Asbestos Litigation – 6000 Companies Sued to Date!
If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos litigation can be pursued in order to get compensation for your illness. What many people don’t realize is that asbestos litigation is actually the single largest mass legal action in history, with over six thousand companies having been sued to date.
With so many defendants and so much publicity for asbestos law cases, it would seem that filing for compensation would be relatively easy. In fact, the opposite is true. Unless you have a qualified attorney experienced in asbestos torts and mesothelioma litigation or are part of an asbestosis class action lawsuit, it can take years before your case is finally settled. Delays are common because companies have the resources to appeal litigation more than once, asbestos federal laws are constantly undergoing changes in the form of various bills, recommendations and political maneuverings and because some companies simply drag things out in hopes that plaintiff-side litigants will either become discouraged or pass away.
Key Cases of Asbestos Litigation
Fortunately today’s victims of asbestosis or mesothelioma have legal precedence on their side in many cases. Pioneering law firms have made great strides in recovering damages and keeping asbestos companies in check. Their landmark litigations still influence many asbestos law cases today.
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Some of the most important asbestos class action lawsuits include:
Burel vs. Fibreboard Corporation
Filed in 1969 in Texas, the Burel case was appealed until it reached the state Supreme Court in 1973, where it was determined that companies had the duty to assume product liability as well as the duty to clearly warn consumers of the danger of any asbestos containing products, including fiberboard insulation. This litigation was the one that led to the requirement of consumer safety warnings for asbestos products.
United States vs. W. R. Grace
This compelling 2005 criminal case was filed against W. R. Grace, which owned a Libby, Montana asbestos mine. Numerous charges, including obstruction of justice, violation of the Clean Air Act, conspiracy and fraud were filed in criminal court. Potential damages sought included prison sentences for key corporate officers and millions of dollars in fines. This was one of the first asbestosis and mesothelioma litigation matters that were filed in criminal rather than civil court.
Bell vs. Dressler Industries
This 2001 case was a huge victory for asbestos litigation, awarding over $130 million dollars to the family and estates of five individuals who developed asbestosis (and in four cases cancer) after being exposed to spray products at U.S. Pipe. Dressler had failed to reveal the hazardous quality of their product, which U.S. Pipe used in their manufacturing.
Unfortunately for most individuals involved in asbestos law and litigation, the lengthy trials and delaying tactics of companies often mean that while a court case is eventually won, it is often too late for the victim, who has passed away in the meantime. Company bankruptcy loopholes also often lead to reduced settlements. To be sure that your lawsuit is being handled by someone who knows asbestos litigation inside-out, consult with a firm that specializes in these types of cases.
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