Many of us have seen ads from plaintiff-side firms suggesting that people exposed to asbestos or diagnosed with mesothelioma have the potential to collect huge amounts of money by filing legal claims. These assertions are misleading. Many claims involving asbestos exposure are far more complex for a few critical reasons.
Identifying the Source of Exposure
One of the most complicated aspects of any asbestos claims involves causation, or proving how a person’s injuries resulted from a specific source.
The fact is that asbestos-related illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma can take decades to develop. During this time, a person could be exposed to asbestos from numerous sources at varying degrees. This can be especially true for people who worked in industries where they were regularly exposed to asbestos from multiple sources for varying lengths of time.
Linking Exposure to Negligence
Establishing negligence, or proving that a party knew about a harmful condition and failed to properly warn workers and address the issue, is another challenging aspect of asbestos-related claims. To further complicate the situation, several different parties – such as manufacturers, employers, and distributors – could potentially be responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
People often expect dramatic courtroom trials in these cases culminating in multi-million-dollar awards for the plaintiff. However, in reality, the vast majority of these cases are settled out of court or dismissed before trial commences.
Further, plaintiffs must also comply with the legal requirements of the jurisdiction and the statutes of limitations. Failing to meet these requirements could lead to a dismissal of the claim
The legal issues involved in asbestos claims are complicated. Oversimplifying the process and misinterpreting the laws can lead to costly mistakes. Edlin Gallagher Huie + Blum attorneys have helped clients defend and overcome asbestos claims since this type of litigation first emerged in California. Contact our talented team to learn more.