01. Filing Claims and Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Filing Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Between 1999 and 2017, Pennsylvania ranked third in the country for the most mesothelioma cases. The state also had the third-highest mortality from malignant mesothelioma between 1999 and 2019. As a result, Pennsylvania experiences a high number of mesothelioma claims. For instance, in a 2020 report, Philadelphia ranked as the fourth jurisdiction with the highest number of asbestos-related claims.
The high rates of mesothelioma in Pennsylvania may be due to a history of asbestos mining and manufacturing in the state. For instance, Ambler, Pennsylvania, was the home of the nation’s first asbestos textile plant. For many years, Ambler was one of the largest asbestos processing sites in the world. Asbestos use at the plant and asbestos waste piles in Ambler led to widespread exposure.
The presence of industries that commonly exposed workers to asbestos made Pennsylvania a top location for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits related to mesothelioma. Philadelphia and Allegheny were among the top 15 jurisdictions in the United States for asbestos filings in 2020, with a total of 270 new filings. Mesothelioma cases made up 119 of these filings.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Pennsylvania?
If an individual lived or worked in Pennsylvania, they may have been exposed to asbestos at various sites. Those who develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may be eligible to file a claim. Surviving loved ones may also be eligible to file wrongful death claims.
Many industries, such as steel mills and textile factories, may have led to Pennsylvania asbestos exposure. W.R. Grace and other major employers in Pennsylvania were known for processing asbestos. Military service members and veterans also may have been exposed to asbestos at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard before the Navy began working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on cleanup efforts.
Asbestos used in building materials exposed people in homes and schools. Exposure also occurred in some communities due to asbestos disposal sites, such as those in Ambler. Many of these sites were unprotected, allowing asbestos fibers to spread throughout communities.
Individuals faced exposure in cities and towns throughout the state. Residents of Pennsylvania who lived in the following cities and towns have filed mesothelioma lawsuits to protect their rights and to seek compensation from negligent manufacturers and distributers of asbestos:
- Allegheny, PA
- Allentown, PA
- Allison Park, PA
- Barto, PA
- Beaver, PA
- Beaver Falls, PA
- Bellafonte, PA
- Bellefonte, PA
- Bethel Park, PA
- Bethlehem, PA
- Boiling Springs, PA
- Bradford, PA
- Bulger, PA
- Butler, PA
- Clifton Township, PA
- Coal Center, PA
- Conneaut Lake, PA
- Corry, PA
- Cranberry Township, PA
- Dalton, PA
- Drums, PA
- Eagleville, PA
- Edinboro, PA
- Erie, PA
- Fairless Hills, PA
- Fogelsville, PA
- Franklin, PA
- Gettysburg, PA
- Gladwyne, PA
- Glen Mills, PA
- Glenshaw, PA
- Greensburg, PA
- Hanover, PA
- Harding, PA
- Harleysville, PA
- Harrisburg, PA
- Hauston, PA
- Havertown, PA
- Hazleton, PA
- Hollsopple, PA
- Homer City, PA
- Hopwood, PA
- Horsham, PA
- Indiana, PA
- Johnstown, PA
- Kennett Square, PA
- Lafayette Hill, PA
- Lancaster, PA
- Langhorne, PA
- Latrobe, PA
- Lattimer, PA
- Lebanon, PA
- Lititz, PA
- Mainsburg, PA
- Manheim, PA
- Matamoras, PA
- McDonald, PA
- McKean, PA
- McMurray, PA
- Mercer, PA
- Milford, PA
- Milton, PA
- Nescopeck, PA
- New Brighton, PA
- New Paris, PA
- Nicholson, PA
- Norristown, PA
- Northampton, PA
- Old Forge, PA
- Orrtanna, PA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Phoenixville, PA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Plains, PA
- Plymouth, PA
- Port Carbon, PA
- Pottstown, PA
- Quakertown, PA
- Quarryville, PA
- Ralston, PA
- Reading, PA
- S. Abington Twp, PA
- Sayre, PA
- Schnecksville, PA
- Scranton, PA
- Seven Valleys, PA
- Shamokin, PA
- Snow Shoe, PA
- South Gibson, PA
- Spring Grove, PA
- Sugarloaf, PA
- Tionesta, PA
- Union City, PA
- Wapwallopen, PA
- Warren, PA
- West Chester, PA
- Whitehall, PA
- Windber, PA
- Wyomissing, PA
- York, PA
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Pennsylvania
Mesothelioma patients and other eligible individuals may file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania courts. A person’s first step should be to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania mesothelioma attorney. Lawsuits require filing a complaint, gathering evidence and navigating the court system. Mesothelioma attorneys in Pennsylvania can help protect the rights of those impacted by asbestos and handle the entire claim process.
