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Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit helps surviving family members access compensation after losing a loved one to malignant mesothelioma. The average wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million. Learn more about wrongful death lawsuits, specific settlement amounts, and how to file a claim.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Jenna Tozzi, RN

Last updated:

What Is a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of legal action that can be taken to hold a person or company accountable for someone’s death and pursue compensation for things like funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of financial support.

A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit is usually filed against one or more manufacturers of asbestos-containing products. These companies failed to warn the public that their products harmed people’s health.

In mesothelioma wrongful death cases, family members claim that their deceased loved one would still be alive if they had not been exposed to asbestos, the only known cause of mesothelioma cancer.

Mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits offer two potential paths to compensation: a settlement or a trial verdict. Settlements can be reached in or out of court, while verdicts require the case to be brought before a judge or jury if neither party can reach an agreement.

Did You Know?

While the payout timeline varies by case, many families who file mesothelioma claims after death receive compensation in as soon as 90 days.

Each U.S. state and territory has its own laws that affect how and when wrongful death lawsuits are filed. In some states, families only have 1 year after their loved one died to file a lawsuit.

The time to file a wrongful death lawsuit is limited. Get a free consultation today to learn if you or another family member can file a claim.

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Who Can File a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

One of the asbestos victim’s surviving family members — usually a spouse or adult child — can file a mesothelioma wrongful death claim.

However, anyone representing the victim’s estate can file a mesothelioma lawsuit after death. A court typically appoints estate representatives.

Individuals who may be able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit after death include:

  • Birth children, adopted children, and stepchildren
  • Dependents
  • Estate administrators/executors
  • Personal representatives
  • Spouses and domestic partners
  • Trustees

You should contact a mesothelioma lawyer to confirm whether you or another family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you’re entitled to mesothelioma compensation, your attorney can advise when and where the lawsuit should be filed to ensure a successful outcome.

See if you have a case by requesting a free legal consultation today.

Reasons to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit After Death

While a lawsuit can never make up for losing your cherished loved one, it can provide your family with financial security and help you honor the victim.

Wrongful death compensation can help you pay for:

  • Family living expenses
  • Funeral costs and burial services
  • Loss of financial support
  • Lost wages
  • Unpaid medical bills
  • Other expenses

Examples of Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits also hold manufacturers of asbestos products accountable. These asbestos companies knew that exposure could cause innocent workers to develop mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases.

One of many examples is Pennsylvania maintenance worker Daniel “Dan” Rugg. Dan was exposed to asbestos during his 30-year career with Washington Penn Plastics (Wash Penn). He died from mesothelioma in 2021 after being diagnosed two years prior.

Dan’s case was taken to trial, and a jury found that Wash Penn failed to provide a safe workplace by using industrial talc that contained asbestos. The jury verdict awarded the Rugg estate $3.8 million in damages.

“This lawsuit was never about the money. This is about the fact that a jury has held Wash Penn responsible for putting profits over its people. I hope no other family has to go through the loss and pain my family and I have experienced.”
—Sandra Rugg, wife of deceased mesothelioma victim Dan Rugg

Take the first step toward pursuing justice in your loved one’s memory by requesting our Free Attorney Checklist.

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Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Settlement Compensation Amounts

Determining the exact value of a mesothelioma settlement after death is difficult because they are usually confidential. However, the overall average financial settlement of a mesothelioma case is between $1 and $1.4 million.

List of Asbestos Wrongful Death Settlements Amounts

Top national mesothelioma law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy has secured over $9.4 billion in total compensation for victims and their loved ones.

Some of the firm’s past mesothelioma wrongful death settlements include:

  • $10 million for the family of an insulator in Missouri
  • $7.1 million to the loved ones of a nurse with secondhand asbestos exposure
  • $6.3 million for the family of an Iowa asbestos worker
  • $4.4 million to the loved ones of an Illinois woman who was exposed to asbestos secondhand
  • $5.7 million to the family of a Florida maintenance worker
  • $3.75 million for the loved ones of a Pennsylvania laborer

We’re proud to partner with Simmons Hanly Conroy, which has over 20 years of experience handling asbestos lawsuits for families grieving the loss of a loved one. Get a free case evaluation today to learn if you or another family member can file a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit.

How to File Asbestos Legal Claims After Death

Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit after a loved one’s death differs slightly from filing a personal injury case for an asbestos-related illness.

Wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed in one of two situations:

  1. After a mesothelioma patient dies. If a person dies from mesothelioma but never filed a lawsuit when they were alive, it may be possible for a family member to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
  2. If a mesothelioma patient filed a lawsuit but died before it was resolved. In these cases, the mesothelioma lawsuit can be continued as a wrongful death action by a family member or anyone with legal authority.

