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California Supreme Court Orders Lower Court to Revisit Mesothelioma Case

There are countless issues and frustrations involved in receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis that go beyond the most immediate and obvious medical concerns. In addition to the pain and grief that comes with a terminal prognosis and the enormous number of medical appointments and treatments they need to submit to, there are legal and financial concerns that need to be addressed, and they can be extremely complicated and challenging in and of themselves. A recent example of the tortuous, yet ultimately rewarding, path that mesothelioma lawsuits can take was recently witnessed in the Court of Appeals of California, where a woman whose mesothelioma lawsuit had originally been dismissed based on a grant of summary judgment being given to Shell Oil Company found her case reinstated after the California Supreme Court ruled that the court should reconsider their decision in light of additional judicial rulings on the matter.

The case involved Wanda L. Beckering, whose husband had been an employee of Shell. Her late husband had worked with asbestos on a regular basis and had inadvertently carried it home on his work clothing, which she was responsible for washing each day. As a result of her exposure to his clothing Ms. Beckering was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed a lawsuit against the company based on her secondary exposure. Shell originally argued that they had no duty to protect a family member from this type of exposure and the Appeals Court agreed, but upon the second review ordered by the Supreme Court, the concluded that Shell did in fact owe that duty to Beckering and that she should be able to have her case heard in a court of law. They ruled that as a member of the worker’s household, she was “foreseeably in close and sustained contact with the worker over a significant period of time,” and therefore was owed a duty of care. In addition to providing the woman with the ability to proceed with her case, she was also provided with the costs of her legal activity.

Mrs. Beckering had the right people working on her behalf within the court system, guiding her and encouraging her to continue her fight despite having been met with a considerable challenge. Having the right people working to support you through your mesothelioma journey is essential, and the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net want to be part of your support team. Contact us today at  1-800-692-8608 to learn more about how we can help.


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