Pennsylvania Court Allows Mesothelioma Lawsuit to Proceed Against Employer

The Pennsylvania Common Wealth Court recently ruled that the exclusivity provision of the Pennsylvania state Occupational Disease Law applies to diseases that appear within four years and not to those with a long latency period like that of mesothelioma. This decision came after the University of Pittsburgh, also known as Pitt, one of the defendants in a mesothelioma claim, argued against a claim filed by an engineer who worked in the school, stating that they were protected from the claim by law.

The engineer worked at Pitt for 39 years, and during his time at the university, he was exposed to asbestos-containing products. According to the suit, the engineer suffered asbestos exposure until 2004 and only discovered he had mesothelioma in 2019, 15 years after exposure. The engineer filed the initial lawsuit. Sadly, he died before the case was concluded. The executor of the engineer’s estate took over the case.

The University of Pittsburgh filed a motion for summary judgment in response to the claim. The university argued that the exclusivity provision of the state’s Occupational Disease Law protects them from the claim. Pitt argued that the engineer could only file a Workers’ Compensation claim. The court rejected this motion, and the university appealed that decision. The Supreme Court then ruled that the law’s exceptions were not applicable in this case.

According to the Common Wealth Court, although the laws might limit filing a lawsuit when a disease manifests more than four years after exposure, it does not mean the laws prevent litigation for an illness like mesothelioma with a long-latency period that occurs after the four-year period. The court concluded that the law did not intend for workers with an occupational illness that manifests after many years to give up their rights.

Following this ruling, the case will continue, and the family of the deceased engineer has an opportunity to recover the justice and compensation they deserve.

Mesothelioma Latency Period

The latency period is the time between exposure and getting a diagnosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can take up to 60 years or more after asbestos exposure for someone to be diagnosed with mesothelioma.

It is important to note that various factors can affect the latency period of mesothelioma. Some of the factors that can impact the latency period for mesothelioma include age at first exposure, gender, and the type of mesothelioma. Research suggests that women tend to have longer latency periods than men, and people exposed to asbestos at a later age tend to have shorter median latency periods. When it comes to mesothelioma types, research shows that pleural mesothelioma has a longer median latency period than peritoneal mesothelioma.

Whether you or your loved one developed mesothelioma within four years or after many years, you have the right to seek justice and monetary damages. A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to reach out to one.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers           

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.



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