Tennessee Supreme Court Allows Parents to Sue for Daughter’s Asbestos Death

Amanda Satterfield died in 2005, at the age of 25, from malignant mesothelioma. According to the Tennessee Supreme Court, her parents are allowed to sue Alcoa on her behalf. Her father, Doug Satterfield, had worked for Alcoa hauling asbestos. The asbestos dust is alleged to have accumulated on her father’s work clothes, which he wore home. These asbestos-covered clothes were Amanda’s source of exposure which eventually caused the mesothelioma which resulted in her untimely death. Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Normally, it takes ten to twenty years following exposure before mesothelioma develops. Once the disease is diagnosed, it almost always proves to be fatal within 18 to 24 months.

Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in people in their 50’s and 60’s among people who worked with the toxin in their younger days. Two years before her death, Amanda sued Alcoa for causing her mesothelioma. After she passed away in 2005, her father continued to pursue the lawsuit in court representing the estate of his daughter. He is seeking $10 million in compensation and another $10 million in punitive damages. On September 9th, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the employer was required to prevent others from being exposed to asbestos on their employees’ person or clothing. After failing in a Blout County court, the lawsuit made a reappearance in an appeals court where it was contested by Alcoa and sent on to the Tennessee Supreme Court. Alcoa is hoping to be able to win out the suit in a future trial, but the precedent has already been set by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision.