Spouses Could Get Compensation in Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Mesothelioma Lawsuits on the Rise
Approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma cancer are diagnosed every year. One of the primary causes of mesothelioma is long-term exposure to asbestos. People who have worked or currently work in construction, manufacturing, shipyards, mining or automotive are at higher risk for developing mesothelioma. Thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits are filed every year – but not just by the workers themselves. Loss of consortium cases involving the spouses of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have been cropping up in California since the early 2000s and could be significant for future cases.
In California, the timing of asbestos exposure, the diagnosis of mesothelioma and the date of marriage are critical in a loss of consortium claim. Last summer, however, two California appeals courts determined that injuries involving latent diseases should be treated differently.
In one case, a loss of consortium claim was filed by a couple in 2010; the husband had been exposed to asbestos from 1958-1985, married his wife in 2001 and was diagnosed in 2010 with mesothelioma. The defendant argued that the time of the injury (1958-1985) occurred before the couple’s marriage and, thus, the loss of consortium was invalid. However, the appeals court held that latent diseases like mesothelioma, which has an average latency period of 20 to 50 years, should be treated differently. Ultimately, the courts held that the date of injury in this case was the same as the date the symptoms were discovered.
While every case is different and loss of consortium laws vary from state to state, it’s always a good idea to talk to a qualified mesothelioma lawyer. 1-800-THE-LAW2 can help you connect with one, for free.