Mesothelioma Lawsuits: Steps to Filing Your Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Asbestos litigation, including mesothelioma lawsuits, is one of the largest mass torts in the United States starting in 1964 when doctors first reported that asbestos exposure is the link to mesothelioma cancer. With thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits filed every year across the country, it is essential to know the type of lawsuit filed along with a detailed legal process explaining important deadlines and statute of limitations. At MesoWatch, we are dedicated to the victims affected by asbestos exposure and will advise the advantages of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.

We can also help you get a free consultation with a mesothelioma lawyer serving in Ashburn.

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Mesothelioma Lawsuit Process & Payouts

A mesothelioma lawsuit is a civil complaint filed against the companies responsible for asbestos exposure by the patient or family members after obtaining a mesothelioma diagnosis. Through this process, the patient will be allowed to recover compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income, costly medical treatment, loss of consortium, and other related expenses caused by asbestos exposure-related illness. The patient may be eligible to obtain payouts through asbestos bankruptcy trust funds and settlements from liable defendants without the need for a lengthy trial.

Should You File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Asbestos has been and continues to be widely used by consumers in thousands of products, including everyday household items. The most common type of asbestos exposure occurs in the workplace. Workplace exposure also contributes to secondary exposure affecting family members in the home due to inadequate decontamination procedures. Environmental asbestos and exposure to products containing asbestos are also a high risk to the public today. Researchers estimate each year that millions of people have exposure to asbestos. Since asbestos exposure is the only discovered cause of mesothelioma, filing a mesothelioma lawsuit ensures that the defendants are held liable for your illness.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The type of civil complaint about mesothelioma asbestos lawsuits will depend on who is filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. There are two types of asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits that can be submitted.  The claim will be either on behalf of the diagnosed patient or on behalf of family members who can file a wrongful death type mesothelioma lawsuit. The statute of limitations will vary depending on whether the victim is filing directly or family members are filing a wrongful death suit. It is imperative to be aware of the applicable statute of limitations for your case to protect your rights to a lawsuit.

Personal Injury Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma personal injury lawsuits are by the individual diagnosed with mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure, which helps the patient seek compensation from the companies liable for producing and distributing asbestos products and materials.

  • Filed by the Patient after obtaining a diagnosis
  • Filed against the companies liable for asbestos exposure
  • Recovers damages for pain and suffering, medical treatment, lost income, and other related expenses

Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit is on behalf of surviving family members in the event of a death due to asbestos exposure resulting in mesothelioma. These lawsuits are against one or more companies liable for exposing the deceased victim to asbestos due to their negligence.

  • Filed by surviving family after the death of the patient
  • Filed against the companies liable for the asbestos exposure
  • Recovers compensation for outstanding medical treatment, funeral cost, lost income, loss of consortium and additional costs

How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The first step in a mesothelioma lawsuit is selecting an attorney experienced in asbestos lawsuits. Mesothelioma lawsuits are a complicated process and require the skill of attorneys to obtain compensation from the liable defendants. Experienced asbestos litigators will be able to piece together the details of your case. By filing your injury or wrongful death lawsuit with a firm with a proven track record against the asbestos defendants, you maximize your ability to recover compensation quickly. Most mesothelioma lawsuits settle without having the victims go through a lengthy trial.

What is the Mesothelioma Lawsuit Statute of Limitations?

Mesothelioma lawsuits have a statute of limitations “deadline” by when you must file your legal complaint. Each state will have its time limit, which starts at the time of the patient’s original diagnosis, although some jurisdictions will have longer statutes the time generally begins when the diagnosis was received. Additionally, there are separate statutes of limitations for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit after the death of a loved one which a family member can claim and which are specific to the state wrongful death statute of limitations which begins when your loved one passes away.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Compensation

The goal of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is to obtain a trial date as early in the process as possible. An early trial date will maximize your ability to recover compensation. Every mesothelioma or lung cancer lawsuit has individual facts. The time frame and urgency of the mesothelioma lawsuit will depend on the jurisdiction hearing the case, and the skill of the legal representation obtained. The primary purpose is to get compensation and access available trust funds and settlements to cover damages such as: 

  • Medical treatment and copays
  • Loss of income from working
  • Ongoing living and medical care expenses

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Process

Each mesothelioma lawsuit is unique, especially if the plaintiff accepts a negotiated settlement and the case settles before trial. However, the process followed will also provide insight for what the patients and families could expect from retaining an experienced mesothelioma law firm or attorney that focuses on asbestos litigation matters:

Medical Review

Reviewing and documenting the patient’s medical and work history to determine damages the plaintiff has incurred and discovered who the liable parties are. This documentation will determine the legal course and direction as well as the level of urgency there will be in obtaining compensation.


