So, you have worked with a specific employer for some time, maybe as a plumber, shipbuilder, or home builder, or whatever it may have been. The job exposed you to asbestos, not just once but many times over a period of time. Now, you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Can you sue your employer for exposing you to asbestos?
It’s an important question because you want to make sure you have all the defendants listed in your case. Doing so helps make sure you will receive the fair and just compensation. There are, however, criteria that must be met before a claim against an employer can be expected to be successful. Here’s what you should know.
Can you sue your employer for asbestos exposure in California?
You can sue your employer, but to be successful with your mesothelioma claim, you must be able to show your employer was at-fault and negligent. To do so, part of the process is identifying and satisfying the following:
- Duty of care. Did your employer owe you a duty? The answer is almost always yes. The employer must fulfill its OSHA requirements and ensure you have a reasonably safe work environment, among many other things. Further, OSHA has specific rules on asbestos safety that employers must heed.
- Breach of duty. Did your employer breach the duty of care? If the employer failed to provide a safe work environment and failed to adhere to OSHA’s requirements or was otherwise negligent in some way, then your employer breached its duty to you.
- Injuries. Did the breach directly and proximately cause bodily harm? Exposure to asbestos can cause many injuries, namely and specifically mesothelioma. It can also cause lung cancer or other illnesses. The latter, however, can be caused by other things as well, so the causal link will be more complex. With mesothelioma, specifically pleural mesothelioma, asbestos is the primary cause. The American Cancer Society suggests that 8 out of 10 persons diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos.
- Damages. The injuries the victim suffered must be quantifiable in terms of money. But damages can be either economic or non-economic in nature. This means you would have accumulated medical bills and other economic damages that can be recompensed. But you can also receive compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other non-economic damages as recognized by California law.
If these elements are present, then your attorney should be able to identify negligence, which would indicate the at-fault parties. Once the at-fault parties are identified, liability can be proven and compensation owed can be negotiated via settlement talks or fought for at trial.
Who else can you sue for asbestos exposure in California?
Mesothelioma-based lawsuits are usually lawsuits based on the theory of product liability and not necessarily the theory of negligence. When product liability is the center of your lawsuit, it is usually the manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and anyone else along the asbestos supply chain that can be held liable for your illness and responsible for your compensation.
You can also incorporate both theories in your lawsuit, if it is relevant, and sue your employer along with the manufacturers. Your attorney at the Ledger Law Firm will identify all possible defendants to ensure optimal compensation for you. It is our intent to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us at the Ledger Law Firm today. by calling (888) 515-7137.