Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Quick Summary

A mesothelioma lawsuit can help veterans and loved ones access financial compensation. These lawsuits are filed against the companies responsible for exposing the veteran to asbestos — not the U.S. military. Many veterans have received $1 million or more from mesothelioma lawsuits. Learn more about filing a lawsuit today.

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Why Should I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Why Should I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit? Video Thumbnail

Featured Law Firm: Simmons Hanly Conroy talks about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. View Transcript.

John Barnerd (00:04):
Our clients are everyday people.
Michael Angelides (00:06):
We represent more mesothelioma victims on an annual basis than any other firm in the country.
John Barnerd (00:13):
Our clients are just like your mother, your father, your grandparents.
Michael Angelides (00:17):
We get our cases to trial faster than any other law firm in the country.
John Barnerd (00:21):
They are people who went to work every day, not knowing they were being exposed to a poison.
John Simmons (00:26):
This is the last thing they bargained for, they were going to give their life for their paycheck.
John Barnerd (00:33):
They worked hard, did what they were supposed to do.
Michael Angelides (00:35):
At Simmons Hanly Conroy, we stand for our clients every day, representing them and their needs across the country.
John Barnerd (00:44):
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs. It’s caused almost exclusively by asbestos.
Amy Fair (00:51):
It inhibits the lungs to expand and breathe, so it causes sort of a suffocation.
Michael Angelides (00:56):
Unfortunately, when people are exposed to asbestos, it takes a potentially very long time for them to develop a disease.
Nick Angelides (01:04):
And it was a ticking time bomb that these people were breathing in. And if they weren’t going to be hurting for decades, the companies believed that most of the time, people wouldn’t be able to prove their cases.
Michael Angelides (01:15):
And so the disease goes on. People continue to get sick. And that’s where Simmons Hanly Conroy comes in.
Perry Browder (01:23):
The attorneys that we have here that work for this firm are the hardest working attorneys around. We have over 100 people dedicated to working on mesothelioma, and asbestos cases. They share information with each other, they spend hours upon hours trying to fight and do everything possible for these families. But the best part about it is they’re very personable. They know their job is to get results for the family and have a financial recovery, but they care about these individuals.
Amy Garrett (01:53):
Many of the clients that we meet with are very hesitant to file a lawsuit. And they ask that question a lot. I don’t file lawsuits. I don’t believe in them. Why would I do this? And I almost always give them the same answer. It’s because the companies who made these products knew that it was killing people, and they made a financial decision to do it anyway.
John Barnerd (02:17):
Asbestos was used in almost everything you can think of, from floor tiles and ceiling tiles, to construction materials, to insulation materials. It was used in baby clothing. The range of uses for asbestos is almost limitless.
Nick Angelides (02:31):
And asbestos, it’s not like other poisons. It doesn’t smell bad. It doesn’t make you itch. There are no natural defense mechanisms that people have to tell them that something’s bad.
Perry Browder (02:43):
We have a series of people that are experts, whether it’s working on Navy cases, steel mills, all the way to obscure professions, like people in the printing industry that ran printing machines. We know what these asbestos containing materials are so that we can follow that person’s exposure to get the right companies to get the right recovery.
Michael Angelides (03:05):
Historically, our clients that contracted mesothelioma were union members. You name it, if you were in the trades, you probably were exposed to a large amount of asbestos.
John Barnerd (03:18):
And then the loved ones of those people, whether it be a wife or a child, where the fibers from the asbestos came home on their clothing and then they did the laundry or they were hugging them at the end of the day or riding in the same cars.
Amy Garrett (03:32):
Unfortunately, a lot of the clients that we meet are family members of deceased mesothelioma patients. We can represent the families.
Ted Gianaris (03:40):
Because they didn’t warn. They didn’t substitute. They didn’t test. They just made a lot of money and exposed a generation.
Amy Garrett (03:51):
Oftentimes if people have recently been diagnosed and they don’t really know what to do about treatment, the first thing we’ll usually do is have them talk to our nurse.
Amy Fair (04:01):
To our department, our clients really are patients. We address their medical needs first and try and be a resource for them.
John Simmons (04:08):
The medical department as all the medical, for every case. And it frees the attorneys up to just focus on what they have to focus on.
John Barnerd (04:17):
One of the special things about what we do is there’s really no place we won’t go to work for people and they don’t have to travel to come to us. We will come to them. Most every lawyer at our office is the first generation lawyer in their family. And that’s because most of all the attorneys in this firm have come from working class families.
Ted Gianaris (04:40):
Blue collar families, blue collar backgrounds. Dads were union members, parents were in the service.
John Barnerd (04:46):
They have a better appreciation for the folks who go out every day and break their backs to build a product for somebody else, build our roads, construct something. And so they have a genuine care and dedication towards the people that we represent.

