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It's virtually impossible to predict how much money will be involved in the
settlement of a mesothelioma claim without knowing specific details of the claim
and the medical history of the plaintiff. But history has shown that an
overwhelming majority of the cases never reach the courtroom. Cases usually end
in a settlement.
Settlement amounts are often tied to the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, physical and mental distress and bills that accumulate from moving forward with an asbestos-related illness. Of course, they're also linked to the strength of a plaintiff's case, which brings into play the disease diagnosis, the health condition of the plaintiff (or loved one) and the degree of perceived liability on the part of the defendant(s).
A Buchanan County (Missouri) Circuit Court Judge approved a settlement in 2011 worth $10 million to Nancy Lopez, a Jackson County courthouse employee, who was exposed to the asbestos during a renovation project done by U.S. Engineering Company.
A Montana judge in 2011 approved a $43 million settlement in Libby, Montana. But because the settlement covered more than 1,300 miners and their families, individual settlements ranged from only $500 to $61,000.
The family of a New Jersey construction worker received a $2.1 million settlement after he died of mesothelioma, but a Navy veteran received settlements totally $461,000 after he developed asbestos-related lung cancer.
A boilermaker in New York received a $3.7 million settlement after developing lung cancer from asbestos exposure, while a building maintenance worker received a $2 million settlement after developing mesothelioma.
Exact settlement figures are usually considered private and claimants are often bound by a confidentially agreement, although from time to time settlement amounts to reach the public eye. Those amounts can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
According to a recent Mealey's Litigation Report, the average mesothelioma trial award is an estimated $2.4 million. The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million and typically is paid from multiple defendants. Some are considerably higher, others significantly lower. No two cases are alike.
If the defendant has settled ĘC or lost ĘC cases in the past, it may want to settle the latest claim quickly without going through the case process again. However, settling early may not provide proper compensation for your expenses or for the damage asbestos exposure has done to your life.
A defendant usually first will offer an amount much lower than what it can, and will pay. You may benefit from holding out for another (better) offer. This is one example where an experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you evaluate your options.
Even right before a mesothelioma trial starts, the defendant's lawyers may make another settlement offer. If no settlement is reached before trial, yet another settlement offer could come during the trial. What's more, if there is more than one defendant in the case - if you sue multiple companies, which is common - some companies may settle while others may choose to take their chances at trial. Download