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Lawrence Cohan
Lawrence Cohan
Attorney • (215) 790-4567

Changes in When the Clock Starts on an Asbestos Claim

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asbestos, mesothelioma, respiratory illness The issue of wrongful death-related asbestos claims has been receiving increased news exposure after the recent ruling by the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Wygant v. General Electric that the statute of limitations for these claims will begin at the time of the diagnosis.

“The statutory language, on its face, indicates that the legislature intended to measure the time for commencing all asbestos-related actions, including wrongful-death actions, from the date of formal diagnosis or from the date when the affected person knew or should have known with the exercise of reasonable diligence of the asbestos-related injury,” Judge Mary Jane Bowes said.

This change that arises from Wygant v. General Electric will place severe time limits on moving forward with such cases. A concern for the entire family needs to be that mesothelioma is diagnosed as early as possible and that the victims know all of their options for treatment and assistance.

Asbestos is a major concern because it was used across multiple industries well into the 1970s. Houses, offices, cars, and facilities could contain this natural but dangerous material. The risk factors for contracting mesothelioma are as concerning today as they were in 1970s when they first came to light.

Groups that are considered at risk include:

  • First responders for 9/11. One study claims that the number of recovery workers with respiratory issues is nearly 70 percent.
  • Shipyard workers
  • Building and construction trades
  • Auto workers
  • Families of these workers. This group has a higher risk factor because of the asbestos fibers brought into their homes on the clothing of family members that worked at the contaminated sites.

We are proud of our family members that work in these trades. It is also important to make sure they are taken care of when illness strikes. A loved one that is showing signs of respiratory illness needs to see a medical professional. Once patients are aware of the medical facts, they are urged speak with a legal professional who can answer additional questions. Asbestos and mesothelioma are major health concerns that need to be looked into as soon as warning signs appear.