Call (877) 450-8973 to speak with a trusted advocate today.

Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit has a lot of benefits and little to no drawbacks.

Mesothelioma lawsuits:

  • Aren’t Filed Against the MilitaryMilitary and civilian employers never knew asbestos caused cancer until it was too late. You won’t file a mesothelioma lawsuit against any branch of the U.S. military or your former employers.
  • Can Award CompensationPast lawsuits have awarded millions of dollars to other veterans with mesothelioma. This money can help pay for medical bills and other expenses to treat mesothelioma.
  • Don’t Add StressThe lawsuit process is easy with the help of an asbestos attorney. Lawyers do most of the work that comes with a mesothelioma lawsuit. This means you and your family won’t have extra stress while pursuing mesothelioma compensation.
  • Hold Companies AccountableMesothelioma lawsuits allow you to seek compensation from the makers of asbestos-based products. These companies knew asbestos was life-threatening but used it anyway.
  • Protect Your FamilyCompensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit can also give your family financial security if you pass away. It helps ensure your beloved family members won’t struggle financially when you’re gone.
  • Won’t Affect VA BenefitsFiling a mesothelioma lawsuit will not impact benefits from the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In fact, our team can help you file a mesothelioma lawsuit and a VA benefits claim right now.

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Most mesothelioma lawsuits are filed as personal injury or wrongful death claims instead of class-action lawsuits. Learn about each type of mesothelioma lawsuit below.

Personal Injury Mesothelioma Lawsuits

In a personal injury lawsuit, someone diagnosed with mesothelioma takes legal action against the companies that made the asbestos-based products they were exposed to.

These lawsuits explain the person’s condition and how it could have been avoided if the companies never used asbestos-containing materials.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Family members and loved ones might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit if a veteran died from mesothelioma. Wrongful death lawsuits seek to prove that a veteran would still be alive had they not developed this cancer.

If someone filed a personal injury lawsuit but died before it was resolved, their family can continue the lawsuit as a wrongful death case.

Class-Action Lawsuits

In a class-action lawsuit, groups of people affected by the same condition jointly file their case.

Class-action mesothelioma lawsuits are not usually filed since each case is unique. People may have been exposed to asbestos in different ways before, during, and after military service. Further, not everyone exposed to asbestos develops mesothelioma.

Finally, class-action claims often award less than personal injury or wrongful death claims.

How Much Can I Receive From a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Mesothelioma lawsuits award $1 million to 2.4 million on average. Many other veterans have received even more than this amount.

$4.3 million

Army veteran, Florida

$3.4 million

Navy veteran, Illinois

$3.2 million

Army veteran, Texas

$2.92 million

Air Force veteran, Wisconsin

$1.66 million

Army veteran, Pennsylvania

$1.37 million

Marine veteran, Florida

Speak with a mesothelioma attorney to learn how much your case might be worth. Call (877) 450-8973 today.

Are Veterans Eligible To File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Yes — many veterans can file mesothelioma lawsuits.

Veterans may be able to file a lawsuit if they:

  1. Were exposed to asbestos during military service or as a civilian
  2. Developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease
  3. Work with a lawyer to build and file their case

Without a lawyer’s help, it’ll be very hard to file a lawsuit even if a veteran qualifies to do so. The legal system is complex. A simple mistake can delay the case or even get it thrown out. Connect with a lawyer to see if you can file an asbestos case without hassles.

Can Veterans File Lawsuits Against Bankrupt Companies?

No, but veterans can still pursue compensation from bankrupt asbestos companies through trust funds.

Starting in the 1980s, manufacturers of asbestos-based products filed for bankruptcy to avoid an increasing number of lawsuits. You cannot file a lawsuit against a company that’s bankrupt.

