Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
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Mesothelioma Lawsuit Overview

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was used for decades in commercial products. While the use of asbestos has been banned in many countries around the world, individuals are still being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma.

It can take decades for mesothelioma to cause symptoms. Individuals who had primary or secondary exposure to asbestos may be eligible to file a lawsuit against a liable company. Companies that may be legally responsible for asbestos exposure include manufacturers, mining companies, and other employers. 

By mid-2023, mesothelioma lawsuit filings were 8% higher than the previous year. The vast majority of these cases are settled out of court but should be handled by an experienced attorney. At King Law, our attorneys are well-versed in seeking justice and financial compensation on behalf of mesothelioma victims and their families nationwide. Contact our office today to get started.

Latest Mesothelioma Lawsuit – May 2024 Updates

April 25, 2024 – National Cancer Institute Lists 47 Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Treatment

The National Cancer Institute has published a list of 47 clinical trials involving treatment for Mesothelioma. Clinical trials are studies typically conducted by pharmaceutical companies to test whether a treatment may be effective in treating a disease or illness. Typical Mesothelioma treatment involves surgery or chemotherapy. Several studies look at additional surgical options or other treatments like immunotherapy. Many of the studies are focused on treatment for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

April 5, 2024 – Biden-Harris Administration Finalizes Asbestos Ban in United States

On March 18th, 2024, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a decision to finalize a ban on the use of chrysotile asbestos in the United States. The move was the first of its kind under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 2016 which aims to protect Americans from mesothelioma, and other forms of cancer, caused by asbestos exposure. Chrysotile asbestos has been linked to over 40,000 annual deaths from diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.

March 21, 2024: Over 30 Cosmetic Companies Named in Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Over 30 cosmetic companies are named in a mesothelioma lawsuit out of Massachusetts. The lawsuit alleges that the companies used asbestos-containing talc powder in their products.

February 2024: New York Court Upholds $23 Million Award for Mesothelioma-Affected Steamfitter

A $23 million jury award is upheld on behalf of a steamfitter who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. On appeal, the New York court agreed with the jury’s findings that “valve-related gaskets and insulation manufactured by defendant caused plaintiff’s mesothelioma.”

January 2024: Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Tentative $700 Million Settlement Over Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Allegations

Johnson & Johnson enters into a tentative $700 million settlement with over 40 states related to its talcum powder marketing. Multiple lawsuits allege that the pharmaceutical giant’s talc powder contains ingredients that increase a person’s risk for developing certain kinds of cancer, including mesothelioma.

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What is a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

A mesothelioma lawsuit is a legal claim filed by someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or the loved one of someone who has died from mesothelioma. The lawsuits target companies, such as manufacturers, who were responsible for asbestos exposure. Taking legal action can not only help to seek accountability for negligent asbestos exposure but also help to secure financial compensation such as medical expenses, lost wages, and more for mesothelioma victims and their families. 

There are two basic types of lawsuits that can be filed: personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims. A personal injury lawsuit is filed by an individual who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, while a wrongful death claim is filed by the family of a person who has died from mesothelioma. 

Mesothelioma lawsuits can be challenging due to the long latency period of the cancer. It can take decades after the initial exposure before symptoms become apparent. Due to their complexity, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney throughout the process.

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Several types of mesothelioma lawsuits and methods of recovery may be available for victims and their families. To determine which kind of legal action you should take it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney immediately after your diagnosis. 

Types of mesothelioma claims:

  • Personal injury lawsuits – filed by mesothelioma patients.
  • Wrongful death claims – filed by family members of deceased mesothelioma victims.
  • Asbestos Trust Fund Claims – provides an alternative way to secure compensation.
  • Veterans’ benefits – available for veterans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

It is important to note that a mesothelioma case may be based on product liability. Product liability lawsuits are focused on the harm caused by asbestos-containing products. 

Personal Injury

One of the most common forms of legal action taken by mesothelioma victims are personal injury lawsuits. A personal injury lawsuit arises from the harm that is done by another person’s negligence or wrongdoing. Personal injury lawsuits are subject to state-specific statutes of limitations.

Personal injury lawsuits may be filed by individuals who were directly or indirectly exposed to asbestos in their workplace or at home. They frequently aim to hold asbestos manufacturers accountable for their wrongdoing. In order to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove that you were diagnosed with the disease.

Documents necessary to prove your mesothelioma diagnosis may include:

  • Medical records
  • A physician’s statement
  • Exposure summary
  • Expert testimony

Settlements in personal injury lawsuits related to mesothelioma often vary substantially, ranging from approximately $100,000 to $3 million. Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a manufacturer. The lawsuit will not affect your veteran’s benefits. 

