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California court upholds survival award related to mesothelioma

The diagnosis and treatment of cancer has improved substantially in recent decades. Unfortunately, there are still certain kinds of cancer that do not have a known cure. Mesothelioma is one such cancer.

This aggressive and deadly cancer begins in the lining of your organs, most often the lungs. From there, it can spread to other parts of the body. While treatments can slow the progression, there is no known medical option that results in remission from mesothelioma. When those who develop mesothelioma as the result of environmental or workplace exposure die, their surviving family members can typically seek survivor benefits.

In situations were workers with environmental exposure to asbestos die of mesothelioma, their surviving family members typically have the legal right to seek compensation via a lawsuit or even a mass tort. The appellate courts of California have recently upheld the right of familial survivors of a worker employed by an asbestos company to seek compensation after a death.

The details of wrongful death law impacted this California case

For many mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits, the major concern is establishing that a company or product created a source of asbestos exposure. In one appelate case, the exposure was not in question. The plaintiff originally filed suit with his wife. After negotiating a settlement, the plaintiff eventually died.

The company, which had previously settled the claim, now pushed back against the idea that the children of the deceased worker would have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, particularly because the children were not included in the initial settlement offer.

The courts upheld the initial settlement while also reaffirming the potential legal right of the surviving children to file their own wrongful death lawsuit. While it may be a small victory, this ruling could end up being of importance to others. It shows that the courts are willing to reasonably protect the surviving family members of someone who has successfully brought a personal injury lawsuit against an employer or company related to mesothelioma.

Companies that endanger customers and workers should be held accountable

Doctors and workplace safety professionals have known about the risk involved in inhaling asbestos fibers for decades. Despite the fact that it is a known risk, too many companies still cut corners when it comes to chemical testing and worker safety standards related to asbestos. The end result may be otherwise preventable exposure to asbestos, which could result in more cases of mesothelioma or other serious illnesses.

In the event that inadequate safety measures, improper training or other issues contributed to an employee developing mesothelioma, the worker or their surviving family members should take legal action. Companies that profit off of making workers sick should pay the price for that terrible decision.