Keep in mind that not every wrongful death case follows the same rules. Wrongful death statutes, which determine the process for filing these lawsuits, vary by state and U.S. territory.

State laws can affect:

  • How long someone has to file an asbestos wrongful death lawsuit
  • How much compensation will be awarded
  • How much (if any) of the compensation earned is taxable
  • Whether punitive damages (damages meant to punish the defendant) can be awarded
  • Who receives asbestos compensation after death

Often, a lawsuit must take on companies in different locations and jurisdictions, and that’s why national law firms are often the most successful at recovering money for victims. Victims need the national reach and strength to ensure that their case value has been maximized.

An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help your family navigate applicable laws and file a wrongful death lawsuit. Connect with a partner law firm for a free case review.

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  • Over $30 billion available
  • No cost to file a claim
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Wrongful Death Lawsuits Vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits

In a personal injury lawsuit, the mesothelioma victim is still alive and can offer firsthand information about their asbestos exposure. In a wrongful death claim, the victim can no longer answer questions about the asbestos products they worked with or around.

Mesothelioma lawyers have the resources to gather all the information needed to file a successful claim after a victim’s wrongful death.

A skilled asbestos attorney can locate evidence to establish that:

  • The victim was exposed to asbestos. Medical records, work history, job descriptions, and testimonies by former coworkers or military service members can all be used to prove asbestos exposure.
  • The manufacturers were negligent. It must be shown that the manufacturers named in the lawsuit knew they were putting people in harm’s way, failed to protect or warn workers properly, or manufactured a dangerous and defective product.
  • The victim’s death harmed their family. When someone dies from mesothelioma, their immediate family members lose a source of financial support and emotional care. Both of these factors can influence the amount of financial compensation they receive.

Can a Personal Injury Mesothelioma Lawsuit Become a Wrongful Death Claim?

Yes. If the mesothelioma victim dies before their personal injury claim is resolved, their claim becomes part of their estate. Their estate representative will then decide if and how they want to proceed with the lawsuit.

Depending on their relationship with the victim, this representative may file a separate wrongful death claim and continue the personal injury claim.

In mesothelioma cases where the victim didn’t designate someone to represent their estate before they died, the court will appoint a family member, spouse, or trusted advisor to act on their behalf.

If a mesothelioma patient passes away during the claims process, their family or legal representative needs to reach out to an experienced mesothelioma attorney who specializes in asbestos litigation and wrongful death claims. An attorney can navigate the legal process and fight for compensation to honor the deceased victim and support their surviving loved ones.

Request a no-obligation legal consultation to connect with top asbestos attorneys in your area.

What Factors Determine a Wrongful Death Settlement Amount?

The exact amount of a mesothelioma settlement after death depends on the following factors:

  • Age of the asbestos victim. Wrongful death settlements are usually higher for younger victims.
  • Impact on the surviving family. The emotional and financial effects of the victim’s illness and death on their family can impact how much money they receive from a settlement.
  • Income of the asbestos victim. The victim’s income and earning capacity at their death may also play a role.
  • Number of product manufacturers involved. Most victims were exposed to asbestos from multiple products. The more manufacturers named in a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit, the better chance a family has to receive a settlement.
  • State laws. The laws in the state in which the mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit is filed can affect the settlement amount.

Most families who file successful mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits receive settlement money from multiple asbestos product manufacturers.

Statutes of Limitations on Asbestos Claims After Death

Wrongful death lawsuits are subject to statutes of limitations that prevent people from filing lawsuits after a certain amount of time.

A wrongful death lawsuit for mesothelioma must be filed within the statute of limitations, or the victim’s family may not be able to receive compensation.

Wrongful death statutes of limitations vary by state and are often shorter than personal injury statutes of limitations. In most cases, the “clock” on the statute of limitations starts running on the day of the mesothelioma victim’s death.

In some states, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is as short as 1 year.

Use the drop-down menu below to find out your state’s mesothelioma statute of limitations.

Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations by State
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Alabama Flag Alabama *2 years

Recent Alabama Settlement Amounts
  • $4.8 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.54 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $2.7 million - Plasterer

Alaska Flag Alaska *2 years

Recent Alaska Settlement Amounts
  • $3.5 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $3.2 million - Laborer
  • $3.69 million - Navy Veteran

Arizona Flag Arizona *2 years

Recent Arizona Settlement Amounts
  • $4 million - Teacher
  • $2.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.9 million - Pipefitter

Arkansas Flag Arkansas *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

California Flag California *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Colorado Flag Colorado *2 years

Recent Colorado Settlement Amounts
  • $3.7 million - Truck Driver
  • $1.1 million - Laborer
  • $3.8 million - Navy Veteran

