A New York Judge Permits Two Mesothelioma Claims to Be Consolidated

For purposes of this article, the victims in this case will be referred to as K.L. and P.J.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that takes the lives of many people every year. Surviving loved ones of people who die from mesothelioma are usually left dealing with intense grief and loss. While filing a wrongful death claim cannot undo what has already happened, filing this claim serves several crucial purposes. Filing a wrongful death claim ensures that those who contributed to the asbestos exposure that led to the death are held liable. A wrongful death claim can provide financial support to surviving family members. Additionally, by pursuing a wrongful death claim, surviving family members can contribute to the prevention of future harm.

However, pursuing legal action after a loved one dies from mesothelioma can be a daunting and emotionally draining process. Therefore, the idea of joining mesothelioma claims can be very appealing. Asbestos companies do not like it when people join mesothelioma claims since two claims carry more weight than one. Asbestos companies fight to prevent claimants from joining forces. However, a recent ruling by a New York judge has allowed two mesothelioma cases to be joined, paving the way for mesothelioma victims and their loved ones to consolidate their claims.

In New York, when individuals ask to consolidate their mesothelioma claims, they must demonstrate that a joinder is warranted based on specific factors for their request to be granted. Joinder is the consolidation of claims into one case. Individuals do not need to demonstrate that all factors are present, but they must show that most of the factors are present. In the cases filed by the surviving family members of K.L. and P.J., two men who died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during their employment as carpenters, the families managed to present a compelling argument for joinder. Apart from both men having suffered asbestos exposure while working as carpenters, they also suffered exposure while assisting auto mechanics working on similar equipment. Additionally, discovery in both cases is complete, and the two families are represented by the same lawyer. The two mesothelioma claims meet seven of the eight factors required in New York for joinder.

The asbestos companies named in the two claims argued that there is no commonality as to the victims’ occupation, years of exposure, worksite, and the defendants. Despite this argument, the judge allowed the two cases to be joined. The judge highlighted that joining the two cases would streamline legal proceedings. The judge noted that the two cases shared the same central issue and other similarities. The families of the two mesothelioma victims will be able to join the claims against the companies they have named in their lawsuits. The two families will be able to present their cases to a jury at one time. Apart from streamlining legal proceedings, joining mesothelioma claims brings attention to the shared stories of mesothelioma victims and their families, emphasizing how many people are affected by asbestos exposure.

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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment and other expenses.



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