The Baltimore court system is swamped with cases filed by victims of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. There have been numerous efforts to ease the backlog of roughly 30,000 cases. Though everybody involved in the gridlock agrees that something needs to be done, there’s a significant difference between the fix that Maryland’s judges are advocating and what those representing victims believe is fair. While plaintiffs’ attorneys are suggesting that similar cases should be consolidated in order to quickly clear out the system, attorneys representing asbestos companies are arguing that they still want each and every case to be presented individually.
Reducing Asbestos Case Backlog is Everybody’s Goal
Though everybody involved in solving the problem agrees that the backlog of mesothelioma and asbestos cases needs to be addressed, there is a big gap between those who are fighting for the rights of victims and those who simply want the cases to go away. Baltimore has a long history of people being exposed to asbestos in its shipyards and factories, and plaintiffs’ attorneys are dedicated to the idea of making sure that all of these victims get the justice that they deserve.
Many of the defendants in these mesothelioma cases have been forced to file for bankruptcy after having paid billions of dollars to those who have been sickened and died as a result of using or being exposed to their products. Baltimore’s courts are unique in that they have also encouraged filings by those who have been sickened with non-malignant asbestos-related diseases.
Judges Indicate that 500 Asbestos Cases Should Be Heard Per Month
The city’s judges want to take an aggressive approach to the mesothelioma backlog, establishing a goal of hearing 500 asbestos cases per month and forcing attorneys to hasten their preparations. The theory is that in forcing lawyers to move faster, they would also eliminate cases in which there is less proof of causation. The attorneys have argued that this approach is untenable and that they can handle no more than 175 cases per month because of the time required to locate witnesses, gather medical records and more.
In response, the attorneys representing mesothelioma victims want to be able to combine cases, as has been done in the past and which continues to be done in locations around the country, but defense attorneys don’t want this to happen because they believe that weaker cases would get hidden among stronger ones, providing compensation to those who otherwise might not have won their court cases.
Even if the court prevails and is able to hear 500 cases per month, many of the mesothelioma victims whose cases are pending will die in the interim. Having the right resources available helps to extend life and improve quality of life. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.