However, the U.S. court system forced these bankrupt companies to set aside billions in asbestos trust funds to pay victims. These bankruptcy trusts contain an estimated $30 billion today. You may be able to access a portion of this money by filing a claim.

Unlock Trust Funds

Learn about:

  • Asbestos Trust Funds
  • Access Over $30 Billion
  • Financial Assistance

Learn More

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Each mesothelioma lawsuit is unique, but all follow roughly the same legal process.

You should expect that your legal team will help you at every stage in the process and do much of the work for you. Learn more about each step in the process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit below.

1. Preparing Your Case

The first step to file a lawsuit is to get in touch with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. A lawyer can see if your asbestos exposure history is sufficient to file a lawsuit.

Top lawyers will:

  • Have your best interest in mind, from treatment to family
  • Help you pursue trust fund claims and VA benefits if you qualify
  • Offer free consultation about your case
  • Work for contingency fees (you only pay if you get compensation)

Once you find a legal team that fits your needs and agree to work with them, they will start to build your case. They will collect information such as medical records and documents related to work history, including military service.

Lawyers can often help even if you aren’t sure when and how you were exposed to asbestos. They can do research and pull information from cases similar to yours to build the mesothelioma claim.

2. Filing the Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Your lawyer will evaluate the information they’ve collected into a complaint and see when and where your lawsuit can be filed. Once this is done, they will file the mesothelioma lawsuit on your behalf — you won’t file it yourself.

Once the mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, you’ll become known as the plaintiff (person who filed the suit). The manufacturers of asbestos-based products you’re suing become known as the defendants.

3. Response

After receiving a copy of the complaint, the defendants usually have about 30 days to respond. Through a response, the defendants’ lawyers will either agree to a settlement or deny that they are responsible for your illness. In the latter case, the lawsuit will move forward.

4. Discovery and Collecting Evidence

Once you have received a response, the mesothelioma lawsuit enters the discovery phase. Here, your attorneys will start collecting evidence from the defendants. The defendants will also collect their own evidence.

You may be asked questions about your illness and your asbestos exposure by the defendant’s attorneys during this time. This can occur through written interrogatories or a videotaped deposition.

The discovery process may take several months, but it may be shortened if you are ill.

Did you know

The legal system doesn’t place many restrictions on what kind of evidence can be collected during discovery. Courts grant permission to lawyers so they can get any information that may be relevant to the case, according to a LexisNexis Legal Newsroom article.

5. Settling a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Once the discovery process has been completed, your lawyers will try to settle the mesothelioma lawsuit.

Through a mesothelioma settlement, your attorney negotiates a dollar amount that the defendant is willing to pay. The lawsuit is then over.

Mesothelioma settlements award an average of $1 million.

$1 Million Average Settlement
$1 Million
Average Settlement
*varies case by case

Most attorneys try to reach settlements because they are often:

  • Easier: Trials are a lot of hassle. For example, you may have to go to court and testify about your illness and asbestos exposure history.
  • Faster: Taking a mesothelioma lawsuit to trial adds more time to the case. You’ll have to wait longer to get compensation. Settling a mesothelioma lawsuit means you can get compensation faster.
  • Less risky: Reaching a settlement guarantees you and your family will get mesothelioma compensation. If you lose a trial you might get more or less compensation than through a settlement — or nothing at all.

It’s highly unlikely you will have to take the case to a jury trial. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, around 95 percent of lawsuits settle out of court.

Our free veterans packet provides more information about the benefits of settlements.

Mesothelioma Veterans GuideGet a FREE Veterans Packet

Get information on:

  • Treatment Options
  • Mesothelioma Specialists
  • Veterans Benefits

Get a Free Veterans Packet

6. Mesothelioma Trials

In the rare event your mesothelioma lawsuit is not settled, it may go to trial. A judge and/or jury will hear evidence from both sides and decide the outcome of the case.

The goal of taking your case to court is to get a verdict in your favor. The trial verdict is a decision by a judge or jury on who won the lawsuit.

  • If you win, the judge/jury decides how much you should receive.
  • If you lose, the judge/jury determines you don’t deserve any compensation.

