The formal start of the case comes when we file the complaint against all companies that we believe are probably responsible for the asbestos exposure. These might include asbestos mining companies, manufacturers, distributors, brokers, insulation contractors, other contractors whose workers used asbestos products (e.g. sheet-metal, joinery, fireproofing) or were responsible for safety (e.g. the prime or general contractor), and the owners of the sites where exposure occurred.
It is obvious that determining which companies to sue is a complex matter. We usually file suit against more than a dozen defendants, and sometimes as many as forty or more. Because we have been handling asbestos cases for over 40 years, we have extensive resources to enable our attorneys to make well-informed decisions about who to sue, and how to go about it. We have a team of seven investigators, an extensive document archive, and a database of records and depositions. We also have cooperative working relationships with many other plaintiffs’ law offices around the country and in Britain, Australia, Canada and other parts of the world.
Our client is known as the plaintiff in the lawsuit – because he (or she) is making the complaint. The companies that the plaintiff sues are called defendants – because they are defending. The defendants have about a month, after receiving the complaint, to respond.