Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyers and Law Firms
Alabama ranks 25th in the U.S. for deaths from malignant 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 Alabama mesothelioma attorney who can help them to potentially win a mesothelioma settlement. Sokolove Law’s Alabama mesothelioma attorneys have helped thousands of people exposed to asbestos across the state get the help they deserve.
Those interested in filing an Alabama mesothelioma lawsuit, or a lawsuit for any asbestos cancer or asbestos-related injury, are advised to contact an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after diagnosis.
If you have any questions or need to contact Sokolove Law, please call our toll-free number 888-360-4215 to speak with a mesothelioma paralegal.
Filing an Alabama Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Those interested in filing an Alabama mesothelioma lawsuit or in hiring an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer should be aware that their legal rights may be restricted by Alabama’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 Alabama 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 Alabama 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 Alabama Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits
Two major mesothelioma lawsuits in Alabama have been pro-plaintiff. The first was Pace v. Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (1991), in which the Alabama Supreme Court determined that the family members of people who die of asbestos-related disease could legally collect “wrongful death” damages. This court case was particularly important because it said that these damages could be collected regardless of whether the victim’s own claims would have been disallowed due to Alabama’s restrictive statute of limitations. It was the first litigation in the state that allowed for the family to receive wrongful death damages even after the statute of limitations for the victim’s claims had run out.
The second case, from 1995, was Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp. v. Gant. In this case, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the jury was properly allowed to determine whether those bringing suit were exposed to Owens-Corning’s asbestos-containing products. It also held that consolidation of the cases for one trial was appropriate. The most important part of this litigation is the fact that it allows many people who suffered exposure to asbestos to sue a single company for that exposure. In many instances, this can allow for a stronger case for the plaintiffs and the associated Alabama mesothelioma lawyers than could be had by individuals pursuing legal action on their own.
Legal Setback for Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Alabama
Of more concern is a court case that was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Alabama court had ruled that those seeking damages due to diseases caused by toxic substances must file suit within two years of their exposure to the substance, but only after they become sick. As four of the dissenting justices in the Alabama Supreme Court observed, that ruling created an insurmountable “Catch-22” in which it may be physically impossible for victims, for whom symptoms usually do not appear until years after asbestos exposure, to file an Alabama mesothelioma lawsuit.
With mesothelioma, the disease may not manifest within that two-year period of exposure, particularly if exposure levels were low. This creates a situation in which some victims are unable to hire an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer for help or to pursue legal action because of a statute of limitations that doesn’t reasonably apply to this disease. The case was appealed by Public Justice, a non-profit legal services organization. In a setback for plaintiffs, however, the U.S. Supreme Court made the decision not to hear the case.
As a result of the Supreme Court decision, it currently stands as law in Alabama that victims of mesothelioma have only two years after exposure to demonstrate signs of illness to the court if they are interested in hiring a Alabama mesothelioma lawyer to bring an Alabama mesothelioma lawsuit. In that case, they can pursue action as individuals; alternatively a group of affected individuals may come together to pursue action against a company. If the two-year statute of limitations has run out, the only compensation available is in the form of a wrongful death suit by the remaining family members upon the death of the mesothelioma victim.
Alabama Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Treatment Centers
Today, between 25 and 30% of all Americans will get some form of cancer during their lifetimes. There are many reasons for this, including the modern lifestyle and the poisons that have been put into the environment – of which asbestos is a prime example.
The number of clinics and hospitals that specialize in oncology have increased in response to the growing number of patients. Below is a list of the cancer treatment centers located in Alabama:
- University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center
Alabama Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Doctors:
Most doctors focusing on asbestos disease today are trained in oncology, thoracic surgery, respiratory or occupational medicine, or some related field. Below is a list of doctors in Alabama that specialize in some form of asbestos cancer or mesothelioma treatment and the institution they are currently affiliated with:
- Dr. Robert J. Cerfolio
University of Alabama at Birmingham