Connecticut Flag Connecticut *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Delaware Flag Delaware *2 years

Recent Delaware Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $2.6 million - Bricklayer

Florida Flag Florida *4 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Georgia Flag Georgia *2 years

Recent Georgia Settlement Amounts
  • $4.8 million - U.S. Navy veteran
  • $3.7 million - Truck driver
  • $1.5 million - Laborer

Hawaii Flag Hawaii *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Idaho Flag Idaho *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Illinois Flag Illinois *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Indiana Flag Indiana *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Iowa Flag Iowa *2 years

Recent Iowa Settlement Amounts
  • $4.8 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.53 million - Laborer
  • $1.8 million - Mechanic

Kansas Flag Kansas *2 years

Recent Kansas Settlement Amounts
  • $3.64 million - Welder
  • $1.8 million - Truck Driver
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic

Kentucky Flag Kentucky *1 years

Recent Kentucky Settlement Amounts
  • $3.69 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.82 million - Truck Driver
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic

Louisiana Flag Louisiana *1 years

Recent Louisiana Settlement Amounts
  • $10.3 million - Stevedore
  • $8.3 million - Serviceman's family
  • $6.5 million - Derrickhand

Maine Flag Maine *6 years

Recent Maine Settlement Amounts
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $1.5 million - Electrician
  • $3 million - Navy Veteran

Maryland Flag Maryland *3 years

Recent Maryland Settlement Amounts
  • $3.9 million - Army Veteran
  • $5.2 million - Welder
  • $2.9 million - Secondary Exposure

Massachusetts Flag Massachusetts *3 years

Recent Massachusetts Settlement Amounts
  • $3.8 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.4 million - Construction Worker
  • $3.6 million - Factory Worker

Michigan Flag Michigan *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Minnesota Flag Minnesota *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Mississippi Flag Mississippi *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Missouri Flag Missouri *5 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Montana Flag Montana *3 years

Recent Montana Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $2 million - Laborer

Nebraska Flag Nebraska *4 years

Recent Nebraska Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.26 million - Pipefitter
  • $1.37 million - Truck Driver

Nevada Flag Nevada *2 years

Recent Nevada Settlement Amounts
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $1.46 million - Army Veteran
  • $2.4 million - Navy Veteran

New Hampshire Flag New Hampshire *3 years

Recent New Hampshire Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $3.2 million - Army Veteran

New Jersey Flag New Jersey *2 years

Recent New Jersey Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Mechanic
  • $1.75 million - Navy Veteran
  • $2.1 million - Carpenter

New Mexico Flag New Mexico *3 years

Recent New Mexico Settlement Amounts
  • $3.3 million - Navy veteran
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $2.73 million - Air Force Veteran

New York Flag New York *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

North Carolina Flag North Carolina *3 years

Recent North Carolina Settlement Amounts
  • $4.6 million - Welder
  • $1.77 million - Electrician
  • $2.73 million - Air Force Veteran

North Dakota Flag North Dakota *6 years

Recent North Dakota Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter

Ohio Flag Ohio *2 years

Recent Ohio Settlement Amounts
  • $3.3 million - Pipefitter
  • $2.95 million - Army Veteran
  • $1.4 million - Boilermaker

Oklahoma Flag Oklahoma *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Oregon Flag Oregon *2 years

Recent Oregon Settlement Amounts
  • $3.69 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.56 million - Army Veteran
  • $1.6 million - Electrician

Pennsylvania Flag Pennsylvania *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Rhode Island Flag Rhode Island *3 years

Recent Rhode Island Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.5 million - Mechanic
  • $2.1 million - Carpenter

South Carolina Flag South Carolina *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

South Dakota Flag South Dakota *3 years

Recent South Dakota Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $1.57 million - Mechanic
  • $2 million - Laborer

Tennessee Flag Tennessee *1 years

Recent Tennessee Settlement Amounts
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $2.35 million - Navy veteran
  • $1.57 million - Mechanic

Texas Flag Texas *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Utah Flag Utah *4 years

Recent Utah Settlement Amounts
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $1.54 million - Custodian
  • $2.56 million - Navy Veteran

Vermont Flag Vermont *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Virginia Flag Virginia *2 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Washington Flag Washington *3 years

Recent Washington Settlement Amounts
  • $3.64 million - Welder
  • $2.5 million - Mechanic
  • $2.36 million - X-ray tech

Washington, D.C. Flag Washington, D.C. *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

West Virginia Flag West Virginia *2 years

Recent West Virginia Settlement Amounts
  • $1.48 million - Pipefitter
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic

Wisconsin Flag Wisconsin *3 years

The average mesothelioma settlement awards around $1 million.

