Category: Legislation, Laws and Litigation

9 Questions about Mesothelioma and the Law

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that typically forms in the lining of the lungs. In very rare cases, it forms in the lining of the heart, abdomen, or testicles. After several years of study, doctors discovered that mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos. Once this process was better understood, the government began regulating the ways in which asbestos could be used. Before these regulations came into effect, many people were negligently exposed to the substance while on the job. Others, because it was often used in construction materials and manufactured goods. Those who were exposed to asbestos and later developed mesothelioma may have the right to sue those responsible. However, mesothelioma and how it relates to the law can be complicated, and those put in this position often have a lot of questions.

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National Asbestos Awareness Week

The Twelfth Annual Resolution establishing the National Asbestos Awareness week was unanimously approved by the Senate. This was led by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and bipartisan co-sponsors.

Back in 2011, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and cosponsors for introducing a resolution that declares the first week of April as “National Asbestos Awareness Week” and seeks to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.” The other bill sponsors are as follows: Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).

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Mesothelioma Victims Take Action Against FACT Act

The U.S. Congress is hearing and determining its next move with House Resolution 982, also known as the FACT Act. If this legislation is passed, then it would require asbestos trusts to release confidential information about asbestos victims. The information would contain the last four digits of an individual’s Social Security Number, family information and their employment history.

If you believe that asbestos victims and mesothelioma patients should have more hoops to jump through and that their monetary compensation should be delayed, then you agree with the FACT Act. If you feel that Congress is going down the wrong path and you want to make sure your representative in Congress knows how you feel, then please follow the steps below.

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Mesothelioma Victim has a Valid Claim for Loss of Consortium

A very important legal issue related to loss of consortium claims in latent injury cases was recently clarified by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in [Vanhooser v. Hennessy Industries Inc.], 2012 DJDAR 7307 (Cal. App. 2nd Dist. June 1, 2012). A three-judge panel unanimously ruled that Sherrell Vanhooser, the wife of a mesothelioma victim, has a valid claim for loss of consortium with her husband even though their marriage took place after the victim was exposed to the substance that ultimately caused her husband’s disease. Mesothelioma is a debilitating, deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This is an important ruling that will have far-reaching impact in asbestos litigation, as trial courts across California have been all over the map on this issue. Husbands and wives are greatly impacted when a spouse develops an asbestos-related disease, so this ruling certainly moves them one step closer to justice.
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