Answer: Determining liability or fault in a mesothelioma case can be difficult if there are many possible sources, but it certainly is possible. Many people have unfortunately been exposed to asbestos and its harmful affects in more than one job or environment, which can mean that there are several different companies or entities that may be responsible for their mesothelioma.
It is not always just the employer that is at fault. It can also be traced to the manufacturers of both the asbestos and products that contained asbestos and even to property owners of buildings that contain asbestos.
Evaluating Causation in Mesothelioma Lawsuits
When looking at the history of someone with mesothelioma to determine liability, the legal team representing them will need to investigate several factors. They will look at where the exposure happened, the source of the asbestos and who was at fault. For someone who worked for several different employers before getting mesothelioma, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer that is familiar with asbestos exposure will look at several possible scenarios.
- Employers. Each employer would be looked at for possible exposure. If their employees come in contact asbestos products in any way, whether manufacturing them or working with them, they are possibly at fault. Industries such as auto and home repair or emergency personnel such as firefighters and policemen can have exposure to asbestos in their jobs. It is the employer’s job to keep their employees safe and use proper safety measures when dealing with known harmful substances.
- Asbestos products. Both manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos containing products can possibly be liable in mesothelioma cases. Companies who manufacture the product have a duty to inform and warn about the dangers their product. Although the laws differ in every state, if it can be proven that they were negligent in issuing this warning, they may be liable.
- Buildings. Many buildings contain asbestos and if exposure was from a building or property, the owner of the property may be liable. For example, if a person is exposed to asbestos in a building that their employer leases, it is possible that both the employer and the buildings owner would be found at fault.
In many mesothelioma cases, there will be several defendants and one or all of them may be found liable for the person’s exposure to asbestos. It would then be up to the courts to decide what portion of the total settlement each party was liable for. It is important to have experienced legal counsel that understands the complexity of this type of case and can represent their client against all the entities possibly responsible for their illness.