Pennsylvania requires asbestos lawsuits to be filed by a deadline called the statutes of limitations. The deadline typically runs from the date of diagnosis or the date of wrongful death. Therefore, those diagnosed with mesothelioma should contact an attorney as soon as possible. The Pennsylvania statutes of limitations are two years for asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations
Claims must be filed within 2 years after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 2 years after death from mesothelioma.
Those who cannot file a lawsuit due to a missed deadline or other reasons may still have options for getting compensation. For instance, some may be eligible to file an asbestos trust fund claim. Mesothelioma lawyers in Pennsylvania can help claimants understand the available claim options and their eligibility.
Did You Know?
02. Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Law Firms
Mesothelioma Law Firms in Pennsylvania
People who lived or worked in Pennsylvania can seek help from a skilled mesothelioma attorney. Several law firms with highly experienced mesothelioma lawyers work to help clients in Pennsylvania.
Dedicated mesothelioma attorneys can file claims and fight to protect their clients’ rights. Experienced lawyers can work on behalf of their clients to gather evidence and seek deserved compensation.
The following top mesothelioma law firms are prepared to represent clients in Pennsylvania:
The Gori Law Firm
There are numerous advantages to choosing a nationwide law firm to handle your mesothelioma case. Because these types of firms travel around the country to meet with clients, they will happily meet with you at your home to discuss your case. In addition, the sheer volume of cases they handle equips them with the most comprehensive knowledge about where to file your case to achieve the most favorable outcome.
Pennsylvania, for example, has proven to be a very advantageous state to file mesothelioma cases in. According to a recent industry report, Philadelphia was reported to be one of the top jurisdictions for filing mesothelioma lawsuits.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
03. Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Settlements in Pennsylvania
Victims of asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania have received millions of dollars in compensation through asbestos settlements and jury verdicts. We have listed below a few of the verdicts and settlements compensating victims of asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania:
- $3.7 MILLION: Plumber – 79 years old
- $3.4 MILLION: Construction/Sales – 55 years old
- $3.1 MILLION: Navy/Plant Worker – 80 years old
- $2.8 MILLION: Engineer – 57 years old
- $2.8 MILLION: Plant Worker/Household – 60 years old
- $2.6 MILLION: Railroad/Civilian Employee – 78 years old
- $2.5 MILLION: Navy – 75 years old
- $2.5 MILLION: Mechanic – 76 years old
- $2.4 MILLION: Shipyard – 54 years old
- $2.4 MILLION: Plant Worker – 67 years old
- $2.3 MILLION: Construction – 85 years old
- $2.2 MILLION: Merchant Marine – 85 years old
- $2.2 MILLION: Merchant Marine/Laborer – 85 years old
Recently, a Philadelphia schoolteacher, Lea DiRusso was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma after years of exposure to asbestos in school buildings. She obtained an $850,000 settlement from the school district.
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
04. Asbestos Laws in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Asbestos Laws & Regulations
The state’s history and high numbers of asbestos-related illnesses have likely influenced how Pennsylvania handles asbestos now. In addition to federal laws, state legislation and regulations aim to protect citizens and address the large number of asbestos claims in Pennsylvania. The Department of Environmental Protection and the state Department of Labor are involved in the regulation of asbestos.
The Asbestos Accreditation and Certification Act passed in 1998 recognizes the dangers of asbestos and sets requirements for asbestos handling and abatement. The Act regulates certification programs for those who must handle asbestos, such as when remodeling or cleaning older buildings. It also sets terms for when and how companies must notify the Department of Labor when working with asbestos.
There are also several asbestos laws related to litigation.
In 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure at work could bring personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against their employers without following the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. This ruling gives more legal options to individuals exposed to asbestos during the course of their employment. For instance, this ruling expanded the right to individuals diagnosed beyond 300 weeks of their last date of employment.
Other Pennsylvania laws establish rules for asbestos cases, such as medical criteria and case management.
- Case management: Pennsylvania has some court procedures to facilitate faster trials. This includes creating an inactive docket with requirements for reactivating the cases, developing scheduled discovery and trials, and grouping together similar cases for trial.
- Company successor liability: When a company merges with or acquires an asbestos company, it may assume the liability for wrongful asbestos exposure claims. Pennsylvania laws limit the liability of the company that bought or merged with the asbestos company.
- Deferment of punitive damages: In a Philadelphia court, a judge decided to separate and defer punitive damages for asbestos companies. The judge believed this would help ensure more money for the claimants’ damages, such as medical bills. This has since become practice in several courts in the state.
- Medical criteria: Pennsylvania laws limit claims from asbestos-exposure victims who do not experience physical impairment from their diagnosis. These claimants, however, can file a claim later should they develop an asbestos-related cancer in the future.
A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision also found the “Fair Share Act” does not apply in asbestos cases for the state. This decision means each defendant can be held responsible for equal parts of a verdict, rather than amounts proportional to their fault.