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Wrongful Death and Mesothelioma


If you have lost a member of your family to mesothelioma, you have undoubtedly entered a period of anguish, confusion, and frustration.  It is always difficult to lose a loved one to cancer, but to lose someone to a disease as rare as mesothelioma can seem particularly unfair.  Mesothelioma is an especially insidious disease, sometimes taking decades after an initial exposure to asbestos to manifest itself.  Once diagnosed, mesothelioma usually acts quickly, claiming the lives of most victims within a year.

In nearly all cases, mesothelioma victims are entitled to compensation from those responsible for their asbestos exposure.  Tragically, however, many of these victims die before they have an opportunity to pursue legal action.  This does not mean, however, that there surviving family members are left without legal recourse.  If you have lost someone you love to mesothelioma, you may be eligible to recover compensation via a wrongful death claim.

What makes a death “wrongful”?

To those left behind, any death probably seems “wrongful.”  In legal terms, however, a wrongful death is one that would not have occurred except for the negligent actions of another party.  In mesothelioma cases, victims were exposed to the harmful carcinogen asbestos through no fault of their own, usually as part of their jobs.  While the harm caused to these victims was, in most cases, unintentional, this does not excuse the negligent behavior.  

Did my loved one’s employer know about the effects of asbestos?

As early as the 1920s, it was widely known that exposure to asbestos created health risks, although the full extent of these risks became clear only later in the twentieth century.  Nevertheless, the use of asbestos in workplaces, homes, military equipment, and schools continued in the United States until the 1980s, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed measures to ban asbestos.  As of early 2011, however, trace amounts of asbestos are still legally permitted in some products.

What sorts of damages can I recover in an asbestos-related wrongful death claim?

To determine the compensation you can expect to recover in your case, you will need to meet with a qualified mesothelioma attorney.  However, in general, families who file wrongful death claims are usually entitled to compensation for medical and home care costs, funeral-related expenses, mental anguish, and losses and expenses directly stemming from their loved one’s illness.  They are also often awarded compensation for losses and expenses than can reasonably be projected into the future, including lost wages, lost benefits, and loss of companionship, support, and consortium.

Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney

If you have lost a member of your family to mesothelioma, you need to entrust your case to a reputable mesothelioma attorney with a history of success in handling asbestos-related cases.  Contact a mesothelioma attorney through today to ensure that the rights of your family and your departed loved one are preserved.