What Does the Mesothelioma Law Say?
We have discussed earlier that asbestos law did not exist for a very long time because the workers did not have the knowledge and the forum to govern their interests. They were being exploited by the companies who continued exposing them to asbestos even while they themselves were well aware of the consequences of such exposure. It was only when it was seen that the whole bunch of workers living and working at an asbestos developed common symptoms and many of them became victims of cancer, that people sat up to take notice and acknowledge that there was a problem and it must be immediately dealt with.
The recent Supreme Court judgment regarding railroad workers is a fitting example of the state's commitment to provide legal justice to its citizens. This has been elaborated in a following section.
When Can I File a Claim?
You can file a claim if-
- You have been exposed to asbestos for over 5 years and have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease. When you know the symptoms and have the medical proof of your ailment, legal action can be taken.
- You are the executor of the estate of a person who has died due to an asbestos related illness.
- You are the widow of a person who died due to an asbestos related illness if your husband worked in the construction trade or shipyards or any other high-risk occupation, whether or not your husband smoked.
But keep in mind that-
- The laws in different states differ. Remember to consult your local asbestos attorney (or mesothelioma attorney) before filing a claim.
- It must be proved that the exposure was to a product of a specific defendant at a specific jobsite, since the claims are generally filed against asbestos manufacturers, contractors and distributors.
- The claim must be filed within the statute limit. It is better to go through a mesothelioma law firm.
- There are many mesothelioma attorneys in Texas and Ohio. Consult a qualified mesothelioma lawyer/ asbestos lawyer.
Recent Asbestos Litigation
The recent Supreme Court judgment of March 10, 2003 favored workers who had endured asbestos exposure and were not suffering from cancer. This judgment makes way for filing lawsuits by those workers who have been exposed to asbestos but do not suffer from cancer. The court would thus grant that any case on the basis that exposure to asbestos is suffering enough since many of them do suffer from asbestosis, if not cancer, can now be argued.
Justice Ruth Ginsberg was quoted as saying that the judgment was based on the fact that there is an “undisputed relationship between exposure to asbestos sufficient to cause asbestosis, and asbestos-related cancer”. This conclusion has disappointed the industry, although they have not yet been able to prove its inaccuracy.
Many companies have lost a fortune in compensating the workers who file asbestos lawsuits and also in ensuring better health standards for them the recent ruling, thus, comes as a blow on the face. For the workers, however, this ruling is a triumph. They see the Supreme Court acknowledging and endorsing their stand of fighting for better conditions for themselves. The asbestos crisis and litigation has now assumed multi-billion dollar proportions and the stakes are now very high for the companies.
Until it was discovered that the communities exposed to asbestos developed a different kind of cancer called mesothelioma, there was no specific law on mesothelioma. But now that the link between unwarned or unsafe asbestos exposure and mesothelioma has been well established, mesothelioma litigation has become a potent tool in the hands of suffering workers.
Other related links:
Which Bodies Regulate Asbestos?