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Updates and Trends in Asbestos Litigation

Written by Ankin Law Office

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally-occurring mineral that is used to make insulation.  If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos, you may have rights to recover compensation through a personal injury claim against any company that knowing exposed the public or its employees to asbestos. Oftentimes, asbestos-related mesothelioma claims are filed as class actions due to the fact that there are so many similarly situated plaintiffs.

Asbestos-related mesothelioma lawsuits make up one of the longest, most expensive mass torts in U.S. history, with more than 730,000 claimants and 8,400 defendants as of 2002, according to RAND Corporation. The following highlights the current trends and statistics regarding asbestos-related lawsuits:

  • Limitations on existing trust funds and new bankruptcy filings have caused plaintiffs to target smaller peripheral defendants.
  • Mesothelioma is at an all time high and asbestos-related lung cancer cases are beginning to reach the courts.
  • According to NERA Economic Consulting, there was a 75 percent in-
    crease in average dollars per resolved claims from 2010 to 2011.
  • The rates of dismissed lawsuits and resolved claims decreased in 2011, which is likely due to tort reforms and increased scrutiny on lawsuits involving non-malignant medical conditions.

Asbestos-related Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Asbestos litigation is toxic tort, which is a type of personal injury case that can be filed against a defendant who allegedly knowingly exposed the public or its employees to asbestos.   Generally, asbestos-related lawsuits require the plaintiff to prove that his or her medical problems were caused by the negligence of the defendant.

In order to have standing to pursue an asbestos-related lawsuit, a plaintiff must have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis, which is a chronic noncancerous lung disease.

Mesothelioma lawsuits, and other toxic tort claims, are often brought as class action lawsuits since there are hundreds or even thousands of people exposed to the same hazard. By filing a class action lawsuit, similarly situated plaintiffs can minimize the expenses associated with bringing a personal injury lawsuit. If the representative class of plaintiffs is successful in its class action lawsuit, all plaintiffs may be entitled to compensatory damages (such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages), as well as punitive damages (which are meant to punish the defendant for its wrongdoing).

If you have a potential class action lawsuit, the Chicago class action attorneys at Ankin Law Office can help you begin the process. Contact the Chicago product liability lawyers at Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about a possible asbestos-related mesothelioma class action lawsuit.

Categories: Personal Injury