One of the most devastating types of mass tort cases is mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer. It is caused by asbestos. Asbestos used to be used in a lot of products years ago. That was before they knew how dangerous it was.
Asbestos was also used in a lot of buildings. In the 1980s, they actually went into public and commercial buildings and removed all the asbestos from the walls. They feared it would harm children and other citizens.
To give you an idea of how bad prognosis mesothelioma is, only about 40% of people diagnosed with the disease live longer than a year. Only about 10% live for five years with the disease. So, for the most part, the mortality rate for this disease is 100%.
Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma feels like a death sentence. Patients can either choose to forego treatment altogether and live out their lives peacefully. Or, they can opt for treatment. Even with treatment, they won’t live more than a year or two.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos or have been diagnosed with the disease, you need to contact a mass tort lawyer right away.
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How Are Mesothelioma Cases Handled Today?
When they first came on the scene, mesothelioma cases were filed as class actions. Now, these cases are handled on an individual basis. This is because, sadly, most people diagnosed with the disease have already passed away.
At first, there were so many plaintiffs they had to be treated as class actions. There’s no way the courts could’ve handled such an influx of cases on an individual basis. A handful of lawyers would handle dozens of plaintiffs at one time. When these cases settled, the plaintiffs would each receive their share of the judgment award.
Of course, the defendants knew how bad the prognosis was for these plaintiffs. They knew that if they took their sweet old time, most plaintiffs would pass away before trial. This presented a catch-22 situation:
- If they crossed their fingers, most patients would die before they realized what caused their cancer
- Plaintiffs may be desperate to settle quickly which saved the defendants money
- If they waited too long, the cases would turn into wrongful death cases which cost defendants a lot more than product liability cases
So, defendants had a few options. Some settled cases quickly for lower amounts. Others took their chances and rolled the dice at trial.
Once we learned that asbestos-caused cancer, it became illegal. New construction was not able to use asbestos products. People who worked in fields that used asbestos had to take special precautions. Unfortunately, for many, it was too late.
There are nowhere near as many mesothelioma plaintiffs today as there was years ago. Fewer people are being diagnosed with the disease because asbestos isn’t as prevalent as it used to be. Today, lawyers see plaintiffs that were exposed to asbestos years ago but are just now getting sick. So, it makes more sense to handle these cases on an individual basis rather than class actions.
How Much Are Mesothelioma Cases Worth?
Because of the likelihood of death, mesothelioma plaintiffs tend to receive high jury awards. However, many are forced to accept early settlements. These settlements tend to be lower than they would be had they gone to trial. They wanted to secure a settlement for their families so they would have something to live on once they were gone.
So yes, mesothelioma cases do tend to award a lot in damages. But because so few plaintiffs live long enough to go to trial, most cases do settle. The settlement award depends on the following:
- Your diagnosis and medical history
- The number of defendants named in the suit
- Where you file suit
- How strong is the evidence?
- What were your actual damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.)
A large part of a mesothelioma settlement comes from pain and suffering. You can only imagine the pain and suffering involved in a case like this. It’s not only the pain the plaintiff endures. Their family suffers as well. If a man diagnosed with mesothelioma can no longer take care of his family, he can be compensated for this.
If a mesothelioma plaintiff files a wrongful death case, the damages will be even higher. These cases involve a family member who files suit on behalf of his loved one. Juries are very sympathetic to these cases and the defendants know it. They are very likely to settle these cases early rather than face a costly trial.
Contact a Mass Tort Attorney at Dalimonte Rueb Stoller for Your Mesothelioma Claim
Sadly, mesothelioma almost always causes death. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it may have been caused by asbestos, If this is the case, you should contact a mass tort lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will review your case and let you know if you have a legal claim.
The statute of limitations mesothelioma case is three (3) years. This is why you don’t want to wait to contact a lawyer. Mesothelioma is a devastating illness. It’s devastating for the patient and his family. Most people don’t survive more than a year with the illness. And, because of the nature of the disease, most patients can’t handle the strain of a lawsuit.
Your mass tort lawyer will spend the time to talk to you and your family about what you need to do. He’ll make sure the case is filed quickly so that you can work on settling it. These lawyers are compassionate and understand just how difficult a time this is for their clients and their families.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation today. The insurance companies have teams of lawyers working for them. Make sure you have an experienced mass tort lawyer on your side!