Asbestos Suits Often Name a Multitude of Defendants
If you were to research current asbestos lawsuits, it’s likely you will find that most of the suits include more than one defendant. In many cases, you’ll discover that some suits might name 20, 30, or even 40 companies or individuals as defendants. To many, that might seem like overkill but, in fact, there’s a good reason as to why this happens.
In asbestos suits, it’s rare that you will find the usual “two party” involvement, meaning one plaintiff and one defendant – the victim and the person(s), company, etc. that caused injury to the victim. But, where asbestos exposure is concerned, you’ll find that it’s not unusual for the victim to have been exposed in more than one place and to more than just one asbestos-containing product.
People (usually men) that worked (or currently work) in trades that exposed them to asbestos on-the-job often had more than one job where they were exposed OR worked with countless products that contained asbestos. These products were likely made by a number of different manufacturers.
For example, in individual in the construction field might have worked with a multitude of asbestos products including:
Take those six types of products and consider the number of years that person worked in construction (often decades!), and you’ll recognize that the number of exposures is huge. Furthermore, it’s likely that the insulation they installed, for example, was made by several different companies or the asbestos tiles they laid came from perhaps more than a dozen different manufacturers. In fact, the number of defendants that exposed one plaintiff to asbestos can be staggering.
Would it be easier to name just one defendant? Maybe the one that did the most harm? Likely, but it would also be a disservice to the victim. During a long tenure of employment, especially in the years leading up to about 1980, victims encountered dozens – maybe hundreds – of products manufactured by companies that knew asbestos was dangerous and that safer alternatives were an option. Yet they did nothing at all to solve this issue. They SHOULD be held accountable for their negligence, even if naming multiple defendants means it takes longer to organize the suit and get it to court or settlement.
Though naming multiple defendants might slow the process, the time required to craft a suit that will support a claim against each defendant will generally pay off in the long run as plaintiffs are more likely to receive what they are awarded by the courts or via a settlement, simply because that award money is spread out over several defendants. That means each will likely be responsible for only a portion of the award. That’s more palatable for those companies, who would likely appeal a large award if they were responsible for the entire amount.
It all comes down to securing good legal support and an attorney who is well-versed in asbestos suits involving multiple defendants. Experience in such suits means they will be crafted properly and will be organized in a timely manner so as to reach a verdict as soon as possible.