Asbestos litigators experienced in mesothelioma cases possess a large amount of data and analysis. They will match the client’s situation and work history with known asbestos companies who have already been held accountable for negligence.


Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit and seeing it through depositions and trial is a complicated and time-consuming process. It may be in the claimant’s best interest to review and accept negotiated settlement offers from defendants to avoid any stress for the patient. However, hiring a law firm with a proven track record of successful verdicts against the asbestos defendants is your best course of action to obtain full compensation for the harms and damages suffered from asbestos exposure.


The deposition stage of the lawsuit is where the defendants have the power to ask you questions about your asbestos exposure. The deposition is the most critical stage of the lawsuit process, and it is of utmost importance to have an attorney that is skilled with the deposition process. This skill will provide you with comfort and confidence to be able to answer the questions posed by the defendants in a thorough and organized manner. The results of the deposition are critical to having the facts of the case correct and obtaining monetary damages from the appropriate defendants.

Defendants Responses

The defendants want to win the case leaving you with little or no compensation. They may ask you questions about your work history and asbestos products that you came into contact with to possibly push liability onto another manufacturers product. The defendants may test the plaintiff’s credibility with their repeated questions about similar topics. It is of utmost importance that as a plaintiff, the facts of your case stay consistent and having an attorney skilled with the discovery and deposition process by your side is imperative to achieving the best results.

Trust Funds

Asbestos bankruptcy trust funds are established by large corporations who restructured under chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to compensate victims of asbestos exposure-related illnesses. There have been over $30 billion set aside by the bankruptcy trusts. It is critical to have a skilled legal team who knows precisely which trust funds may be available to you. The legal team will use its resources and experience to show the trust funds the correct documentation and evidence to maximize your recovery.

Workers Compensation

Workers compensation laws may provide financial assistance for an asbestos-related illness that occurs in the workplace. This claim is a fast and reliable form of compensation; however, it will depend on each situation. Workers compensation insurance may fund income support payouts while Medicare and Medicaid will cover medical costs.

Veterans Affairs

Every United States military veteran is eligible for compensation and healthcare benefits when shown the disability originated from active duty work hazards such as asbestos exposure. Veterans can apply to the Veterans Affairs (VA) for financial and related expenses.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Timeline

The mesothelioma lawsuit timeline has no set or specific time-frame. Every mesothelioma or lung cancer lawsuit has its individual and unique circumstances. The timeline and urgency of the mesothelioma lawsuit will depend on the seriousness and legal representation the patient pursues, which varies greatly depending on the law firm selected. Mesothelioma victims often ask how long they can expect a mesothelioma lawsuit to last. The mesothelioma lawsuit timeline is difficult to predict, as it can vary based on a variety of factors, including:

  • The complexity of facts that need investigation
  • Filing of the claim is in time with the statute of limitations
  • Which trust funds are available
  • How many plaintiffs included in the lawsuit
  • The processing speed of the chosen venue
  • Number of defendants sued in the complaint
  • The scheduling and performance of the deposition
  • The trial date scheduled
  • The complexity of pretrial motions filed
  • Speed of paperwork processing

Lawsuits that settle without going to trial may be shorter, but the duration can still vary significantly based on the factors above. The more prepared the plaintiffs and their attorneys are the less time the case will take to resolve whether the resolution of claims is by settlement or jury trial.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Defenses

The defendant may try to defend their case by blaming other product manufacturers or by defenses such as stating that your claim filing was not within the statute of limitations period. This procedural inadequacy typically gets worked out before trial, during the discovery process and deposition. Defendants may try to assert that the cause of your diagnosis of mesothelioma or asbestos-related cancer was from other sources, including:

