asbestos in more than one location, an individual asbestos exposure victim will bring a mesothelioma lawsuit against several companies.
Who Can File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Anyone who has developed mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos can file a mesothelioma lawsuit. While most mesothelioma lawsuits are filed by mesothelioma victims who were exposed to asbestos at work, a family member who has developed the disease through close contact with the person who was exposed to asbestos can also file a mesothelioma lawsuit. In addition, a family member can file a lawsuit on behalf of a mesothelioma victim if the mesothelioma victim has passed away. Finally, a mesothelioma lawsuit may be filed by the executor of the mesothelioma victim’s estate.
How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
In order to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, victims should find a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Finding an attorney is imperative because each state has a time limit, called a statute of limitations, restricting how long each individual has to file a mesothelioma claim. The time limit varies from state to state, but it’s usually one to two years from diagnosis.
To learn more about how to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact our experienced mesothelioma attorneys today.