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When multiple sources of exposure complicate an asbestos claim

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Asbestos & Mesothelioma Defense

When facing an asbestos-related claim, one of the complex challenges that businesses may encounter is the issue of a victim’s exposure to asbestos from multiple sources. This multifaceted exposure can significantly influence the defense strategy of a business implicated in such a lawsuit. 

Understanding the implications of this scenario can help businesses to craft a robust defense that can address the nuances of shared responsibilities in asbestos litigation.

Asbestos exposure can occur under a variety of circumstances

Asbestos was widely used in various industries for decades, and remains in use under limited circumstances today. Because of its extensive use, individuals may have been exposed to asbestos via multiple sources over time. These sources could include different workplaces, various products and even different environments. As a result, pinpointing the exact source of asbestos exposure that led to a particular case of mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases can be challenging.

The fact that a victim might have been exposed to asbestos from multiple sources plays a significant role in a business’s defense strategy in several ways, including the following

  • Diffusion of liability: If a business can demonstrate that a plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from multiple sources, it may argue that it is not solely responsible for the plaintiff’s health issues. This can potentially minimize the company’s liability, as the responsibility for the victim’s harm may be shared among various parties.
  • Apportionment of damages: In jurisdictions where courts allow for apportionment of damages based on degree of fault, proving that multiple sources contributed to the asbestos exposure can influence the percentage of damages for which a business is liable. This can lead to a significant reduction in the financial burden on a single entity.

For businesses defending against asbestos claims, the reality of multiple sources of exposure can affect defense strategy options. As such, seeking personalized legal guidance designed to account for a case’s unique circumstances may be wise.