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Mesothelioma Verdicts

Mesothelioma lawsuits that do not reach out-of-court settlements may go to trial. A mesothelioma verdict is the result of a trial and is decided upon by a jury. The average mesothelioma jury verdict amounts to approximately $2.4 Million. Most asbestos lawyers will not recommend going to trial due to the risk involved.

Do You Qualify For Compensation?

What Is a Mesothelioma Verdict?

Mesothelioma verdicts are the result of a mesothelioma lawsuit that goes to trial. Through a verdict, a jury determines the winner of the case after hearing evidence from both sides.

Mesothelioma verdicts can favor:

  • The plaintiff (the mesothelioma victim who filed the lawsuit or their family)
  • The defendant (asbestos-containing product manufacturers that were sued)
  • Neither (if the jury cannot come to a decision)

If the mesothelioma verdict favors the plaintiff, the defendant must pay them compensation.

Did You Know?

Mesothelioma verdicts award $2.4 Million on average, according to recent industry reports.

A favorable verdict allows plaintiffs with mesothelioma to hold manufacturers of asbestos-containing products financially responsible for causing their cancer, as these defendants knew their products were dangerous but denied it to keep making money.

However, mesothelioma trial verdicts may also favor manufacturers. In these cases, the plaintiff may receive little or no compensation.

No matter what verdict, the losing side may be able to take legal action to change the verdict through an appeal. While these actions may help plaintiffs who lose, they may also work in the defendants’ favor.

As a lawsuit progresses, a skilled mesothelioma lawyer can help a plaintiff determine if a trial is in their best interests and, if so, build a trial-ready case on their behalf.

Mesothelioma Verdicts vs Settlements

Most mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court rather than through a trial.

In a mesothelioma settlement, the manufacturers named in the lawsuit individually agree to pay the victim money, and the lawsuit against them does not go to trial.

On average, mesothelioma victims receive $1 Million to $1.4 Million in total from mesothelioma settlements. Most mesothelioma lawsuits will have several defendants that can each agree to a settlement.

While mesothelioma verdicts through a trial may award more compensation than a settlement, the risks often outweigh the drawbacks. This is why lawyers usually try to reach mesothelioma settlements rather than proceeding with a trial.

In fact, some lawsuits are settled mid-trial or even after a verdict is reached, according to the American Bar Association (ABA).

What Are the Risks of a Mesothelioma Trial?

Trying to reach a favorable mesothelioma verdict through a trial is a gamble. Depending on what happens in a trial, you may wind up with less money than you would have otherwise received if the case was settled. You could also lose the trial outright and receive no money.

Learn more about the risks of a mesothelioma trial below.

Wins Aren’t Guaranteed

There is really no way to guarantee a win in a trial. Juries can be unpredictable and may side with either the mesothelioma victim or the negligent manufacturer.

Expensive

Trials typically cost more than settling a case, and those extra expenses ultimately come out of the award you receive if you win.

Expenses from a trial may include:

  • Additional lawyer costs
  • Fees for witnesses
  • Official court transcript fees
  • Hotel room costs
  • Other legal expenses
Did You Know?

Just the official court transcripts for a case can cost tens of thousands of dollars if the trial lasted several weeks.

Because of these costs, you may wind up with less money from a successful mesothelioma verdict even if the trial awarded you with more money than if you settled the case.

Energy

When mesothelioma lawsuits go to trial, you may have to appear in court and sit through the trial. This can be very draining both for yourself and your family members.

If you have mesothelioma, you probably want to focus on staying as healthy as possible and enjoying time with the ones you love rather than dealing with a trial.

Time Consuming

Some trials feel like they may never end, especially when appeals or other actions delay a case after an initial verdict.

On the other hand, a settlement allows you to get money in your pocket in a relatively short amount of time. Mesothelioma lawsuits that are settled out-of-court usually start paying victims in 12 months or less.

The Mesothelioma Justice Network team can help you learn more about seeking mesothelioma settlement compensation.

Mesothelioma Trial Verdict Process

To determine a mesothelioma verdict, a jury must hear arguments from both the plaintiff’s lawyers and the defendant’s lawyers. Yet as mentioned above, deciding a verdict does not always mean the case is closed. Appeals or other actions may occur before a final verdict is determined.

Below is a breakdown of the mesothelioma trial process.

1. Both Sides Present Evidence

When you work with a mesothelioma lawyer, they will gather as much information (evidence) as possible to prepare your lawsuit in case it goes to trial.

