Mesothelioma Victims’ Rights at the Root of Missouri Legislature Impasse

A disagreement over the compensation that mesothelioma victims should receive has stalled a workers compensation reform bill in the Missouri legislature.

The bill would change a 2005 law that took occupational diseases like those related to asbestos exposure out of the workers compensation system and into the courts. Mesothelioma and anti-asbestos advocates favor the current system because it allows mesothelioma victims to receive better compensation for their injuries.

The Senate version of the bill leaves the (financial) fate of mesothelioma victims in the hands of the courts, while the house bill looks to save money by moving it back to the workers’ compensation system.

Sen. Jack Goodman, the sponsor of the Senate bill told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “One of the real important elements of our system of justice … is to provide a discouragement of those who would do harm to others.”

As of Wednesday night, a compromise was offered that would move mesothelioma cases from the courts, but would raise the amounts of any potential settlement. Goodman appeared ready to accept it, but we will continue to follow the news closely.

Compensation for malignant mesothelioma varies from case to case. Whether or not punitive damages are awarded, the cost of medical care and the amount of lost income, among other factors, may affect the amount of any value the claim may have.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos by using certain products or working for certain companies and have subsequently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there may be legal options worth pursuing to obtain a mesothelioma settlement. Contact a mesothelioma attorney if you have any questions about the details of asbestos law and what is needed to pursue a settlement from the manufacturer of the asbestos product (not necessarily your company).

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