Asbestos / Mesothelioma
Asbestos-related diseases include mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related cancers. For years, workers in construction and manufacturing industries, among others, were exposed to asbestos because people did not know that the tiny fibers of asbestos could get lodged in the lungs and cause disease. If you and your family have been devastated by mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness in Knoxville or the surrounding communities, injury attorney Mark Hartsoe may be able to help you pursue compensation.Pursuing Compensation for Asbestos-Related Diseases
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Often, the asbestos fibers are encountered in the workplace and affect a worker directly, or they may be brought home on the worker's clothing, where they affect family members. The latency period is very long for mesothelioma, and the disease may develop 20-50 years after exposure.
In Tennessee, a cause of action based on negligence, strict liability, or misrepresentation accrues when an injury occurs or is discovered, or when it should have been discovered had reasonable care been exercised. Often, this means you have only one year from the date of diagnosis to bring suit, and in most cases you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible rather than wait until the statute of limitations is about to run out.
Like other personal injury lawsuits, most mesothelioma or asbestos-illness cases require a plaintiff to establish the defendant's duty of care to the plaintiff, a breach of the duty of care, actual and legal causation, and damages.
Duty is an essential element of these cases. The Tennessee Supreme Court has stated that even when a defendant and plaintiff are strangers without a relationship, if a defendant causes physical harm through affirmative acts of negligence (as opposed to failing to act), that party may be liable to a foreseeably injured plaintiff for the harm. For example, an employer that is aware of an employee who is carrying home asbestos fibers on his clothes can be liable even to the employee's daughter for refusing to allow the employee to bathe onsite, wash work clothes onsite, or provide coveralls. A duty may arise based on the degree of foreseeable risk and the gravity of the harm.
The factors that a court will balance in an asbestos case involving strangers include the foreseeability of the harm or injury, the magnitude of the potential injury, the social value of the defendant's activities, the usefulness of the conduct to the defendant, the feasibility of engaging in alternative conduct that would be safer, the costs and burdens of the safer activity, the usefulness of the alternative conduct, and the safety of the alternative conduct.
In some cases, manufacturers rather than employers are responsible for a worker's asbestos-related illness. In that case, a product liability lawsuit may be appropriate. A plaintiff in a product liability claim may not need to prove negligence. Instead, the manufacturer may be strictly liable if the product that caused the injury was unreasonably dangerous or in a defective condition at the time it left its control. A manufacturer can also potentially be liable for failing to warn people using its products of their inherent risks.Enlist a Knoxville Attorney for Your Mesothelioma Claim
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses are devastating diagnoses for an individual and a family. If your loved one dies due to mesothelioma, you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death action. Knoxville lawyer Mark Hartsoe is skilled in product liability lawsuits and other types of injury claims arising from the carelessness of people or businesses. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.