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Maryland– Timing to File an Asbestos Related Lawsuit

If you or someone you know has developed mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you can file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the exposure to asbestos, usually a manufacturer, employer or government entity.  If a loved one has already passed away due to mesothelioma, a family member can file a claim on their behalf, known as a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit.  In both cases, however, there is there is a certain amount of time, known as a statute of limitations, within which an asbestos-related lawsuit may be filed.  If the statute of limitations has expired relative to your situation, your asbestos-related lawsuit may not be able to proceed.  Each state has its own statute of limitations rules and deadline.

In Maryland, when an individual is exposed to asbestos or asbestos-containing products and diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, the statute of limitations is set as three years after the cause of action accrues.  Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 5-101 (2010).  Like many other states, Maryland follows the “discovery rule,” so the cause of action does not accrue until the plaintiff knew or should have known that he or she had an asbestos-related disease and knew or should have known that the disease was caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products.  Harig v. Johns-Manville Products Corp. (1978) 284 Md. 70. 

If the person exposed to asbestos dies of an asbestos-related disease, then the statute of limitations for the heirs to file a wrongful death lawsuit is set as the earlier of either ten years from the date of death or three years from the time the plaintiffs discovered or should have discovered that an asbestos-related disease caused or contributed to the decedent’s death.  Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 3-904 (2010); see Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. Benjamin (2006) 394 Md. 59. 

Because the statute of limitations is short, it is strongly suggested that a person diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease or an heir to a person who passes away from an asbestos-related disease contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to determine if the facts warrant an asbestos-related lawsuit.  Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason have successfully brought asbestos-related lawsuits for more than 30 years.  We have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in jury awards and settlements for our clients.  Please contact the lawyers at Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason for a free case evaluation.