A victim that has been diagnosed with the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma is refusing to have an autopsy carried out after his death, stating that he wants to requirement to be waived on moral grounds even though it will make it more difficult for his estate to prove his case and get compensation for his illness.
James Ross is expected to die from the asbestos related cancer, having worked around deadly asbestos for a number of decades whilst employed by Burlington Northern Railroad. He also claims that the exposure may have come from home remodelling in the 1960s and 1970s.
The defendants in the case, Kaiser Gypsum and T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition, have stated that they want the case to be dismissed if Ross continues to refuse to have the autopsy carried out after his death. Under Washington law the autopsy requirement can be waived if it is due to religious reasons, but Ross wants to opt out because he does not want his body to be disfigured after death.
Ross’s lawyer stated: â€œDespite the greater burden of proof in proving that the plaintiff suffers from mesothelioma, autopsies are not required to prove diagnosis, rather, autopsies are helpful in resolving disputes only when diagnosis is already in question. That isnâ€™t the case here.â€