Mesothelioma patient files lawsuit against company, wins

A West coast worker who suffers from lung disease mesothelioma has won an important legal victory, which could have federal implications for employees in North Carolina and elsewhere. The ruling in the personal injury case, which was handed down by a California court, prevents the Lorillard Tobacco Company from delaying civil actions by attempting to transfer the case to federal court, according to media reports.

Although the victim in the case may only have months to live, according to his doctors, the family has continued to pursue civil claims against the tobacco company. The suit was initially filed in December 2011, and it alleges that the company knowingly exposed the victim to the dangerous compound asbestos, which eventually prompted the fatal lung disease known as mesothelioma.

The tobacco company had made aggressive efforts since May to have the case moved to federal courts, saying that the man had been exposed to products that could not have been produced in California. Another attempt to move the case to federal court was denied in August, as well, according to recent media reports.

The most recent ruling has decided that the company can no longer delay the trial associated with the man’s civil suit, and the family can continue to seek legal and financial retribution for the company’s alleged misdeeds.

Authorities suspect that the company had attempted to move the location of the trial because it was seeking a stay of court proceedings, which would have inconvenienced the plaintiffs and perhaps permitted the complainant to expire before legal compensation could be provided.

The date of future court proceedings has not been released to local media sources, according to reports.

Source: Sacramento Bee, “California Asbestos Victim Wine Important Federal Court Ruling,” Aug. 27, 2012

•· Our firm works with victims suffering from mesothelioma because of contact with a product containing asbestos, like the man in this post. For more information, please visit our product liability page.