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$1.5 Million Asbestos Related Recovery Precludes New Suit for Wrongful Death

Many asbestos-related lawsuits involve the deadly condition called mesothelioma, which is a particularly aggressive form or cancer that: (1) is almost always fatal; and (2) has a very long latency period (sometimes as long as 30 years). The latency period is the amount of time between exposure to the toxic materials (in this case, asbestos) and the onset of the disease. In Deggs v. Asbestos Corp., the family of a deceased worker tried to bring a wrongful death suit after the worker had previously brought an asbestos-related lawsuit against nearly 40 asbestos defendants 15 years earlier. In the earlier lawsuit, the injured worked settled with a number of the defendants and obtained a $1.5M verdict at trial against the the sole remaining defendant which refused to settle. Unlike other cases that involve mesothelioma, the injuries in this particular case were lymphoma, pleural disease and asbestosis, as a result of many years of exposure to asbestos while the Plaintiff served in the Navy during World War II.

In denying the attempting wrongful death lawsuit, the Court found that “[a] wrongful death action accrues at the time of death as long as there is a subsisting cause of action in the deceased at the time of death subject to exceptions not present here.”  Therefore, the Court found that the suit was time-barred.

Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium). Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

  • Chest pain under the rib cage
  • Painful coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Lumps of tissue in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss


As the Deggs court decision makes abundantly clear, if you or a family member are diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, you must take actions with the applicable statute of limitations for that type of lawsuit, or your right to sue may be lost forever. This should including naming all of the proper defendants in the initial lawsuit. Asbestos-related diseases include but are not limited to: non-malignant disorders such as asbestosis (pulmonary fibrosis due to asbestos), diffuse pleural thickening of the lungs, pleural plaques on the lungs, pleural effusion on the lungs, rounded atelectasis and malignancies such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. Other asbestos-related diseases are laryngeal cancer, ovarian cancer, and testes cancer.

Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, asbestos lawsuits, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.

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