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Published by on Monday, December 29, 2008 at 6:54:00 PM

Filing an Asbestos Related Lawsuit

by: Marc Murray - The dangerous effects of asbestos have been known for over sixty years, but many companies continue to manufacture and use the product. While laws vary between states, companies that knowingly exposed people to asbestos can usually be held liable and the victims of asbestos related diseases are entitled to file a lawsuit seeking reparation for medical bills, lost time, and pain and suffering. As the senate prepares a bill to protect large companies that are going bankrupt from asbestos lawsuits, this process is becoming more difficult.

What will you need to prove?

Laws governing liability and compensation for asbestos related diseases vary between states, but asbestos related victims will generally need to prove that a party that used the product knowingly exposed them to dangerous levels of asbestos.

The first thing a victim of mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases will need is health records and specialist testimonies correlating the side effects of the disease directly to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma can result from other factors in rare cases, so this becomes vitally important to an effective lawsuit.

The second thing a mesothelioma patient needs to do to file an effective lawsuit is prove the source of asbestos exposure. Even in cases where asbestos is the obvious cause of the disease, a specific party needs to be held liable in order to file a lawsuit. The victim or a lawyer will need to determine what products the victim was exposed to and the companies that manufactured and/or used those products. Employees of companies that used asbestos can rely on work histories and job descriptions to document asbestos exposure, but many companies manufactured asbestos products for retail and wholesale markets. Receipts or bills of sale can be extremely valuable in documenting exposure to asbestos and the company responsible, when the victim was exposed to a retail or wholesale asbestos product. Since this documentation is often no longer available by the time a mesothelioma diagnosis occurs, witness testimony can help to prove that a victim regularly used an asbestos product from a specific company, but this is not as effective as documented evidence. Victims can also be exposed to building materials used to construct residential homes and public buildings. In these cases the presence of asbestos and records of the companies involved (contracts, architectural specifications, etc) needs to be documented.

The third thing a victim needs to prove is that the company knowingly exposed the victim to dangerous amounts of asbestos. While many people think there is an outright ban on asbestos, the use of asbestos is still legal. Work histories and job descriptions will need to display that an employer exposed the victim to large and known amounts of asbestos on a regular basis. Receipts and bills of sale need to display that the company was aware that its product was being used in quantities that constituted a dangerous level of asbestos exposure. Construction companies have to be shown to have had knowledge that the asbestos would be exposed and that people would occupy the building for a long duration to be held liable.

Finding a lawyer.

Mesothelioma and asbestosis are latent diseases, often taking up to fifty years between exposure and diagnosis. The evidence that can prove exposure to asbestos and hold a company liable is often almost lost and can be difficult to track down. Laws vary between states, and most states have a time limit on the filing of a lawsuit. The demands of a mesothelioma or asbestosis diagnosis are great enough. An asbestos law specialist can help track down the required information, interpret the local laws, and get the case filed before the time limits expire.

There are many lawyers who specialize in asbestos cases. They may be able to determine the source of asbestos exposure and prove liability, even for patients who are unaware of asbestos exposure. Since asbestos is a particular mineral, many mesothelioma patients were exposed to asbestos through family members that worked around asbestos. These victims are usually entirely unaware of any exposure. Most states do place a time limit on filing a lawsuit. It is advisable for anyone that receives a diagnosis of mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases to consult a lawyer as soon as possible. A competent asbestos law specialist can help the victim determine if they have a case

About The Author

Marc Murray has been writting about health related topics for 12 years and has published work all over the internet. To read more about asbestos and mesothelioma visit
Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, Computer Professional, and Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune, formerly known as, Poona University, also like to write articles based on my personal experiences.