Mesothelioma News: Indiana Supreme Court Ruling

Posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 at 1:30 pm    


Mesothelioma News: Indiana Supreme Court Ruling – April 2016

The Indiana Supreme Court ruling made in early 2016 struck down a portion of the state’s Product Liability Act. Giving mesothelioma patients more flexibility in filing asbestos related claims against manufacturers who were negligent.

The ruling was yet to be finalized as it was awaiting a court decision on whether the case ought to be reheard. The delay is as a result of a motion filed in March 2016 by the state and the defendant. If filed the ruling will put Indiana in the same light as other states who are receptive to claims from mesothelioma patients.

The provision gives patients the right to present their cases to a jury and come forward with their cases, rather than being stopped at the doors of the courthouse, this was a comment given by the plaintiff’s attorney to the


Elements of the Statute

The repose statute gives a ten (10) year cutoff date for allowing the plaintiff to sue a manufacturer. However, the ten (10) year period starts at the time the product reaches the consumer. Mesothelioma patient would not be able to file claims as the latency period is between twenty to fifty years (20-50yrs). Therefore, patients would not even get to see the doors of the courtroom let alone the inside of it.

As a result of this repose statute there were no asbestos claims filed in Indiana. Indiana state victims were forced to seek legal recourse in other states which was a hard task. The difficulty was posed by the issue of jurisdiction of other state courts.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruling stated that the ten year (10yr) period should not be applied to cases involving diseases such as mesothelioma. Because mesothelioma takes decades to diagnose from the point of initial exposure.

The statute provides within the Product Liability Act giving patients two years (2yrs) after diagnosis to bring their case. However, this applied to companies that mined and sold raw materials. The recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling will give provision to include companies that manufactured asbestos containing products.

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