At least 3,000 people will be diagnosed with mesothelioma this year. Most victims will be men in their late sixties, who developed the disease decades after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace. The majority of these victims will be diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs.
If the disease is caught at an early stage, it can be treated. However, due to the aggressive nature of the disease and a long latency period, many victims are diagnosed when the disease is already in its advanced stages. The prognosis is poor for mesothelioma that has reached an advanced stage, so families are often left with medical and other expenses that could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.
If found liable, the companies that the victim says are responsible for their mesothelioma will have to pay, and not just for medical costs. They will often have to pay for lost income, pain, suffering, and emotional distress, and loss of support and companionship. Based on these and other factors, a recent Mealey’s Litigation Report says trial award amounts often reach into the millions.
According to the report, the average mesothelioma trial award is estimated at $2.4 million. The report also noted at least one larger trial award that totaled $25 million. The victims in this case were awarded $12 million in compensatory damages, $12.5 million in punitive damages and $430,961 in medical damages, plus interest. Though awards in excess of $20 million are the exception, they do happen, in part, to discourage others from engaging in the same conduct that formed the basis of the lawsuit.
Mealey’s noted that while some cases do go to trial, the overwhelming majority of cases are settled before reaching the courtroom. In these cases, the average settlement is still a substantial $1 to $1.4 million, says Mealey’s, and they are often paid by multiple defendants.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to understand your rights. A legal expert can answer questions about your legal rights and help you navigate the complex legal process that comes with filing a claim. Contact to a legal expert to help you with your claim today.
Hartley, Kirk T., and Brian Redding. "Looking Further Behind The Curtain: Examples Of Mesothelioma Claim Stories Derived From A Limited Dataset From The Garlock Chapter 11 Case, And Some Resulting Questions." Mealey's Litigation Report: Asbestos (2015): n. pag. Gnarusllc.com. LexisNexis, 16 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 Mar. 2018.
"What Are the Key Statistics About Malignant Mesothelioma?" American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2018. Web. 26 Mar. 2018.