Trials award $2.4 million on average if the mesothelioma victim wins, according to recent Mealey’s® litigation reports. However, this does not mean you’ll be guaranteed this amount — or any money.

Thankfully, secure settlements can still be reached during or even after a trial, according to the American Bar Association (ABA).

7. Appeals

Regardless of who wins a trial, the losing side may file an appeal. Appeals ask another court to make sure all of the legalities of the case were handled correctly.

There is a short period of time before an appeal can be filed that is usually between 30 and 60 days. If the higher court upholds the ruling of the lower court and you are owed money, this is when you will receive financial compensation.

How To File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Your State

The timeline of how you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit can vary by state.

Time to file a Trust Fund Claim is limited
We have succesfully handled lawsuits across the U.S.

Contact us today to speak with a trusted advocate. Call (877) 450-8973

For example, each state has unique time limits called statutes of limitations that affect when you can file a lawsuit. The regulations to file a lawsuit in each state are often different as well.

Your attorney can find out which state (or states in some cases) the lawsuit can be filed. They can also help you pursue asbestos trust fund claims in accordance with state laws and limits.

Unlock Trust Funds

Learn about:

  • Asbestos Trust Funds
  • Access Over $30 Billion
  • Financial Assistance

Learn More

Get Help With Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Mesothelioma lawsuits can be a big help for veterans after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Compensation from a lawsuit can help cover medical expenses and keep families financially stable.

Skilled attorneys can make the legal process easier and secure the highest amount of compensation possible.

Get a free veterans packet to learn more about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit and more legal options.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits: Common Questions

Will a mesothelioma lawsuit affect my ability to get VA benefits?

No. You’ll still be able to access VA benefits even if you’ve filed a mesothelioma lawsuit. In fact, our team can help you file a lawsuit and VA claims simultaneously. Contact us to learn more.

How long does a mesothelioma lawsuit take?

Many past mesothelioma patients have started to get lawsuit money within 90 days. You may receive money in more or less time depending on the specifics of your case and when you file.

The sooner you file an asbestos lawsuit, the sooner you can get compensation. Filing a lawsuit sooner rather than later also helps you avoid problems with statutes of limitations.

Will I be suing the military if I file a mesothelioma lawsuit?

No. Like you, members of the military did not realize that asbestos was dangerous until decades later. Your mesothelioma case will be filed against the companies that made and sold asbestos products.

These companies knew the dangers of asbestos back in the 1930s but hid the facts from the public and the military. They made billions of dollars by poisoning those trying to defend the country or making an honest living in the private sector.

Do I need to travel for my mesothelioma lawsuit?

No. Normally, a lawyer can travel to you to get the information needed to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means that much of the work to file a lawsuit can be done online or over-the-phone.

However, you might have to appear in court if your case goes to trial. Connect with a mesothelioma law firm to learn what you’ll need to do to file a lawsuit.

Can I file a lawsuit if I don’t have mesothelioma?

Yes — if you have another asbestos-related disease such as asbestosis or lung cancer. However, you cannot file a lawsuit if you were exposed to asbestos and didn’t get sick. Get our free veterans packet to learn more about filing a case for other asbestos-related illnesses.

Veterans Support Team
Brian J. Cooke PhotoReviewed by:Brian J. Cooke

Mesothelioma Lawyer and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

  • Fact-Checked
  • Legal Editor

Brian J. Cooke is a mesothelioma attorney with Simmons Hanly Conroy and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Thanks in part to his military service, Brian is in tune with many of the issues that veterans with mesothelioma face. Brian and his team work tirelessly to secure compensation for those with this rare and deadly cancer.

Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

View 5 Sources
  1. LexisNexis Legal Newsroom. “New Attorney's Guide to the Steps in a Lawsuit.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 9th, 2017.
  2. Rand Institute for Civil Justice. “Asbestos Litigation Costs, Compensation, and Alternatives.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 9th, 2017.
  3. Bates, C.E. & Mullin, C.H. (2007, December 3). Asbestos: Show Me the Money. Retrieved April 05, 2021, from
  4. Mealey's Litigation Report. (2016, May 31). Asbestos verdicts & settlements: January 2015 – December 2015. Retrieved April 05, 2021, from
  5. American Bar Association. (2019, September 09). How Courts Work. Retrieved April 05, 2021, from
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