While the legal process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is effective in getting mesothelioma victims the compensation they deserve, it is not perfect. The tragic case of John Johnson is an example of this, as well as an example of why getting experienced legal help for your lawsuit is extremely important.
After working as a carpenter, plumber, auto mechanic, and plumber from 1961-1990, the 69-year-old Newport Beach, CA resident was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010 after he suddenly became unable to catch his breath. Along with his wife, he launched mesothelioma lawsuits against 65 companies (the number was later reduced to 44) he thought could have produced asbestos products that made him sick
Last November, before his trial was set to begin, his doctors began expressing concern that Johnson may not live until the end of the trial. There was also worry that the questioning Johnson had to undergo could take a toll on his diminished health. When depositions began on December 12, he was first questioned by his own lawyers before the defense began on December 19.
California Law states that asbestos defendants can only be questioned for a total of 20 hours by the plaintiffs. However, because there were so many defendants in the case, the court allowed the defense lawyers five additional hours to question him.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Johnson missed a number of doctors appointments so he would not miss a deposition session. During his final session on January 23, he gasped many times while answering questions and appeared to be “visibly weakened” and in pain. Less than 40 minutes after the session concluded, he collapsed, and was pronounced dead the following day at Hoag Memorial Hospital
“I couldn’t believe that we had spent so much time trying to save this guy and these other people come in really trying to kill him,” Dr. Robert B. Cameron, Johnson’s thoracic surgeon, told the Times. “You can tell when a lawyer is smelling death — they were pounding him with the same questions over and over again.”
This is an example of one of the countless situations during a mesothelioma lawsuit when having an experienced attorney on your side who is looking out for your best interest is of the utmost importance. Sokolove Law has more than 30 years experience handling asbestos and mesothelioma claims and getting victims the compensation they deserve.
Call us today to learn more about what it takes to pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit, and see if there may be legal options open to you.