This evidence can include:

  • Company documents from the manufacturers being sued
  • Information about the asbestos-containing products you used
  • Medical records and doctor statements showing your mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure
  • Testimonies from you and possibly your loved ones
  • Statements and records from previous mesothelioma cases your lawyers have handled
  • Your work and employment history

During the mesothelioma lawsuit trial, your lawyers use evidence to show why the defendant is responsible for your illness. On the other hand, the defendant’s lawyers will use the evidence they gathered to argue why their client is not responsible.

2. Verdict Is Made by a Jury

Once all the evidence has been presented, both legal teams will give a closing argument, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The jury then must reach a verdict.

While juries are supposed to reach a verdict in a timely manner, this does not always happen.

According to the ABA, jurors may be sequestered if they cannot reach a verdict by the end of the day. When this happens, they have no contact with the outside world and cannot talk about the case unless they are in the court.

Some juries never come to an agreement and are considered to be “hung”. This means the case has to be tried all over again with a new jury.

3. Verdict May Be Appealed

Once a jury reaches a verdict, the case is not necessarily over. The losing side may be able to take action to change the details of the verdict or appeal it entirely.

First, a motion for reconsideration may be filed. This asks the judge re-examine the case and possibly issue a new decision. For example, the judge may issue a remittitur, which is a ruling to reduce the amount of compensation you receive.

If your lawyers or the defendant’s lawyers are not happy with the outcome after this phase, they may file an appeal. An appeal asks a higher court to review the case and issue a new decision.

Mesothelioma appeals can be both helpful or harmful to your case. If you lost the case initially, appeals may force the defendant to pay. Yet the defendant may also appeal the case so they don’t have to pay.

According to the ABA, the losing side needs to show that there was an error during the trial to successfully appeal the case. They cannot overturn the verdict just because they lost.

Appeals are not a favorable outcome regardless because they add even more time and expenses to the lawsuit. For example, other lawyers may be added to your case specifically to file appeals, and their fees will come out of the compensation you receive.

As you wait for a final verdict from an appeal, you won’t receive any money from the case as it has not been decided.

To learn whether you may be eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact the Mesothelioma Justice Network team.

Mesothelioma Verdicts and Taxes

Compensation awarded through a mesothelioma verdict or a settlement may be subject to taxes, which can impact the overall amount of money you receive.

Mesothelioma compensation can be awarded for:

  • Personal injury: This compensation covers expenses that stem from your cancer, such as medical bills. Personal injury awards are typically tax-free, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Punitive damages: This type of mesothelioma compensation punishes the defendants for the harm they have done. Punitive damages are subject to taxes, according to the IRS.

These rules are general in nature, and there may be exceptions in each case. A lawyer can help you determine how much of your mesothelioma verdict may be taxed.

Recent Mesothelioma Verdicts

Despite the risks associated with a trial, some juries have awarded high mesothelioma verdicts to victims.

Recent mesothelioma verdicts include:

  • $70 Million: A man and his wife were awarded this amount by a Florida jury in June 2019. The man claimed he developed mesothelioma from asbestos-containing products while he worked as a lab technician.
  • $40.3 Million: In October 2019, a jury awarded this verdict to a woman who developed mesothelioma after using Johnson’s Baby Powder. She was first diagnosed with this cancer in 2017.
  • $8 Million: A former Kodak civil engineer received this amount in late 2019 after being exposed to asbestos. The jury determined that Ridge Construction, a subsidiary of Kodak, knew the risks of asbestos but failed to keep the man safe.

While these verdicts may seem high, they do not reflect the usual outcome of a mesothelioma lawsuit. Almost all mesothelioma lawsuits reach out-of-court settlements, and not every trial successfully awards victims with a mesothelioma verdict.

Speak with a mesothelioma lawyer to learn if a trial is the best option for your case.

Legal Help for Mesothelioma Trials & Verdicts

To ensure your case is in the best hands possible, work with a mesothelioma lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours. Dedicated mesothelioma lawyers will be able to prepare your case, negotiate strong settlements, and take your case to trial if needed.

For more information about mesothelioma verdicts and trials, get a free case review today.

Mesothelioma Support Team
Stephanie KiddWritten by:

Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie Kidd grew up in a family of civil servants, blue-collar workers, and medical caregivers. Upon graduating Summa Cum Laude from Stetson University, she began her career specializing in worker safety regulations and communications. Now, a proud member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and Editor-in-Chief of the Mesothelioma Justice Network, Stephanie serves as a voice for mesothelioma victims and their families.

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