What Are Your Rights? Who Can You Seek Damages From?
Though asbestos is known to cause health problems and was banned from use in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1989, that ban was subsequently overturned and asbestos continues to be imported into the United States from foreign countries and used in some manufacturing processes. In addition, the health conditions caused by asbestos exposure, including lung cancer, can arise up to 50 years after exposure. It’s not uncommon, then, for retired workers in 2023 to learn that they have lung cancer or some other illness as a consequence of their exposure to asbestos at any point in the last half century.
So it’s well-known that asbestos causes lung cancer, mesothelioma and a host of other health problems. It’s also easy to establish that you were working in proximity to asbestos during the course of your working life. It should be a simple matter of filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the asbestos product, seeking damages for your losses. There are, however, a couple of problems, both of which can be overcome.
First, there’s a statute of limitations in Texas on personal injury claims. The statute of limitations establishes the time period for filing a legal claim. For personal injury in Texas, the statute of limitations is two years. That means that you must file a complaint for injuries within two years of the date of injury. If your asbestos exposure was more than two years ago, it may seem like you are without recourse. Fortunately, in Texas and in most other jurisdictions, the so-called “discovery rule” applies to these types of situations. Under the discovery rule, a personal injury victim has two years from the date he or she discovered (or should reasonably have discovered) the injury. Accordingly, you have two years from the date you learned or should reasonably have found out that you had an asbestos-related illness or injury.,
The other factor affecting recovery for asbestos-related claims is the fact the virtually all of the companies who manufactured asbestos over the last century have declared bankruptcy and/or gone out of business. Again, it may seem like you are out of luck. Not necessarily…
In most of the bankruptcy proceedings, where the businesses reorganized under Chapter 11, the court required the debtors to establish and fund trusts, with the money to be used to pay future claims based on asbestos exposure. There are currently about 60 such trust funds in the United States. As a general rule, provided you have credible and sufficient evidence of asbestos exposure and a related illness/injury, you don’t need to file litigation to recover compensation, but can file a claim directly with the trust fund. The attorneys at Bailey & Galyen can help.
Contact the Proven Personal Injury Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we aggressively protect the rights of people who have suffered any type of injury or illness, including lung cancer, because of exposure to asbestos or asbestos-related products. We’ll fight for you throughout the legal process, working hard to help you get full and fair compensation for all your losses. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.