How Long Your Mesothelioma Case Might Take
Every case is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding how long a mesothelioma lawsuit will take. Preparing a mesothelioma case before the papers are actually filed – obtaining medical and work records, having them reviewed by an expert, tracking down defendants, and preparing the necessary papers – usually takes about six months.
Cases brought in federal court anywhere in the country are transferred to a multi-district litigation court in Pennsylvania which currently handles all pre-trial matters arising out of federal asbestos litigation. The high volume of these cases has caused significant delays, and these cases can take as long as 10 to 15 years before they are resolved. For this reason, Williams Kherkher seeks to bring most asbestos cases to state courts around the country, instead of federal court.
Cases brought in state court tend to move far more quickly. Although this varies by state and by the particular facts and the parties involved in each case, a case brought in state court typically takes about two or three years from the time the case is actually filed to the time it is resolved. (If a case is appealed after trial, this takes even more time.)
As a general rule, most asbestos trials last about two weeks.
There are exceptions. For example, it is possible for a case to be settled out of court – either with some or all of the defendants – within as little as six months after it is begun. There are other times when a case may be settled out of court a year or two after it is begun, or just before the case goes to trial.
There are other cases which are not fully resolved for up to three years after the trial or settlement agreement, because one or more of the defendants is a bankrupt company and it takes time to collect from the trust fund set up for asbestos injuries. Some bankrupt companies can take up to three years to pay after a winning claim or settlement is submitted to the trust fund.
As you can see, there are variations on how long your case may take, and there are always exceptions even to these general timeframes. Sadly, because mesothelioma is such a rapidly progressing disease, many plaintiffs do not see their cases resolved in their lifetimes, but we continue to fight for their rights and hope that the resolution of their cases will bring some comfort to their families.