  • The plaintiff’s history of smoking or other unhealthy behaviors or illnesses described in the plaintiff’s medical records
  • The defense may claim the disease is caused by some other carcinogen that started in an area not associated with asbestos exposure
  • The defense will make an effort to discredit your recollection of events and attempt to assert liability on another manufacturer or defendant
  • The defense may challenge whether or not you were predisposed to the injury complained of such as from genetic or other family health-related reasons

The defendant could challenge the accuracy or truthfulness of your medical diagnosis or the credibility and qualifications of the medical professional that gave your diagnosis. While unlikely to occur, your legal team will be by your side to restore credibility to your mesothelioma diagnosis.

Additional Mesothelioma Lawsuit Procedural Defenses

During the mesothelioma lawsuit process, the defendant may also attack procedural issues with the complaint. Some possible challenges include:

  • Compliance with the statute of limitations
  • Other inaccuracies in the complaint, which your attorneys can likely amend
  • The defendants may prefer a different venue and attempt to have the venue changed
  • Whether the plaintiff has authority to file on behalf of the victim 

When represented by a law firm with a proven track record and an excellent reputation, the law firm will likely be able to defeat the procedural defenses quickly.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements

Courts have awarded large settlements and verdicts after trial verdicts handed down by the jury. However, many plaintiffs would prefer to have their settlements and compensation from trust funds as fast as possible. Given the immediate need for costly and urgent mesothelioma treatments, the victims deserve to start receiving payment quickly. The quickest way to getting your mesothelioma lawsuit payout is from hiring a law firm that has the resources and experience in mesothelioma litigation, and the sole focus of the law firm is on representing asbestos-related lawsuits.

Average Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements & Verdicts

According to a recent Mealey’s asbestos litigation report, one of the largest verdicts awarded for a mesothelioma lawsuit was in Washington State for $81.5 million. Also in another mesothelioma verdict in New York, a plaintiff was awarded $75 million.  With five other juries awarding verdicts exceeding $10 million and the two cases above, the verdicts represent half of the mesothelioma verdicts rewarded in 2017. The verdicts awarded to the plaintiff for 2017 totaled up to $294,051,854.

In light of these verdicts in 2017, the average mesothelioma lawsuit verdict increased over $9.4 million. The median mesothelioma lawsuit verdict remained steady at approximately $2 million over the last eight years before the report are as follows:

  • 2010: $3.2 million
  • 2011: $2.5 million
  • 2012: $2.6 million
  • 2013: $1.2 million
  • 2014: $3.4 million
  • 2015: $1.5 million
  • 2016: $2.1 million
  • 2017: $2.0 million

There were mesothelioma lawsuit trial verdicts in 12 states in 2017. The state of California led the way with nine verdicts in 2017. New York also had several verdicts with seven. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had two verdicts. Then the other states having mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts were Illinois, Texas, Washington, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Oregon. Further, according to recent reports, the average settlement value of a mesothelioma case is between $1 million to $1.4 million.

New Frontier in Mesothelioma Lawsuits 

Mesothelioma caused by talcum powder lawsuits is on the rise since 2018.  As a result of the mesothelioma verdicts related to talcum powder exposure, the average award in 2018 for mesothelioma claimants rose to above $18 million. The highest average mesothelioma awards came in 2011 with nearly $21 million awarded per case. 

Mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts related to talcum powder since 2018 include:

A New Jersey jury awarded $37 million for a woman’s mesothelioma lawsuit allegedly caused by asbestos in Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder. 

A California jury awarded $29.4 for a woman suffering from mesothelioma after using Johnson and Johnson’s talc-based baby powder.

A New York jury in 2019 awarded $325 million to a woman with mesothelioma who alleged contamination of Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder with asbestos.

These recent verdict awards which do not represent the amount the plaintiffs receive after appeals or apportionment of damages, represent an increase in the average for mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts. Therefore, the average mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts are expected to soar for 2019 and beyond with the new frontier of talcum powder related asbestos litigation.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Your State

Specific state information regarding mesothelioma and asbestos laws