Evidence supported mesothelioma suit against plastic cement manufacturer

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease develops when asbestos fibers enter the lining of the lungs or abdomen. Typically, a diagnosis of mesothelioma may not occur until decades after exposure, which may present obstacles with regard to making a case against the parties responsible.

However, those obstacles are surmountable, as demonstrated in the California Court of Appeal case of Hernandez v. Amcord, Inc.

Dust from bags of cement

The victim was a 62-year-old man diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. He died one year after the diagnosis. A lawsuit brought after the diagnosis was continued by his wife.

The victim had been exposed to asbestos working as a carpenter and in construction in Southern California for several decades. During a portion of this time, the victim used a product called gun plastic cement on the exterior of homes. Opening the cement bags created visible dust around his face and clothing. The cement contained asbestos and the packages contained no warnings that it might cause cancer.

After the victim's counsel had presented its evidence, the trial court held that the victim had failed to show that the company's product caused the mesothelioma to a reasonable degree of medical probability and found against the victim before the trial was even complete. The victim's wife appealed this decision.

Was sufficient evidence presented?

According to the California Court of Appeal, to prove the case, the victim's wife had to, first, establish her husband had some threshold exposure to the gun plastic cement, and, second, establish in reasonable medical probability that the exposure was a substantial factor in bringing about his injury.

As to the first requirement, the testimony of the victim's brother was sufficient. The brother had worked with the victim for 10 to 12 years, and explained that the brothers often used the cement product, with dust flying as bags were opened or used.

The victim's wife had also presented sufficient evidence that the cement was a substantial factor in bringing about the victim's illness. An epidemiologist testified that if a worker were exposed to many different asbestos-containing products, each of those products would contribute to an increased risk of asbestos-related disease. In addition, the expert testified that a worker pouring a 94-pound bag of gun plastic cement, as the victim often did, would be at increased risk. Finally, another medical expert had also given his professional opinion that there was a direct connection between the victim's work history and his illness.

Therefore, the trial court's decision was reversed, and the victim's mesothelioma case would be able to move forward.

Cutting-edge representation

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you will want representation from attorneys who have built their careers on providing cutting-edge representation in mesothelioma cases. Seek attorneys who will work hard to find methods to get you the compensation you need for your medical treatment as well as what you deserve for your injuries.