Wrongful Death (Mesothelioma Lawsuit After Death)

A person whose loved one has died from mesothelioma may be able to file a wrongful death claim. The average settlement in a wrongful death claim is expected to range between $1 million and $1.4 million. Wrongful death claims are filed against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products and aim to compensate for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and the loss of financial support.

In general, a surviving family member or the representative of the decedent’s estate can file, although it may depend on the state. Claims must be filed within the state-specific statute of limitations, making it critical to take action as quickly as possible. Settlement amounts are influenced by a number of factors, including the victim’s age, the impact on the family, the victim’s income, the parties who are liable, and state laws.

Asbestos Trust Fund

Due to the large number of individuals who have been affected by asbestos exposure, some companies have established asbestos trust funds. These funds are generally created during Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Currently, there are over 60 established trusts with more than $30 billion available for mesothelioma victims. 

The purpose of an asbestos trust fund is to provide compensation for mesothelioma victims and their families and to manage the large volumes of claims from current and future victims. In order to be eligible for compensation from an asbestos trust fund, you must be able to provide documentation of exposure and diagnosis. Compensation varies significantly depending on the severity of the disease and the policies of the trust fund. 

Individuals seeking to file an asbestos trust fund claim should speak with an experienced attorney who understands the criteria and can assist in gathering the necessary evidence. 

Other Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma victims may also seek compensation through other sources. For instance, veterans may be entitled to veteran’s benefits through the VA. Filing a lawsuit does not impact these benefits. 

Individuals may also be eligible to file a product liability claim, which focuses on holding manufacturers liable for their defective products or false advertising. It is important to consult with an attorney to determine what type of legal action you should take.

This infographic lists the types of claims in a mesothelioma lawsuit, who might be targeted in a mesothelioma lawsuit, and evidence that may help support your claim.

Understanding Asbestos Exposure and Liability

Mesothelioma lawsuits are generally based on the idea that manufacturers knew about the dangers of asbestos and failed to protect workers and consumers. In most cases, asbestos-related disease lawsuits arise from occupational exposure. They are based on the negligence of an employer or manufacturer. Negligence means that the party failed to act reasonably to prevent the subsequent harm

In some instances, asbestos cases may be based on strict liability or a breach of warranty. Strict liability occurs when the product is inherently dangerous, and a breach of warranty exists if the party fails to ensure a product’s safety for its intended use. 

Determining Liability in an Asbestos Exposure Case

Determining liability in an asbestos exposure case can be challenging, particularly without the help of an attorney. Liability, or legal responsibility, requires showing duty, breach, causation, and damages. Causation can be difficult to prove, particularly in mesothelioma cases with a long latency period. 

Mesothelioma lawsuits may target:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Employers
  • Mining companies
  • Property owners

Veterans who are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease file a lawsuit against a product supplier and not the government or the armed forces. Multiple defendants are common in asbestos exposure cases. If successful, compensation may include coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. 

How to Determine Liability in a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The best way to determine liability in a mesothelioma lawsuit is by working directly with an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the challenges of the legal process and help determine what evidence may be necessary to prove your claim.


Eligibility Criteria for Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

To file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. Foremost, you must be able to show proof of a mesothelioma diagnosis or death from an asbestos-related disease. In order to do this, you must provide evidence, such as your medical records. You will also need to demonstrate proof of exposure. The duration of exposure and the connection between your illness and the exposure may be critical. 

The best way to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for a mesothelioma lawsuit is by consulting with an attorney as early in the process as possible. All cases are subject to a state-specific statute of limitations, which may limit the amount of time you have to take legal action. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney immediately after a diagnosis or the death of your loved one. 

Evidence to Support Your Mesothelioma Claim

Mesothelioma lawsuits require evidence to substantiate the claim. An attorney can help determine what evidence might be necessary in your case. 

Evidence that may support your mesothelioma claim: 

  • Biopsy confirming diagnosis
  • Medical records
  • Work history
  • Witness testimony
  • Expert testimony
  • Pathology reports
  • Imaging scans
  • Blood tests
  • Statements from a physician
  • Pay stubs
  • Employment records

An attorney can assist in collecting the evidence you may need to prove your case. However, it is important to remember that many mesothelioma cases involve asbestos exposure from decades earlier. Securing the evidence needed to bolster your claim may be challenging. Working with an attorney can help ensure you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Timeline and Process

Mesothelioma lawsuits typically take three months to one year to resolve. However, more complex cases may take several years to complete. The majority of cases settle out of court, and settlements can be reached at any stage of the process. Compensation may be received in as little as 90 days from the settlement date. It is either paid as a lump sum or in installments.

