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Judge denies attempt to move mesothelioma case to federal court

For people who develop mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, time often becomes a major focus of their lives. They may think about the long time they lived completely unaware that asbestos was causing irreversible damage to their lungs or other organs. They may think about the short time they have left to live as a result. And they may think about the fact that, even if they pursue litigation against the parties responsible for their asbestos exposure and life-altering diagnosis, the time it will take to get to trial may prevent them from ever benefiting from that effort.

However, many judges in Illinois and throughout the country are aware of and sympathetic to that unfair time constraint, and are willing to fast-track mesothelioma cases to ensure that the plaintiff gets his or her day in court. In addition, most judges are resistant to efforts by the defendants to stall or delay the trial, aware that the plaintiff's inability to be present could cause major evidentiary issues and, ultimately, a verdict in the defendant's favor.

In one such recent case in which a plaintiff alleges that he developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at work, one of the defendants recently asked that the case be moved to federal court. This, the company said, was because the plaintiff could not have been exposed to products containing asbestos because those products were not manufactured in the state in which he worked.

The judge presiding over the case disagreed, denying the motion and ordering that the case proceed in state court. This decision will hopefully allow the plaintiff, who has been told by his doctors that he has just a few months left to live, to be able to participate in and hear the verdict in his case.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "California Asbestos Victim Wins Important Federal Court Ruling," Aug. 27, 2012

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