Anyone who lost a loved one due to mesothelioma knows how brutal the cancer is. Mesothelioma patients are often in a state of exhaustion and pain. Breathing is a constant struggle. When mesothelioma patients decide to file lawsuits against employers that exposed them to asbestos that caused their disease, they find it difficult just to take the stand and answer questions. Doctors often give strict orders to patients to answer questions for just a few minutes a day so they can get enough rest.
However, in some cases, opposing lawyers might prolong the deposition by asking pointless, repetitive questions, drawing accusations of “waiting out the clock” on sick witnesses. If the sick plaintiff passes away before the end of a trial, the accused parties would not need to pay as much in damages. If the patient dies before completing a deposition, their statements may not be considered in an eventual trial.
To address this unconscionable practice, the California legislature has set a limit on the number of hours that a mesothelioma patient can testify in court. If a doctor says a patient has six months or less to live, the patient can only testify for a total of 14 hours. This prevents the accused from drawing out depositions in the hopes that a patient’s health problem prevents a damning testimony.
We are glad that legislation responded to this abhorrent practice. If companies knowingly expose their workers to asbestos, then those workers deserve their day in court. If you know someone suffering from a disease related to asbestos exposure, call us today at 1 (888) 637-6347 to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.
[Did You Know: Mesothelioma may not show symptoms until 20, 30 or 40 years after the initial asbestos exposure.]
Cappolino Dodd Krebs LLP – mesothelioma attorneys