Mesothelioma cases are unique torts in the sense that a cause of action does not arise for many years after initial exposure to deadly asbestos fibers. All courts impose some time limit on virtually every type of case – both criminal and civil, and mesothelioma lawsuits are no different. However, the question of how long you have to file your mesothelioma lawsuit will depend on a number of factors. Primarily, the court will want to know when you knew or should have known there was a potential your illness was causally linked to asbestos exposure.
Like Massachusetts, Maryland imposes these time limitations as well, though there are some differences. According to a recent news article from Forbes, there are currently approximately 30,000 mesothelioma cases awaiting trial in Maryland. In that state, the highest court is slated Dec. 1st to hear an appeal of a 2015 decision regarding the 20-year statute of repose in an asbestos injury lawsuit.
If the court affirms the appellate ruling, thousands of these people whose exposure occurred prior to the 1970s will have their claims dismissed, per the 20-year statute of repose. While 20 years may be ample time to file litigation in most injury cases, mesothelioma cases differ because of the long latency period of the disease. Continue reading →