Many of Pennsylvania’s residents have heard of the dangers posed by asbestos. The fiber, which was commonly contained in many manufacturing products, often causes mesothelioma in those who are exposed to it. This cancer is often fatal and can leave a deceased’s family reeling, struggling to figure out how to move on with life. Fortunately, in these situations, legal action can be taken in an attempt to recover economic and noneconomic losses related to the unexpected loss of a loved one.
One Pennsylvania family succeeded on its wrongful death claim against the manufacturers of several products their deceased loved one worked on in the 1960s. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the father of the family worked with products containing asbestos at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, but was never warned of the danger of handling such products and he was never given appropriate protective equipment. As a result, the victim was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died in 2010. The family recovered more than $7 million even though the defendants argued they were not liable for the man’s death.
Whether a loved one is lost in a car accident, a medical mishap or a workplace accident, surviving family members can take similar action in an attempt to recover their losses. Winning a case requires a plaintiff to successfully show the defendant was negligent and that negligence caused the victim’s death.
An attorney can often aid in establishing these elements. He or she will diligently work to gather evidence and witness and expert testimony to support a family’s claim. If the legal argument convinces the jury, then compensation may be awarded for the family’s damages. Awards may help cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages and pain and suffering, amongst others. Hopefully a successful lawsuit will bring a surviving family closure and comfort at a time when it is needed and deserved.
Source: Philly.com, “Jury awards $7.25 million in asbestos case,” Julie Shaw, March 14, 2014