Asbestos-related conditions like mesothelioma do not usually manifest themselves right away. Most of the time, it can take years before the signs and symptoms of serious illnesses alert asbestos exposure victims to the harm they have suffered. With such a long passage of time between asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma, victims may be unsure of the legal timeframes they have to file claims and seek compensation.
One recent case highlights exactly why victims and their families need to take immediate action when someone they love is diagnosed with mesothelioma or another serious asbestos-related condition. While times can be trying after a mesothelioma diagnosis, victims are strongly advised to contact an experienced, nationwide mesothelioma lawyer about their case as soon as possible.
The victim in this case was an 84-year-old Washington man who worked at a paper pulp factory for many years after his discharge from the Navy. The victim passed away in 2010 due to complications from the mesothelioma he developed from asbestos exposure while at the pulp and paper mill.
Court Split on Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Lawsuits
His daughter eventually filed a wrongful death lawsuit against defendants she claimed were responsible for her father’s fatal medical condition. However, the Washington Supreme Court recently ruled since the three-year statute of limitations had already passed on personal injury lawsuits, she could not recover for the loss of her father.
According to the court’s 5-4 decision, such a claim would have to begin as a personal injury lawsuit, which could be amended to a wrongful death lawsuit should the victim pass away during the court of litigation. The dissenting judges were stunned by the majority’s decision, calling it “topsy turvy” logic that a wrongful death claim would need to be filed before the victim’s passing.
Before his passing, the victim filed suit against several companies he claims were responsible for his asbestos-related conditions. Those lawsuits resulted in settlements, awards, and some dismissals where he eventually collected around $1.5 million in compensation for his injuries.
While the victim’s personal awards may have helped pay for his medical treatment, they could do little to compensate his family for the tragic loss of his life. Although money cannot bring back the ones we love, the law none the less prescribes it as the legal remedy plaintiffs have to hold wrongdoers accountable for their careless actions.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition it is important to act quickly to ensure your claim is filed within the required time frames. By speaking to a lawyer right away, you can help preserve your legal rights and begin the process to recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact our office for a free legal consultation about your case. The experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys of the Throneberry Law Group are fully prepared to help you and your family get the justice you deserve and hold these wrongdoers accountable so that others may be spared from this debilitating disease.
Do Not Let the Statute of Limitations Run out on Your Asbestos Lawsuit