A mesothelioma settlement is a legal agreement that gives compensation to the family of a loved one who died from this terrible cancer of the lung lining. When the person with the cancer dies, the family can receive compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. (asbestos.com)

If the two sides can come to an agreement about compensation, the case can be concluded without a long and expensive trial. When a company is looking at a lawsuit, the defending company often will come to a settlement with the family to avoid the time and expense of the long litigation process.

What Is a Possible Mesothelioma Settlement Amount in My Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

As with any wrongful death lawsuit, the amount of compensation the family can obtain will vary by a wide amount. There are several factors to consider:

  • Which parties were responsible for exposing your loved one to asbestos. The question is whether the company or companies have the funds available to compensate you. Many companies that used or produced asbestos-based products went bankrupt. However, some companies as part of the bankruptcy process were required to set up mesothelioma trust funds, which can compensate families for their losses.
  • The circumstances of the mesothelioma in the case of your loved one. How much pain were they in before they died? How long did the live? How much money did they lose by no longer being able to work, unless they were already retired?
  • The effects on the family. When a loved one dies of mesothelioma, the family is often left with both emotional and financial devastation. If the deceased had several financial dependents, the final payout in the wrongful death lawsuit could be higher.
  • The extent of the deceased’s medical costs. Most people with mesothelioma have huge medical bills. If there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills to be paid, this could affect the payout.

Also, the time when the case is settled can affect the wrongful death lawsuit payout. If your family decides to settle early, the offer could be less than what you would have gotten if you had gone to trial. But note your attorney will charge a larger contingency fee to see the case through a trial, so this is worth considering.

But remember: If you decide to take your wrongful death case to trial, there is a possibility you will lose and walk away with nothing. Talk to your attorney about whether settling or going to trial is the best option in your specific circumstances.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement Amounts by State

The amount of compensation you can win with a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit or personal injury lawsuit will vary by case. Many patients or their loved ones across America have received millions of dollars from their pain and suffering, lost earnings of the loved one, medical bills and funeral costs.

Typically, the average mesothelioma claim payout can range, for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, between $1 million and $1.4 million. The average mesothelioma trial verdict amount is approximately $2.4 million per the 2016 Mealey’s Litigation Report. Mesothelioma trust payouts are quite a bit less than what the family may get in court.

Companies that made or used products containing asbestos and went bankrupt often are required to set up mesothelioma trust funds to pay compensation to mesothelioma victims and their families.

Below are some published wrongful death and personal injury asbestos exposure lawsuit settlements in recent years by state:

Illinois

In 2005, US Steel had to pay $250 million to the wife of a deceased steel worker who got mesothelioma from asbestos exposure and died within a year. US Steel came to a post-verdict settlement for an amount that was undisclosed. It is believed to be less than the published award. See Illinois mesothelioma settlements & compensation facts.

Missouri

In 2011, a judge approved a settlement of $10 million to a Jackson County MO courthouse employee who was the victim of asbestos exposure during a renovation project. After she died from a terrible case of mesothelioma, two of her ex-workers filed another lawsuit against Jackson County and won $80 million.

New York

In 2006, a man in New York came to a $25 million settlement with the Chrysler company. The company exposed him for years to asbestos in automobile brake pads.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Verdicts Amounts by State

If a plaintiff cannot agree with the defendant in a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit, the case must go to trial. If the jury agrees the defendant is liable, they need to decide how much money should be paid in damages.

California

In November 2016, a California jury awarded a man $18 million in a mesothelioma baby powder lawsuit. The man was exposed to baby powder tainted with asbestos at the barbershop where his father was employed.

Virginia

A Virginia jury awarded a former shipyard worker $6.5 million in 2016. The jury found the company John Crane, Inc. was responsible for causing the man’s asbestos exposure which led to his mesothelioma and death. He worked with gaskets that contained asbestos at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

New Jersey

In 2018, damages were awarded to a man and his wife for $117 million. A jury determined J&J was liable for selling the man talcum powder products that were contaminated with asbestos, which led to his mesothelioma.

New York

In one of the biggest wrongful death mesothelioma verdicts in American history, a jury awarded $190  million to five boiler workers in 2013. The jury determined boiler companies Burnham and Cleaver and Brooks were negligent and reckless, which led both plaintiffs to get mesothelioma. In another mesothelioma case in 2017, a couple was awarded $75 million for the husband getting mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.

Understanding Mesothelioma Settlements vs. Verdicts

Most mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits are settled out of court. The average wrongful death verdict is higher than the average settlement. But your attorney may want to negotiate a settlement because it allows the family to obtain the compensation they need to move forward with their lives.

Settlement and verdict amounts will vary on the specific aspects of the case:

  • The diagnosis and medical history of the deceased
  • Number of companies being sued
  • In which jurisdiction the case is being filed
  • Strong proof of defendant negligence
  • Amount of medical expenses, lost income, funeral costs and pain and suffering of the family

Your mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit attorney will construct your case and will negotiate a settlement for you. He or she can instruct you whether it is better to settle or go to trial.

References

  • Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/settlements/
Michael Bennett
About the Author

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett is Editor-in-Chief of Consumer Protect.com. Since 1999, he's worked across a multitude of areas of consumer protection including defective products, environmental issues, identity theft, predatory lending and more. If you find his articles helpful please share them with your readers.