There may be several factors that can impact the length of time it takes to resolve your case. For instance, it may take several weeks for your attorney to investigate your case and compile the evidence necessary to prove your claim. A defendant then has 30 days from the date of filing to respond. The case will move to the discovery process which may take six months to a year. Finally, the settlement negotiations and actual trial can conclude quickly or take several months to a year to complete.

An individual’s age or stage of illness may also impact the timeline of a case. A senior or terminally ill patient may file a motion for preference, which would potentially shorten the litigation process if granted. The court where the case is being handled may also affect the time it takes to resolve the case, particularly depending on whether they have a dedicated department or the cases are part of the general caseload.

Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Claims

All mesothelioma cases are subject to a statute of limitations or a legal timeframe within which the claim must be filed. Statutes of limitations are often critical in mesothelioma lawsuits because of the amount of time it takes to receive a diagnosis. While statutes of limitations are state-specific, individuals generally have between one and three years to file a lawsuit. Some states, however, allow up to six years. 

In order to further understand the legal requirements, including the statute of limitations, that may apply to your case, you need to speak with an attorney. An attorney can help determine where your case will be filed and how long you have to take legal action. 

Deadlines to File a Mesothelioma Claim by State

Deadlines for filing a mesothelioma claim vary substantially by state. It also depends on the type of case that is being filed. Statutes of limitations typically begin from the date of diagnosis in personal injury cases or the date of a person’s death in wrongful death claims. Under most circumstances, the deadlines range from one to six years, depending on the state.

Personal injury lawsuit deadlines from diagnosis:

  • One year: California, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee
  • Two years: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia 
  • Three years: Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin
  • Four years: Florida, Minnesota, and Wyoming
  • Five years: Nebraska and Missouri
  • Six years: Maine and North Dakota

Wrongful death lawsuits generally span from one to three years, with California, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. each having only one year from the date of the decedent’s death to file a claim. In both personal injury and wrongful death claims, it is essential to act swiftly.

This infographic gives an overview of the timeline and process of a mesothelioma lawsuit.

How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The best way to ensure that your mesothelioma lawsuit is filed timely is by consulting with an attorney immediately after a mesothelioma diagnosis or the loss of your loved one. An attorney can help you navigate the process and will help determine whether you meet the eligibility process. They will offer guidance on the legal requirements that may affect your case, including the statute of limitations. 

Step-by-step guide for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit:

  1. Prepare the case: The first step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is preparing the case. During this process, an attorney can help determine whether you meet the specific eligibility criteria necessary to file a claim for compensation.

    Prior to filing, your attorney will discuss the evidence that may be necessary to prove your case and will review all of the information. They will ask to discuss your work history, help determine whether you can prove asbestos exposure, and will review your medical records.
  2. File the case: The attorney you retain can help you file the case. It is important to note that the state where the lawsuit is filed can deeply impact the case’s outcome. Factors that may influence which state the case should be filed include the location of the company you are filing against and the individual state laws.
  3. Defendant response: Once a mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, a defendant must respond. In general, defendants have 30 days to provide a formal response or answer to the lawsuit. In some cases, the defendant may deny liability or attempt to downplay their portion of responsibility.
  4. Discovery: After the case is filed, the lawsuit will move into the discovery phase. During this phase, your attorney will gather evidence, conduct interviews, and prepare for trial with the help of experts. This may be done through depositions, subpoenas, and thorough research.The discovery phase may take several months to complete. Evidence that may prove critical to building a strong case includes your work history, proof of diagnosis, expert testimony, and financial records.
  5. Negotiations: Prior to trial, your attorney may enter into negotiations with the defendant through their legal counsel. During this phase, both sides will attempt to reach a settlement. A settlement may be reached at any point prior to a verdict. In many instances, a favorable settlement can be reached without having to go to trial.
  6. Trial: The final phase of a mesothelioma lawsuit is the actual trial. If a fair and full settlement cannot be reached, you will have the opportunity to present your case in court. If successful, the court will then award compensation. While most cases settle during negotiations, full trial preparation is essential. 

Due to the complexities of a mesothelioma lawsuit, working with an experienced mesothelioma lawsuit is often critical for a favorable outcome. An attorney can help you navigate the lawsuit process, from determining whether you meet the eligibility requirements to representing you throughout the trial phase.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement and Payout Amounts

Mesothelioma lawsuit settlement and payouts are expected to vary substantially depending on the circumstances of the case. However, settlements may range between $1 million and $2 million, while verdicts tend to average between $5 million and $11.4 million. Trust fund payouts typically range between $300,000 and $400,000. 

A settlement is an agreement to end a lawsuit. It can occur at any stage of the case until the conclusion of the trial. Settlements generally provide a guaranteed payout but are less than what you would receive if the matter would go to verdict.

