In many states, if an asbestos patient develops a separate asbestos-related illness, such as mesothelioma, that person can file a second lawsuit. Our work is a large part of the reason this right exists.
While some people may not realize it, individuals in some states have the opportunity to pursue a second lawsuit related to asbestos exposure even if they have filed a prior asbestos lawsuit. If a case of asbestosis, for instance, later develops into mesothelioma, some patients may be able to file a second lawsuit for mesothelioma, even if they have already filed an asbestosis lawsuit.
However, this has not always been possible.
In the case of Pustejovsky v. Rapid-American Corp., mesothelioma lawyers with Baron and Budd represented an iron worker who developed asbestosis in the 1980s. Our firm ultimately achieved a settlement in the patient’s lawsuit. He later attempted to file a separate lawsuit after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in the 1990s, however, due to his asbestosis lawsuit his mesothelioma case we thrown out. Our mesothelioma lawyers would not be deterred, however, because we believe that asbestos patients should be allowed to seek compensation for all harms they experience due to asbestos exposure, regardless of when they were made aware of those harms.
Ultimately, the Texas Supreme Court overruled the decision of the lower court, ruling instead that someone who was previously been awarded compensation for an asbestos-related disease should be able, under Texas law, to file a separate lawsuit if later diagnosed with another asbestos disease, such as mesothelioma.
In addition, we also fought in a Florida appellate court, as well as in front of the Iowa Supreme Court, for the rights of asbestos patients to, if their situation allows, pursue two separate lawsuits.
Because of our groundbreaking work in these cases, many other states now also allow for asbestos patients to file additional lawsuits for asbestos diseases.