The manufacturer of the asbestos product I was exposed to was put out of business and my employer was bought out. What happens to my asbestos exposure case?
There still may be some avenues of liability open to you.
First, are you absolutely certain that only one manufacturer made the asbestos products you were exposed to? It is more likely that there were multiple manufacturers involved. Second, even though your employer was bought out by another company, the liability to you for your exposure still exists. Either the purchaser of your employer took on that liability when it purchased the company, or the principals of your employer retained that liability when they sold the company. However, if the principals of your former employer retained liability, it may be difficult to find them or they may not have many assets to provide for a settlement. Third, was there any protective equipment that you used at the time of your exposure? If so, and if that equipment did not work effectively, the manufacturer of the equipment may also be liable to you.
You will want to consult with an attorney experienced with asbestos-related injury cases. He or she will be able to do the investigation necessary to determine whether one or more asbestos manufacturers or suppliers are involved here. Your asbestos attorney will also investigate the sale of your employer – how the sale handled possible future personal injury claims – whether the principals from the old company can be found and if so, whether there is any money to go after there. Your attorney will also see if there is some theory under which the new company can be held liable. Did you work for that company for any length of time and if so, were you exposed to asbestos at that time as well? Your attorney will also look into whether protective safety equipment was issued and if it was, whether it was defective and whether the manufacturer knew about it. Your situation may seem hopeless, but these are familiar issues to attorneys who have been working with these types of cases for any length of time.