The average payout in a mesothelioma lawsuit for a settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million and $2.4 million for a verdict. Compensation may come from a liable company, an asbestos trust fund, an insurance company, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Depending on the complexity of the case, it may take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to resolve the case. 

Factors Influencing Settlement Amounts

There may be several influencing factors in the potential settlement you receive. Factors may include whether the company had previously lost a case, the company’s asbestos use history, the duration of your exposure, your provable damages, whether there are multiple defendants, and where the case is filed. 

Additional factors that may influence a case include the type, stage, and severity of mesothelioma, your age and medical history, your economic losses, and the evidence available to support your claim. 

Tax Implications of Settlements and Awards

Under IRS Section 104, most compensation related to mesothelioma cases is not taxable, especially medical expenses. However, compensation related to your punitive damages and the interest on compensation may be taxable. Attorney fees are taxed since they are considered a port of the awarded compensation. The tax implications vary depending on the state, which is why it is important to consult with a tax professional and an attorney before filing.

At King Law, we are here to help guide you and your family through the process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, but we also understand that before you’re ready to file, there will likely be questions you want answers to. Our mesothelioma attorneys are happy to offer consultations before you file your lawsuit so you will be informed and know your best legal options to pursue compensation.

Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer Today

Were you diagnosed with mesothelioma? The attorneys at King Law can help you understand your rights. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our firm has extensive experience helping clients receive the compensation they deserve after a diagnosis or the death of a loved one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the mesothelioma lawsuit about?
Mesothelioma lawsuits are product liability claims that are filed by victims exposed to asbestos, or lawsuits filed by family members in a wrongful death claim. The lawsuits allege that the companies knew about the dangers of asbestos, but intentionally concealed the information from the people that were routinely exposed.
How long does a mesothelioma lawsuit take?
A mesothelioma lawsuit may take several months up to a year or more to resolve.
Why file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
A mesothelioma lawsuit can help provide compensation for your losses, including your medical bills and lost wages. It can also help to hold companies accountable for their wrongdoing.
Are mesothelioma lawsuit settlements taxable?
Most compensation, particularly medical expenses, related to mesothelioma lawsuit settlements is not taxable. However, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an attorney and a tax professional to determine any tax implications.
Do all mesothelioma lawsuits receive settlements?
Not all mesothelioma lawsuits receive settlements. In some cases, a claim may have to go to trial, while in others, a settlement can be negotiated. However, the outcome of a case is not guaranteed.   
How do you prepare for a mesothelioma lawsuit?
The best way to prepare for a mesothelioma lawsuit is to contact an attorney as early in the process as possible. An attorney can help determine what evidence may need to be collected to support your claim.
What happens if a patient dies while in a mesothelioma lawsuit?
If a patient dies while in a mesothelioma lawsuit, their loved ones may still be entitled to compensation.
What is the average lawsuit settlement for mesothelioma?
The average lawsuit settlement in a mesothelioma case is expected to be between $1 million and $2 million.
When will mesothelioma lawsuits be stopped?
Due to the long latency of the cancer, it may still be several decades before mesothelioma lawsuits are stopped.
Who qualifies for a mesothelioma lawsuit?
Individuals who were exposed to asbestos directly or secondhand through their workplace or in their home may qualify for a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Who pays mesothelioma claims?
Mesothelioma claims may be paid by a number of parties, including liable companies, asbestos trust funds, insurance companies, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

What are the eligibility critera for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit?
The eligibility criteria for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit include the ability to prove asbestos exposure and an asbestos-related diagnosis such as mesothelioma.
How does my medical history affect the value of a mesothelioma case?
Your medical history may affect the value of your case in several ways, including how long it may take to resolve and your right to compensation.
What factors influence the amount of compensation awarded in mesothelioma lawsuits?
Several factors may influence the amount of compensation you receive, including your age, the duration of exposure, the severity or stage of your illness, and the evidence available to substantiate your claim.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma claim?
The statute of limitations is state-specific, but it generally ranges from one to six years from the date of diagnosis.
How does the process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit work?
The first step you should take to file a mesothelioma lawsuit is to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements to take legal action.
How can my lawyer determine liability in a mesothelioma lawsuit?
A lawyer can investigate the claim and help to collect evidence to prove who should be held responsible for your injuries.
What evidence should I collect to support my mesothelioma lawsuit?
Evidence that may help to support your mesothelioma lawsuit includes proof of diagnosis, pay stubs, biopsy, physician’s statement, and expert testimony.
What is the timeline and process for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit?
Mesothelioma lawsuits typically take a few months to a year or more to resolve. The first step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is to consult with an attorney.