Ohio Mesothelioma Lawyers and Law Firms
Ohio is ranked 7th in the U.S. for deaths from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare, deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Mounting a mesothelioma lawsuit is a complicated process. For that reason, victims of asbestos exposure may want to hire an experienced Ohio mesothelioma attorney who can help them to potentially win a mesothelioma settlement.
Those interested in filing an Ohio mesothelioma lawsuit, or a lawsuit for any asbestos cancer or asbestos-related injury, are advised to contact an Ohio mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after diagnosis.
Filing an Ohio Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Those interested in filing an Ohio mesothelioma lawsuit or in hiring an Ohio mesothelioma lawyer should be aware that their legal rights may be restricted by Ohio’s statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the period of time you have until it is “too late” to file an asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuit. So you are advised to contact an Ohio mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after a mesothelioma diagnosis in order to file any lawsuits within the state’s statute of limitations.
An experienced Ohio mesothelioma attorney can help you present your case and maximize your chances of winning a settlement in a court of law. To make sure that you are protected under the law and to build a strong case, a mesothelioma attorney will first need to obtain the following information:
- Medical records confirming a diagnosis of mesothelioma or other asbestos disease
- Death certificate with cause of death listed (if applicable)
- Work history or military service to determine how and when the asbestos exposure occurred
It is important to know that even if your loved one has already lost their battle with mesothelioma, you may still have the right to file a claim.
Some Key Ohio Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits
A number of key asbestos lawsuits in Ohio have returned a pro-plaintiff verdict.
One key asbestos case in Ohio, Thornton, et al. v. A-Best Products, et al., ruled that a medical criteria bill concerning the types of asbestos claims that may proceed to trial should not be applied retroactively to the claims of 11 asbestos plaintiffs. The court ruled that the plaintiffs’ claims should proceed to trial under the law prior to the Act. The Ohio Court of Common Pleas for Cuyahoga County found in January 2005, that the Act impaired the rights of the plaintiffs.
While the original case was working its way through the courts in 2004, Amended Substitute House Bill 292 was enacted, prompting the defendants to move that the 11 lawsuits be taken off the trial list. The intention of House Bill 292 was to give priority to asbestos claimants who exhibit actual physical injury caused by asbestos. It classified plaintiffs into those asserting claims based on non-malignant conditions, those who are smokers and suffer from lung cancer, and those asserting a wrongful death claim. The Common Pleas Court noted in its ruling that the Ohio Constitution prohibits the passing of retroactive laws and protects existing rights from new legislative encroachments.
Not all Ohio asbestos exposure cases have been decided in favor of the plaintiffs, however.
The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that federal locomotive safety laws do not allow asbestos victims to make claims against train manufacturers in Ohio state courts. The decision affirmed a lower court’s decision to bar about 2,000 former railway workers and their Ohio mesothelioma lawyers from adding train manufacturers to their separate lawsuits against nearly 60 companies that made, sold or used asbestos
The workers alleged they were exposed to the asbestos while working in or maintaining rail cars. The decision was not, according to the court, a comment on the validity of the workers’ claims; however, because of the Federal Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act, the claims were deemed irrelevant and futile because the Act pre-empts state-law tort claims against railroad manufacturers. They also said lower courts in Ohio have great discretion in deciding whether new defendants should be added to an existing lawsuit and that a plaintiff challenging such a decision had to show that it was unreasonable, arbitrary or unconscionable. A justice who disagreed with the ruling said that since the claims dealt with products no longer in use rather than current railroad equipment, they were not in danger of intruding into federal domain.
Ohio Asbestos Legislation
In 2004, Ohio passed its own tort reform law (HB 292) that requires asbestos victims to have been diagnosed with a disease before filing a claim; those who have merely been exposed to asbestos but have not developed any symptoms are barred from taking legal action. They may file at a later date should symptoms of asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma develop.