Autopsy is waived for asbestos victim

Since being diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer two years ago, James Ross has come to accept his terminal illness. It’s the hours after the Queen Anne man takes his final breath that have him concerned.

After filing a lawsuit last year against several manufacturers of asbestos products, Ross, 71, learned that mesothelioma victims who die in the midst of civil litigation in King County must undergo an autopsy.

Ross objected, saying a physician has diagnosed him with the cancer and an autopsy will be unnecessary. He asked a King County judge to issue a protection order to spare his wife, Esther, the emotional stress of enduring an autopsy while trying to plan his funeral.