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Maryland Lawsuit Could Give Families More Time to File Asbestos Cancer Claims

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock-460053679.jpgMaryland’s Court of Appeals is slated to hear an important mesothelioma lawsuit brought by the family of a former pipe fitter that could have a tremendous impact on other claims challenging the statute of limitations under state law to bring mesothelioma claims. Currently, Maryland state laws allows victims or those representing their estates to bring mesothelioma lawsuits 20 years after exposure to asbestos, but the plaintiffs’ challenge could greatly extend that time period.

The plaintiffs in this case brought the lawsuit on behalf of their loved one, who worked as a steamfitter at the Morgantown Generating Station in Charles County, Maryland. A nearby Westinghouse turbine was insulated with asbestos in 1970, which the plaintiffs claim caused the victim’s passing in 2013 due to mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer, commonly affecting the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen. The disease is caused by asbestos exposure and while there are numerous promising scientific breakthroughs being made every year to treat the cancer, there is still no definitive cure to rid patients of mesothelioma.

Furthermore, the disease can take decades to show symptoms, which limits treatment options and complicates litigation to hold wrongdoers responsible for their actions. Fortunately, plaintiffs like those in this case are challenging restrictions on plaintiffs seeking the justice and compensation needed to pay for vital medical treatment and right the wrongs committed by powerful corporations.

Attorneys for the plaintiff argue that the 20-year deadline for filing mesothelioma cancer lawsuits in Maryland unfairly denies access to justice because thousands of victims in the state did not even show symptoms of mesothelioma until after the statute of limitations expired. Groups representing unions and building trades have come out in support of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, asserting that if the state’s highest court upholds the lower court rulings, thousands of workers in the construction and skilled trades unions could lose their rights to an effective remedy.

Over the past few decades, over 1 million plaintiffs have filed asbestos cancer lawsuits in courts across Maryland, but recent filings have dwindled as companies have ceased using asbestos in construction projects. However, experts estimate there are still 22,000 cases pending in litigation and another 7,000 inactive cases as courts struggle to conduct discovery and allow victims to have their day in court. Hopefully, state lawmakers will revisit the issue on the 20-year filing deadline to allow all plaintiffs to bring their claims before the courts and hold companies responsible for exposing workers to deadly working conditions that had serious impacts on their health and their families.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer

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 to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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