Introduction to Mesothelioma Class Action Settlements

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in various industries for its heat-resistant properties. Despite the known dangers of asbestos, many companies continued to use it without proper safety measures, leading to thousands of cases of mesothelioma.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit against these companies can be a daunting and challenging process for the victims and their families. However, there is an alternative option available – class action lawsuits. In this blog post, we will discuss what mesothelioma class action settlements are, how they work, and what factors you need to consider before joining one.

What is Mesothelioma?

Before delving into class action lawsuits, it is essential to understand what mesothelioma is and how it affects individuals. As mentioned earlier, mesothelioma is a type of cancer that primarily affects the protective lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. The disease is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers, which then become lodged in the tissue and cause inflammation and scarring over time.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma has a long latency period, meaning symptoms may not appear until 20-50 years after exposure to asbestos. This makes it challenging to diagnose and treat in its early stages. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, weight loss, and fatigue. Due to its aggressive nature, most mesothelioma patients have a poor prognosis and a lower life expectancy.

Overview of Class Action Lawsuits

Introduction to Mesothelioma Class Action Settlements

Class action lawsuits allow a group of people with similar injuries or damages to file a single lawsuit against a defendant. In the case of mesothelioma, the defendant would typically be a company or manufacturer responsible for exposing individuals to asbestos. These lawsuits aim to compensate all individuals affected by the defendant’s actions rather than going through individual trials.

In a mesothelioma class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs (victims) must prove that the defendant’s negligence or intentional actions led to their exposure to asbestos and subsequent diagnosis of mesothelioma. To do so, the plaintiffs’ attorneys gather evidence such as medical records, work history, and testimonies from experts.

If the case is successful, the court will award a settlement amount to be divided among the plaintiffs based on their degree of injuries or damages. The settlement can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

Benefits of Class Action Settlements

Introduction to Mesothelioma Class Action Settlements

There are several advantages to joining a mesothelioma class action lawsuit rather than filing an individual lawsuit. Some of these benefits include:


Class action lawsuits are generally more cost-effective than individual lawsuits. In an individual case, the plaintiff would have to cover all legal fees and expenses, which can be significant in mesothelioma cases, where extensive research and expert testimony are required. In a class action lawsuit, these costs are split among all plaintiffs, making it a more affordable option for individuals.

Strength in Numbers

By joining a class action lawsuit, victims can band together and present a more robust case against the defendant. This can help strengthen their chances of success and potentially increase the settlement amount awarded.

Less Time-Consuming

Individual lawsuits can take years to resolve, involving multiple hearings and trials. In contrast, a class action lawsuit can reach a settlement much quicker, allowing victims to receive compensation sooner.

Process of Filing a Mesothelioma Class Action Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there are several steps involved in filing a class action lawsuit:

  1. Research: Start by researching law firms that specialize in mesothelioma class action lawsuits. Look for firms with a proven track record and experienced attorneys.
  1. Consultation: Most law firms offer free consultations, where you can discuss your case and determine if you have a viable claim for a class action lawsuit.
  1. Gathering Evidence: If the firm decides to take on your case, they will begin gathering evidence such as medical records, work history, and other relevant information.
  1. Filing the Lawsuit: Once the evidence has been gathered, the lawsuit will be filed in the appropriate court.
  1. Certification: The court will review the lawsuit and determine if it meets the criteria for a class action lawsuit. If approved, the lawsuit will move forward as a class action.
  1. Notification: The plaintiffs’ attorneys will notify all potential victims of the lawsuit and allow them to join or opt-out of the class action.
  1. Settlement Negotiation: After the notification process, the parties will enter into settlement negotiations to determine the amount and terms of the settlement.
  1. Distribution of Settlement: If a settlement is reached, the court will approve the distribution of the compensation among the plaintiffs.

Factors to Consider Before Joining a Class Action Settlement

While class action settlements can be beneficial to mesothelioma victims, there are some factors that individuals should consider before joining one:

Time Limitations

Class action lawsuits have time limitations, meaning there is a certain timeframe within which victims can file a claim. It is crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after diagnosis to ensure you meet these deadlines.

Settlement Amount

The amount awarded in a class action settlement may not be as substantial as what you could receive through an individual lawsuit. This is because the settlement amount is divided among all plaintiffs, and each plaintiff’s contribution to the case determines their share.

Loss of Control

In a class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs do not have as much control over the case compared to an individual lawsuit. This means you may not have a say in the settlement negotiations or how the money is distributed among the plaintiffs.

Opting Out

Individuals have the right to opt-out of a class action lawsuit and pursue their own legal action. However, this can be a time-consuming and expensive process, and it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney before making this decision.

Important Information to Know About Mesothelioma Class Action Settlements

Before joining a mesothelioma class action lawsuit, there are some critical pieces of information that individuals should be aware of:

  1. Statute of Limitations: Each state has a statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In most states, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma cases is two to three years from the date of diagnosis. It is crucial to consult with an attorney immediately after diagnosis to ensure you do not miss this deadline.
  1. Bankruptcy Trust Funds: Many companies responsible for asbestos exposure have filed for bankruptcy. As part of their bankruptcy proceedings, they were required to set up trust funds to compensate victims. Before joining a class action lawsuit, it is essential to check if the defendant has a trust fund and if you are eligible to receive compensation from it.
  1. Individual Case Evaluation: It is recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in mesothelioma cases to evaluate your case individually. They can determine if joining a class action lawsuit is the best option for you based on the specifics of your case.
  1. Compensation for Family Members: In a class action lawsuit, family members of a deceased mesothelioma victim may also be eligible to receive compensation. This can include spouses, children, and other dependents.

Conclusion and Resources for Further Information

Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that affects thousands of individuals each year. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is crucial to understand your legal options and seek expert advice before making any decisions.

In this blog post, we discussed what mesothelioma class action settlements are, how they work, and the benefits of joining one. We also covered the process of filing a lawsuit, factors to consider before joining a settlement, and important information to know about these types of lawsuits.

For more information on mesothelioma class action settlements and other legal options for mesothelioma victims, please visit the following resources:

  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (
  • Mesothelioma Justice Network (
  • American Cancer Society (
  • National Cancer Institute (

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