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Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog

Children of Mesothelioma Patient Win Right to Continue Wrongful Death Claim After Father’s Passing

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Oct 30, 2018

 The adult children of a man who passed away from mesothelioma recently won a huge court victory when an appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling allowing the group to proceed with their own wrongful death claims against asbestos companies they say are responsible for their father's passing. The case is another classic example of asbestos companies and other negligent parties avoiding responsibility for their indifference to public safety and compensating victims and their families for the harm incurred.

The case began years ago when the plaintiff filed his mesothelioma cancer lawsuit in a California Superior Court against several defendants, accusing the group of manufacturing and marketing asbestos contaminated products that caused his mesothelioma cancer diagnosis. The plaintiff was able to settle his asbestos cancer claims with all but two of the defendants, Elementis Chemicals, Inc. and Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), and eventually went to trial to hold the remaining parties accountable.

The jury eventually ruled in favor of the plaintiff, apportioning some of the blame to Elementis Chemicals and UCC, for which the two defendants would receive some credit since other parties already settled cases with the plaintiffs, effectively reducing the amount they owed the plaintiff. During an appeal, the victim passed away from mesothelioma and the plaintiff's wife was able to settle the claims with Elementis Chemicals.

However, during the appeal, the plaintiff's adult children filed their own wrongful death claims against Elementis Chemicals for the loss of their father's company. The defendants claimed the plaintiff's wife was acting on behalf of the deceased's estate as well as the children and they should be forced to abide by the terms of the settlement reached with the deceased's spouse.

The case made its way to the California Court of Appeals where the justices hearing the case dismissed the defendants' argument, holding that the agreements reached between Elementis Chemicals and the plaintiff's spouse could not negate the childrens' claims. The justices also pushed back on the defendants' assertion that the surviving children should try to recoup any of the settlement money from the plaintiff's wife.

While wrongful death and survivor action claims vary from state to state, the law generally gives rights to the estate of deceased persons who pass away due to the negligence of another party. Either family members can file their own claims for the loss of companionship and support of a loved one or effectively continue the claim for the deceased's injuries on his or her behalf. Depending on the situation, mesothelioma cancer lawsuits can recover compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide 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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