New Law to Benefit California Mesothelioma Victims

As things stand now (and have for years), family members of California malignant mesothelioma plaintiffs are not able to receive compensation for their loved ones’ pain and suffering if the victim dies prior to a jury hearing the case and making a decision at trial. But a new law inspired by an 82-year-old who succumbed to the disease will take effect in 2022 and restore fairness to the process.

California Senate Bill Allows Posthumous Damages for Mesothelioma  

The new law, Senate Bill 447, was inspired by the story of 82-year-old Alfonso Rocciola, who was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after years of supervising construction projects in San Francisco, years before the public or workers knew the dangers of asbestos. Because Mr. Rocciola died before his trial began, his claim for compensation for pain and suffering died with him.  Outraged by the lack of fairness to victims, the California Senate passed Bill 447, which will right the wrong suffered by Rocciola’s family and many others like them.

In almost every other state, those who are the survivors of mesothelioma victims due to negligence are able to seek posthumous damages from those responsible. But California, Florida, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona all prohibit the awarding of posthumous damages for pain and suffering. This has largely been at the behest of insurance companies whose clients are organizations that negligently allowed asbestos exposure. A spokesperson for the Consumer Attorneys of California viewed the changes to California’s laws as a significant victory, saying, “A wrongdoer should not get a financial benefit if their victim dies before they have to compensate them.”

New Law Is Specifically Aimed at Mesothelioma Victims

The new bill will become effective in just a few months when the calendar flips to 2022 and will only help family members of mesothelioma victims who die after January 1st. It is also notable that the law is only effective for a four-year period, though it is possible that it will be extended. 

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Writer

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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