How much does the typical mesothelioma settlement yield in monetary damages? Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen called the peritoneum. Asbestos fibers cause mesothelioma, when inhaled or ingested into the body. Mesothelioma is a tricky disease to diagnose due to its long dormancy period and the fact that its symptoms mimic those of other conditions. When an individual is initially exposed to asbestos, it can take a maximum of up to 50 years before symptoms of mesothelioma cancer present themselves.
Since the 1970’s, lawsuits involving mesothelioma settlement decisions have elevated, particularly in the U.S. This is a direct result of the Clean Air Act being passed in 1970 as well as Borel vs. Fibreboard Paper Products Corporation, which was the first asbestos lawsuit won by a plaintiff in 1973. Mesothelioma lawsuits are usually handled in three ways.
The first choice available to someone exposed to asbestos is filing a single plaintiff lawsuit. Many of the mesothelioma attorney professionals interviewed for an article in the Wall Street Journal state that the average mesothelioma settlement that is developed outside of a court trial is $1,000,000 as opposed to those that go to trial, which yield an average amount of $6,000,000. Online sites show that asbestos settlements range from four to seven figure amounts.
The second choice available to an asbestos victim other than a mesothelioma settlement is to become part of a class-action lawsuit. Most individuals that are part of class-action lawsuits; don’t know initially, until they receive correspondence by mail, when at such time they have the opportunity to remove themselves from the suit. Removing oneself can be beneficial, as monetary damages generally are much lower than if the individual filed a single plaintiff lawsuit on their own. Because mesothelioma has a long latency period before symptoms reveal themselves, most patients can’t cover the medical costs without being able to sue the responsible parties. Class action plaintiffs, who are awarded monetary damages, waive their right for any future claims from the defendant(s).
Lastly, one has the option of receiving a monetary award from a mesothelioma trust. Since asbestos was first banned in 1975, most parties responsible have since filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. Most of the parties that were found guilty prior to filing for bankruptcy; have since set up trusts for victims. These trusts pay a percentage of any new claims that are filed. Attorneys put forth a claim form on behalf of the client and submit it to the trustee. These trusts usually pay 5-15% of the claim total.
Whatever way you decide to file, make sure you know all of the associated risks and that you are prepared to deal with them. You should feel comfortable with your decision and with the ability of your legal team to fight for what you are legally entitled to.