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Man wins mesothelioma suit despite short period of exposure

Because mesothelioma usually takes several decades to develop, it can be difficult to identify when and where you were exposed to asbestos. This, in turn, can make the process of filing, litigating, and winning a mesothelioma lawsuit that much more difficult. But in one recent case, a plaintiff was able to pinpoint the work that exposed him to asbestos and caused him to be diagnosed with mesothelioma more than 40 years later, despite the fact that his exposure lasted just 67 days.

According to court documents, the 84-year-old plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma about three years ago after experiencing symptoms that he first dismissed as asthma. When he collapsed in his garden, however, he went to the doctor and received his fatal diagnosis.

After a few months of suffering from the painful disease, the man decided that he wanted to pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit. He sought out a mesothelioma attorney and worked to determine the cause of his disease. He deduced that he had been exposed to asbestos fibers from pipe insulation during a stint as a messman aboard the SS Seattle about 45 years ago.

However, his naval employment lasted just 67 days, which made his attorney fear that the lawsuit would never see the light of day. "This was the first case of such a short period of exposure that went to trial," he told a local newspaper.

But the man's story was ultimately heard in court, and last month a jury ordered his former employer to pay nearly $1.5 million in damages.

This successful suit shows that juries are increasingly willing to rule in the favor of people who have been exposed to asbestos, regardless of the circumstances. Even if you feel that your legal claim is questionable, it may be in your best interest to contact a mesothelioma lawyer and discuss your options.

Source: KOMO News, "Vashon man exposed to asbestos awarded $1.45 million," Elizabeth Dinh, Dec. 16, 2011

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