Different asbestos cases take different times to be resolved; some may drag on for year while others may be resolved in a matter of months. The question then is, what influences the timeline of an asbestos case? This article and subsequent ones will discuss the factors at work in determining the timeline of an asbestos case.
Factors Affecting Asbestos Timelines
It must be noted that there are a number of factors at work when determining the timeline of a given asbestos lawsuit. Below are some of the factors that directly impact the timeline of an asbestos case:
- The health of the plaintiff – if the plaintiff is over the age of 70 or in ill health the case may be fast-tracked or moved along on a preferential basis. This can be done by being given a trial date sooner than normal. For this to happen the plaintiff’s attorney will have to file a motion for preference in trial setting. Where the plaintiff is terminally ill with mesothelioma or some other condition it will be necessary to provide supporting medical evidence of this. However, the requirements of filing such a motion vary from one state to the next. Once the motion has been granted, the deadlines for other litigation procedures are shortened. This allows the case to move through the judicial system more quickly. The plaintiff deposition may take place within weeks of filing the case instead of months. Further, attorneys on both sides will have less time to respond to motions.
- Appeals – it is possible that in any given case there may be one or more appeals. The plaintiff’s attorney may appeal the decision granting a summary judgement to the defendant. The defendant or plaintiff may appeal a motion that was granted. Where the case goes to trial and the verdict is made, the losing side might appeal the verdict. It must be noted that appeals are not routine and therefore, follow a different schedule and procedure.