If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston as a result of asbestos in the workplace you may be thinking that suing a large company will be no easy feat. Do not get discouraged. Our Boston mesothelioma attorneys have the knowledge and experience to take on the big companies to get you the award you deserve.
Cancer runs rampant in our country but mesothelioma is very unique. Mesothelioma is cancer, usually in the respiratory system that results from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a dangerous substance that has been linked to usage in the manufacturing and building industries.
Daley v. A.W. Chesterton is a case that arose because a laborer who was working in the manufacturing sector became ill because of his exposure to asbestos. He was diagnosed with two malignant diseases over a span of 16 years, and he sought compensatory and punitive damages from several parties who were responsible for this exposure.
Compensatory damages are the quantifiable damages that are measured monetarily to replace strictly the financial loss to the plaintiff. In instances where there is injury or disease that resulted because of the defendant’s negligence, compensatory damages would be awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the medical bills incurred for treatments resulting from that defendant’s negligence. Punitive damages have the intention of punishing the defendant and deterring the negligent behavior, and are awarded for things like pain and suffering.
In Daley, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was charged with the question of whether a plaintiff could bring more than one separate lawsuit where the plaintiff was diagnosed with more than one malignant disease that was the result of the same asbestos exposure.
Pennsylvania has a state statute called the two disease rule. This rule allows individuals to bring separate lawsuits where the plaintiff can prove that he or she was diagnosed with more than one malignant disease that was the result of defendant’s negligence.
The plaintiff in this case was first diagnosed with pulmonary asbestosis and squamous-cell carcinoma in his right lung. These diseases can be directly attributed to exposure to asbestos. He sued several parties and obtained a settlement in the mid 1990s.
More than 10 years later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. This cancer can be directly linked to the same asbestos exposure that gave the plaintiff the original diagnosis. Plaintiff then sued several different parties for negligence and cited this two-disease rule.
The defendants in this case argued that the doctrine of res judicata precluded this action. Res judicata is a doctrine surrounding claim preclusion in that a suit cannot be brought if the main issue in the second suit is exactly the same as the first and there are the same parties to the action. Basically, they argued that the plaintiff lost his right to sue these parties in the second litigation when he sued the original parties to the lawsuit because the diseases arose out of the same asbestos exposure.
The court cited that this was incorrect reasoning because none of the defendant named in the second litigation are the same as the defendants named in the first case that was settled in the late 1990s. Additionally, the court discussed this two-disease rule, which is a limited exception to the original cause of action requirements created by the state legislature to provide relief for asbestos-related diseases.
In application, the plaintiff was allowed to sue the different defendants in the second case for a different malignant asbestos related disease arising from the same asbestos exposure that led to a prior settlement for damages associated with a different malignant disease. The plaintiff was allowed to do this because at the time he brought the original claim, he had no knowledge of the existence of the second asbestos-related malignant disease.
Consequently, this court decided that the separated disease rule of Pennsylvania allowed this plaintiff to file a second cause of action for the new malignant asbestos-related disease.
Having an experienced legal team can be very beneficial in navigating your way to the award you deserve.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman provides representation for victims exposed to asbestos who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston and throughout Massachusetts and New England. Call 1-877-617-5333 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
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