Dying Declaration Affidavits In Asbestos Suits: A Case Study

By Kevin Hadfield, Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP (December 6, 2016, 2:33 PM EST) -- In asbestos litigation, often times a plaintiff's sole evidence of product identification takes the form of an affidavit created shortly before the claimant passes away. Typically called a "dying-declaration" affidavit, the document preserves the plaintiff's written testimony for trial, thereby preserving his cause of action against the individuals and entities he believes were responsible for causing his illness.

Such affidavits are problematic for defendants for a variety of reasons, principally because the affidavits are frequently created in the short window between a litigant's diagnosis and his death, which may predate the filing of suit.

Under these circumstances, there is patent prejudice...

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