Recently we came across an article written by two attorneys in Miles & Stockbridge’s Products Liability and Mass Torts Practice Group that provided some insights about how defense lawyers might assess asbestos lung cancer lawsuits.
From the Introduction part of this article, “Asbestos, Smoking and Lung Cancer: Valuing the Venue and Verdict” (subscription required), which was published online in November 2014:
In recent years, courts across the country have seen an increase in lung cancer cases based on alleged asbestos exposure. Many of these cases involve plaintiffs with significant histories of smoking tobacco. Despite this common sense alternative causation, courts vary widely on the impact of this factual scenario depending on the jurisdiction’s utilization of comparative or contributory negligence, recognition of a claim of strict liability, and method of apportionment of damages. Consideration of these factors is essential to evaluate the defense of a case and the potential financial impact of an adverse verdict.
The article continues with discussions of asbestos lung cancer cases from these various perspectives:
- Comparative Fault
- Contributory Negligence & Strict Liability
- Apportionment of Damages
- Reconciling Fault with Damages
- Consistent Facts with Inconsistent Results
- Future Implications
My law firm handles asbestos-related lung cancer cases for plaintiffs with a history of smoking when there is also underlying asbestosis or significant pleural disease present, and these cases are filed as lawsuits or bankruptcy claims against the responsible asbestos companies.
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