Recent Positive Developments in Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Everyone knows that asbestos causes mesothelioma. A major defense of the defendants has been that victims must prove exactly how much asbestos exposure a victim had. This is impossible in many cases because work sites often did not measure asbestos exposure. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has just issued a very favorable opinion that lays to rest this and related defenses.


In Rost v. Ford Motor Co., 2016 Pa. Lexis 2638 (Pa., Nov. 22, 2016), Mr. Rost was exposed to asbestos in potentially high amounts on a daily basis at a garage for more than three months. His medical expert, Dr. Arthur Frank, testified that every asbestos exposure contributes to the total or cumulative dose, which in turn increases the likelihood of disease. Dr. Frank testified that the asbestos exposures at the garage were sufficient, in and of themselves, to cause Rost’s mesothelioma. The Court held that this was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict in favor of  Rost.


In this opinion, the Court held that the appropriate test is whether the asbestos exposure  satisfies the “frequency, regularity and proximity” test. The Court held that it was not necessary to quantify either the plaintiff’s dose from the defendant’s product or the cumulative dose from all exposures. The Court held that it was unnecessary to compare Rost’s other occupational exposures to his exposure at the garage.


A plaintiff must prove that his asbestos exposure was a substantial factor in causing his or her mesothelioma. The Court had previously held that each and every exposure to asbestos, no matter how minimal in relation to other exposures, did not raise a fact issue regarding substantial factor causation. Ford argued here that Dr. Frank’s cumulative exposure testimony was the same as the insufficient each and every exposure testimony. The Court rejected this argument. Dr. Frank’s testimony that every exposure contributed cumulatively to Rost’s development of mesothelioma is not the same as testifying that every exposure to asbestos is a substantial factor. Rather, Dr. Frank testified that the entirety of Rost’s actual exposures over the three months at the garage were substantially causative of his mesothelioma.


Finally, a word of caution. Rost does not hold that every minor exposure to asbestos is sufficient to cause mesothelioma. Locks Law Firm has extensive experience with mesothelioma and other asbestos cases. We stand ready to assist victims meet the required proof.

Tell Us About Your Case

If you can read this, please avoid filling the following input field or your submission may be marked as spam.
Thank you for contacting us! We will be in touch with you shortly.

Recent Entries


Locks Law Firm only provides legal advice after having entered into an attorney client relationship, which our website specifically does not create. Conversations that originate from website messaging, chat or other two way web based engagement  do not create an attorney client relationship. It is imperative that any action taken be done on the advice of counsel. Because every case is different, the description of awards and cases previously handled do not guarantee a similar outcome in current or future cases. The firm practices law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey & New York as Locks Law Firm. Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and other organizations that rate attorneys are not designations that have been approved by the State Supreme Courts or the American Bar Association.