Filing a Mesothelioma Case

Filing a mesothelioma case, the process that begins the lawsuit, is an extremely important step.  Over 600,000 asbestos-related claims had been filed as of 2000, and the number has only grown since then.  An experienced asbestos attorney will be aware of the variables that affect the filing process and be able to advise his or her client.  It is important for the client to answer the lawyer’s questions about work status, health history, and current health status completely and honestly so the legal team will have the appropriate information when beginning the lawsuit.

The location where the lawsuit is filed – federal or state court, or even different locations within a state – can make a large difference in the outcome of the case.  Before 1988, about 41% of plaintiffs filed suit in federal court, hoping for a global settlement, but now, most asbestos lawsuits, about 80%, are filed in state courts.  The defendant may request a change of venue, but this may be difficult to obtain.

Depending on the specifics of the case, the plaintiff’s lawyer or legal team may decide to file in a state other than the one where the plaintiff currently resides.  Between 1998 and 2000, the five states with the highest number of asbestos filings were, in order, Texas, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Maryland.  However, filing out of state does not mean that the plaintiff will have to travel – the attorney should be able to handle the case remotely.

The lawyer will also be aware of the paperwork necessary for filing, which must be sent to the proper court as well as the defendant.  However, many companies that formerly used asbestos in their factories or products have closed or gone bankrupt.  In many of these cases, a trust fund has been created to pay for former employees’ medical expenses.  An attorney can assist in gaining compensation from such funds as well.


Rand Institute for Civil Justice