Mesothelioma litigation: Understanding the burden of proof

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries until its health hazards were discovered in the 1970s. Unfortunately, many people who were exposed to asbestos decades ago are now developing mesothelioma, and they often face a long and difficult legal battle to get compensation for their illness.

The basics of mesothelioma litigation

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation from the companies that exposed you to asbestos. However, you must first prove that your illness was caused by asbestos exposure, and that the companies you are suing were responsible for that exposure. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it requires the involvement of experienced mesothelioma attorneys.

The first step in mesothelioma litigation is usually to gather evidence of your exposure to asbestos. This may involve reviewing your medical history, work history, and any other relevant documents. Your attorneys may also conduct depositions of witnesses who can testify about your exposure, or hire experts to analyze the asbestos content of products or materials that you worked with.

Once the evidence of your exposure is established, you must then prove that your mesothelioma was caused by that exposure. This often involves presenting medical evidence, such as biopsy results or pathology reports, that links your illness to asbestos exposure. Your attorneys may also have to show that other possible causes of your illness, such as smoking or exposure to other toxins, can be ruled out.

If you can establish that your mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure, you must then prove that the companies you are suing were responsible for that exposure. This can be difficult, especially if you were exposed to asbestos in multiple settings over many years. However, your attorneys may be able to use documents and witness testimony to show that the companies knew about the health hazards of asbestos and failed to take appropriate steps to protect their workers or consumers.

The burden of proof in mesothelioma litigation

Proving mesothelioma litigation cases can be challenging, and plaintiffs must meet a high burden of proof. In civil cases, the standard of proof is usually a preponderance of the evidence, which means that the plaintiff must show that it is more likely than not that their illness was caused by asbestos exposure and that the defendants were responsible for that exposure.

If the plaintiff is successful in proving their case, they may be awarded damages that can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, defendants may also appeal the verdict, which can further extend the legal process and delay compensation for the plaintiff.


Mesothelioma litigation is a long and difficult process that requires skilled attorneys and extensive evidence. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to speak to an experienced mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible to start building your case. With the right legal team and a strong case, you may be able to get the compensation you deserve and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.