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California Appeals Court Issues Reversal to Allow Family to Pursue Damages in Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Sep 13, 2018

A California appeals court recently issued a ruling in an asbestos cancer lawsuit allowing the plaintiffs to have their case reheard and pursue additional damages which were improperly excluded from consideration by the trial court. The case is being brought by the seven surviving children of the deceased who passed away after a battle with mesothelioma which the plaintiffs claim was a direct result of exposure to asbestos-laden products sold by Pep Boys auto parts stores.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, filed in Francisco City and County Superior Court, the plaintiff was a “do it yourselfer” who frequently performed his own work on his vehicle, including changing brake pads made with asbestos and sold by Pep Boys from the 1960s through the mid-1980s. Throughout the course of repairing and replacing his brakes, which included brushing brake dust from auto wheel drums, grinding or sanding brake shoes, handling core brake parts, and sweeping up brake dust, the victim inhaled friable asbestos dust.

As a result of decades of exposure to and inhaling asbestos fibers, the plaintiff developed mesothelioma and received a diagnosis for such in April 2010 and ultimately succumbed to the illness just three months later at the age of 75. In January 2011, the deceased's adult children filed a mesothelioma lawsuit on his behalf against Pep Boys, claiming the company knowingly sold a dangerous product and was therefore responsible for the cancer diagnosis.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The mineral was once used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications but has been heavily regulated by the government since the 1970s. Still, thousands of people receive mesothelioma cancer diagnoses every year due to the disease's long latency period.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs asked to be compensated for the loss of services the deceased would have otherwise provided when caring for the children's' sick mother. At trial, the judge hearing the case excluded taking those loss of services into consideration for award, which constituted the base of the appeal by the plaintiffs.

In their decision, the appellate court ruled that the trial judge erred in refusing to consider awarding compensation for the loss of home health care services to the deceased's wife, determining those were economic damages. As a result of the appeals court ruling, the plaintiffs may now go back to the trial court to have their damages reconsidered to include the value of the loss of household services the deceased would have provided.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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