Wyoming Flag Wyoming *4 years

Recent Wyoming Settlement Amounts
  • $3.4 million - Navy Veteran
  • $3.9 million - Auto Mechanic
  • $2.73 million - Air Force Veteran
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The statutes of limitations listed above are subject to change. Families should work with a mesothelioma lawyer to navigate the deadlines in their state and ensure their wrongful death lawsuit is filed in a timely manner.

What if I Missed the Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Even if you believe you might have missed the filing deadline, you should still speak with an asbestos attorney. You may be able to file your wrongful death action in a different state or access compensation from another source.

For example, some families who have lost loved ones to mesothelioma have recovered compensation from asbestos trust fund claims. Bankrupt companies set up these funds to compensate asbestos victims after the courts ordered them to do so.

Did You Know?

Mesothelioma Hope can help your family explore every legal option. Get started by seeing if you qualify for asbestos trust fund compensation.

Get Help Filing a Mesothelioma Claim After Death

If a person you loved passed away from mesothelioma, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation. This compensation can help you obtain justice for your loved one and honor their legacy.

Many families worry that filing a wrongful death lawsuit is too complicated and time-consuming, but that’s not true when working with a top mesothelioma law firm.

Top mesothelioma law firms, like Simmons Hanly Conroy, our trusted legal partner, can quickly assemble an experienced legal team to handle your wrongful death case from start to finish. This includes determining which companies may be to blame for your loved one’s asbestos exposure and gathering evidence to build the strongest possible claim.

Many families begin receiving wrongful death settlement compensation as soon as 90 days.

To start your free case review, fill out our contact form or call (866) 608-8933.

Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit FAQs

How long does it take to reach a mesothelioma wrongful death settlement?

The time it takes to reach a mesothelioma settlement after death varies. It depends on factors like how complicated the case is, the number of manufacturers being sued, the strength of the evidence against them, and their willingness to negotiate.

Sometimes, the parties are able to reach a settlement within a matter of months or even weeks if negotiations move quickly. However, other cases may take longer and require a longer legal process, including court filings, discovery, depositions, and a trial.

A skilled asbestos lawyer will fight to expedite this process for the victim’s family. While the payout timeline differs for each case, some wrongful death lawsuits start to award compensation as soon as 90 days after a settlement is reached.

Your lawyer can update you on if and when you will likely receive settlement money as your case progresses.

Do you need a lawyer for a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you have a lawyer file your wrongful death lawsuit.

An experienced attorney who specializes in asbestos claims after death can handle every step of the process for you, including gathering evidence, assessing damages, and negotiating with asbestos manufacturers and their legal teams.

Their expertise increases the chances of your claim being successful and obtaining rightful compensation for your family.

Who can receive a mesothelioma wrongful death settlement?

Immediate family members, such as spouses, children, and sometimes parents, are typically eligible for a mesothelioma wrongful death settlement.

However, eligibility requirements vary based on location and the circumstances of each case. To learn if you or another family member can obtain compensation, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable asbestos attorney who specializes in these case

How much is compensation for mesothelioma death?

Settlements in mesothelioma wrongful death cases average between $1 million and $1.4 million. Mesothelioma trial verdicts typically range between $5 million and $11.4 million.

Factors that can influence the final compensation amount include the extent of the victim’s asbestos exposure, the severity of their illness, the financial losses suffered, the age of the deceased, and other specific circumstances of the case.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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References
  1. American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Mesothelioma: Statistics.” Retrieved January 29, 2024, from https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/mesothelioma/statistics
  2. Behrens, Mark A. (2009). “What’s New in Asbestos Litigation?” Retrieved January 29, 2024, from http://www.casact.org/education/clrs/2009/handouts/st1behrens.pdf
  3. Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 18, Number 2—Spring 2004, “Asbestos and the Future of Mass Torts”, Retrieved January 29, 2024, from http://econweb.ucsd.edu/~miwhite/asbestos-jep-final.pdf
  4. Mazurek, J., et al. (2017, March 3). Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality — United States, 1999–2015. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/pdfs/mm6608a3.pdf
  5. Odom, G., & Kane, M. (2020, February 20). Illinois First District Appellate Court upholds $4.8 million asbestos verdict against John Crane. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=66bfece3-a554-49ab-b748-34d8aa075c27
  6. Rand Institute for Civil Justice. (2005). Asbestos Litigation Costs and Compensation. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from  https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/documented_briefings/2005/DB397.pdf
  7. United States Courts. (n.d.). Civil Cases. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/types-cases/civil-cases
  8. University of California, San Diego, CA, USA, National Bureau of Economic Research. (2014). Mass Tort Litigation: Asbestos. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from http://econweb.ucsd.edu/~miwhite/asbestos_springer.pdf
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