Montlick and Associates Reviews Defenses Asserted in Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit


May 05, 2014

Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys at Montlick and Associates recognize the devastating toll of mesothelioma on people who are exposed to asbestos, as well as the impact on their loved ones. Mesothelioma is a fatal form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Many people who eventually contract mesothelioma are unaware that they were exposed to the hazardous substance, or they were unaware that the substance was a dangerous carcinogen at the time of their exposure. Because the symptoms of mesothelioma frequently do not appear until twenty or thirty years after exposure to asbestos, those who breathe in asbestos fibers face significant legal and medical challenges.

A former shipfitter's wife recently obtained a $7.2 million jury verdict in a Philadelphia wrongful death lawsuit lawsuit against nine companies whose asbestos laden products were allegedly used by the shipfitter that employed her husband. The lawsuit provides an example of some of the challenges that face families and estates pursuing wrongful death lawsuits in mesothelioma cases. While eight of the defendants settled before trial the remaining defendant attempted to evade liability with a variety of defenses that are commonly asserted in some form in these types of lawsuits.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the decedent's wife who was also administer of his estate. The defendant who did not settle prior to trial raised three separate arguments against liability. The first contention was that there was not sufficient evidence to establish that the defendant had regular and frequent exposure to the defendant's product that contained asbestos. This defense may vary depending on the specifics of state law and the facts. However, the defense essentially revolves around the fact that many times a worker who develops mesothelioma may not have had direct exposure to the defendant's product, which contained the hazardous carcinogen. In this case, the defense was countered by arguing that the decedent suffered frequent second-hand exposure to asbestos fibers on the clothes of other employees who worked directly with the electrical wiring materials containing asbestos.

Another defense asserted in the wrongful death lawsuit involved contesting that the defendant's wiring was misidentified as an asbestos product to which the decedent was exposed on the job. This is a common defense in mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit because of the long latency period between exposure and development of symptoms in mesothelioma. Our Atlanta mesothelioma lawyers will conduct an appropriate investigation so that we can track down companies that contributed to the exposure of the person suffering mesothelioma.

Finally, the defendant in this case claimed that the "type of asbestos fibers" contained in its wiring product were not a type that cause mesothelioma. Both sides used experts that gave competing opinions on whether the fibers in the wiring referred to as "chrysotile" cause mesothelioma because there is a debate in the medical community on this issue.

Georgia Mesothelioma Attorneys– Seeking Compensation for Asbestos Exposure

While no two lawsuits are the same and state laws can vary substantially, mesothelioma lawsuits frequently present difficulties in terms of identifying viable defendants and presenting scientific evidence regarding the type and level of exposure to asbestos fibers.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For Your Case

If you or a loved one develops mesothelioma or other asbestos-related medical conditions, our Atlanta mesothelioma attorneys represent those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.