Court Reopens Mesothelioma Victim’s Claim Against Former Employer

When Roslyn T. Barnes was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, she filed both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit against her former employer, accusing them of negligently exposing her to asbestos. The company successfully had her civil claim dismissed based on a clause in the Missouri state law, but on appeal, the woman provided evidence that the company’s documents supporting their defense had been fraudulent and that questions of fact remained open. The appeals court agreed and reversed the trial court’s dismissal.

dusty desk

Mesothelioma Victim Claims Asbestos Fell on Computer and Desk During Ceiling Work

The mesothelioma victim blamed her illness on asbestos exposure that occurred when she worked for the Business Man’s Association between 1976 and 1980.  She pointed to ceiling work that was frequently being performed over her work area, and the asbestos-contaminated dust that would constantly fall on her, her desk, and her computer.

When she filed her personal injury mesothelioma claim and a workers’ compensation claim, the company pointed to a Missouri law that barred civil claims when employers’ workers’ compensation insurance included enhanced mesothelioma benefits. Based on documents the company submitted, the trial court granted a dismissal of the civil claim.

Mesothelioma Victim Suggests Fraudulent Evidence Submitted by Former Employer

Ms. Barnes appealed the lower court’s decision, and accused her former employer of fraud against the court in her original mesothelioma claim. She presented evidence suggesting that the company had not actually purchased the additional mesothelioma coverage during the time covered by her claim, but had instead submitted evidence that showed they’d been investigating the coverage.

The appeals court noted that the documents submitted to the court in the original mesothelioma claim were not properly authenticated or self-proving and did not establish that the company had supplemental mesothelioma benefits in place. They reversed the lower court’s decision and reopened the woman’s civil claim for damages against her former employer.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger


Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.

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