In my last entry, I briefly discussed the history of asbestos litigation in the United States and gave you some background information regarding asbestos and the diseases it may cause. In this entry, I will discuss what must be proven in order to prevail in an asbestos case. As asbestos cases can often be quite complex, I will attempt to simplify this analysis in an effort to provide you with a basic understanding.
In order to prevail in an asbestos case, a plaintiff must first prove that they have been diagnosed with an asbestos caused disease. Secondly, a plaintiff must prove that they have been exposed to an asbestos-containing product in such a manner that they have been caused to inhale asbestos fibers. In order to meet this requirement, the evidence must show that a plaintiff was in close proximity to the product and that their exposure occurred on a regular and frequent basis.
As asbestos fibers are invisible, proving a plaintiff’s exposure can often prove to be a difficult task. Often times, testimony from a plaintiff or his coworkers regarding exposure to dust from a particular product can help. However, this testimony alone is not enough. A plaintiff will likely need to offer additional evidence to show that this dust contained asbestos during the time he was working near it and that the product did not contain proper warnings.