Almost six years ago, a professor at Penn State University died from malignant mesothelioma. His family filed a lawsuit against the institution for negligence and wrongful death. Now, his lawsuit is making its way through the legal system as the family seeks justice for their loved one’s death.

You Can Sue an Employer for Mesothelioma

A 2013 ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave plaintiffs the right to file suit against their employer when they were exposed to asbestos on the job. Normally, it is difficult to file a lawsuit against an employer because the workers’ compensation system is generally viewed as the sole legal remedy an injured employee would have. Here, the family has filed a negligence lawsuit, and it is the first one against the university relating to asbestos.

The Professor Was Exposed to Asbestos

The lawsuit claims that the professor breathed in asbestos dust in academic buildings. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma 12 years after he retired from his job. The illness usually takes years to develop as the asbestos particles remain in the lungs for decades. Mesothelioma is almost always fatal as most patients die within 18 months. There are allegations that the school is aware of hundreds of buildings that have possible asbestos but has not done anything to remediate many of them.

Where this case is rare in that the university is still contesting the case in the legal system. Many mesothelioma cases are settled by the defendants because they usually do not like to take the case to jury. Asbestos exposure cases have been litigated for years and there is a long track record of favorable settlements for plaintiffs. A mesothelioma attorney could help you file a claim if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos on the job.