Residency during mesothelioma diagnosis crucial to application of law, judge says

9 Feb 2017 by under Legal

445px Altan 100x100 Residency during mesothelioma diagnosis crucial to application of law, judge saysFor some, potential exposure to asbestos, a known human carcinogen used in a wide variety of products and trades, occurs over a lifetime—each job runs the risk of exposure. What happens if that exposure occurs in different states during a person’s career and he eventually develops mesothelioma? A judge had to determine the answer to that question last month when, in a pending case, asbestos exposure allegedly occurred in both and , according to Lexis Legal News.

Harold and Janice Murray, who live in Tennessee, allege numerous companies exposed Harold to asbestos, eventually causing him to develop mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer associated with asbestos exposure that affects the lining of the heart, lungs or abdomen. The couple contented Virginia law should be applied in the case, and the defendants as a whole argued Tennessee law should be applied.

Judge Alice Gibney determined substantial differences in the two states’ laws were present, and therefore, several factors should be considered, including predictably of result, maintenance of interstate and international order, simplification of the judicial task, advancement of the forum’s governmental interests and application of the better rules of law. She also noted the place where the injury occurred, the place where the conduct causing the injury occurred and the location of the involved parties also needed to be evaluated.

Gibney found that using the location and date of Harold’s diagnosis and treatment in Tennessee as the answer to when Harold’s mesothelioma occurred settled that issue. Because he was allegedly exposed since the 1960s, it would be “virtually impossible” to pinpoint an exact time without using diagnosis and treatment as the criteria. In addition, she determined Tennessee law would provide the best chance of a predictable result and that choosing to apply Tennessee law also passed constitutional muster. Therefore, the judge found that Harold’s residence, diagnosis and treatment in Tennessee warranted imposing its law over Virginia’s.

 

 

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