Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Do You have a Family Member or Loved One Affected by Mesothelioma? Learn All About the Statute of Limitations on these Special Cancer Cases

The rare type of cancer known as mesothelioma occurs in the thin cell layers that line the internal body organs, called the mesothelium. Exposure to asbestos in the workplace or the home is the primary cause. Throughout the twentieth century, asbestos was used extensively in all kinds of work operations, including shipyards, refineries, and large construction sites. Because many manufacturers and distributors made a concerted effort to conceal the dangers of working with asbestos, those who now suffer from the disease can seek compensation from a mesothelioma lawyer.

In this Legal Malpractice Guide article, we’ll share information the statute of limitations on Mesothelioma lawsuits, and the importance of acting quickly when you feel you have a case.

Asbestos trust funds have been established throughout the country to help compensate workers who have become victims of this deadly disease. The process of seeking compensation has been simplified in an effort to take care of more workers, but there is a mesothelioma lawsuit time limit. It has developed since these lawsuits began in the late 1960s. Today, a person with the disease may be barred from filing a lawsuit if the mesothelioma statute of limitations has passed.

Statute of Limitations Depends on Where You Live

Each of the 50 states has its own limitation statutes, or deadlines, for filing a claim. There are deadlines for filing after a person becomes aware that he or she has the disease and deadlines for filing after a loved one dies from the disease. A case must be filed one to six years following diagnosis, depending on the state. For example, the filing time in California is one year from diagnosis and six years in Maine. A case must be filed one to three years following death. For example, the filing time following death is one year in Tennessee and three years in Wisconsin.

Other factors depend upon the individual state. For instance, in New York City, the months of May and November are reserved for mesothelioma trials to care for those victims who are terminally ill. Provisions for mesothelioma settlement time take note of the fact that in many cases, an asbestos-related disease may take years to show itself.

It’s important for anyone who contemplates a mesothelioma lawsuit to hire an attorney who specializes in these cases. For example, the defendants in such lawsuits are likely to argue that the statute of limitations has already passed. Since 1973 in a landmark case, the so-called Discovery Rule has been applied in such cases. A laborer worked with asbestos until he retired in 1969, the same year he discovered that he had mesothelioma.

The lawsuit defendants argued that the statute of limitations, which is two years in Texas, had passed. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that “the clock did not begin to tick,” meaning that the time date did not start until the disease manifested itself; thus the Discovery Rule. Anyone who has been injured by asbestos should consult a qualified asbestos lawyer immediately. There is compensation in the court for this deadly exposure.