The law in California allows us to obtain early trial dates for people with mesothelioma, so that our attorneys can often completely resolve a case within six months or less. California law imposes liability on the companies that sold defective products for the injuries caused by their products. California juries, particularly in Los Angeles, Alameda and San Francisco Counties, have repeatedly awarded large verdicts for mesothelioma victims and their families. This record of large jury verdicts provides motivation for asbestos companies to settle cases before trial.
Mesothelioma is a very serious form of cancer related to asbestos exposure, and families who have been touched by mesothelioma have many challenges ahead. Whatever treatment options a mesothelioma patient chooses, treatment is expensive. A mesothelioma diagnosis can often mean financial hardship without some kind of legal assistance.
The companies that made asbestos were aware of this problem, yet they continued to sell it to be used in everything from building materials to fireproofing. Over the years, many people, especially those who worked in industrial or trade jobs and in the military, were exposed to asbestos at work and brought it home to their families on their clothing at night. If you or a family member is suffering from asbestos exposure, you should speak with a California lawyer experienced in handling these cases.
At Vititoe Law Group, we are leaders in handling environmental exposure cases. Our founder, James W. Vititoe, was part of the law firm that successfully handled the water contamination case in Hinkley, California, made famous by the movie Erin Brockovich. Our attorneys have experience handling mesothelioma cases and will pursue full and fair compensation for you or your loved one.
You see it in instances like the 1982 bankruptcy of Johns-Manville. It went through a five-year bankruptcy, created the Manville Personal Injury Trust Fund in 1988 that would be responsible for all asbestos-related lawsuits, and then re-emerged under the name Manville Corporation that year. By 2001, it had renamed itself Johns-Manville, got purchased by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway for $2 billion, and now generates approximately $400 million in annual profits.
If you were a former employee of Johns-Manville that contracted mesothelioma, your tort action can’t touch that $400 million in annual profits that are flowing into Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Instead, your ability to receive asbestos compensation is limited to the much lower amount of money that is provided for by the Trust which allocates fixed percentages per claim such as a 5.1% payout. In other words, if you have a $600,000 mesothelioma claim against Johns-Manville that was the result of doing insulation work in 1975, collection is limited to $30,600.
Asbestos Exposure in California
Asbestos materials were used in the U.S. from the early 1900s until the 1970s in construction, shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing, electronics, and national defense applications. After the the early 1970s, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first linked asbestos exposure to lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, U.S. mining of asbestos gradually stopped.
However, asbestos’ carcinogenic effects continue to affect millions of individuals, mostly men who served in the military or in any industry which used asbestos between its peak years of use. Due to the prevalence of asbestos used by civilian industries and military facilities in California, everyone in the state is potentially at risk of being exposed to asbestos.
Your California asbestos attorney also should be well versed in all of the pertinent California laws and regulations government mesothelioma cases.
California has robust laws regarding exposure to and mitigation of asbestos containing materials. The California Department of Health Services has put a warning on all homes and other buildings constructed after the 1950s that contain asbestos materials.
Asbestos commonly was mixed into various paper and fiberglass materials in this time period. One of them was ceiling insulation, and it also was used in patching compounds, stove insulation and floor tiles. Other products it was used in include shingles, heat resistant gaskets and various appliances until the 1970s.
Landmark Drug Lawsuits We’ve Won
Our legal team obtained a private settlement for approximately 17,000 victims injured or killed because of unreported side effects of Avandia, a once popular diabetes drug. Our attorneys also won a $177 million settlement for seven states against Avandia manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline.
Baron & Budd’s drug attorneys negotiated a $1.275 billion settlement for victims injured by the diet drug Fen-phen.
Our team of attorneys argued settlements for over 1000 plaintiffs and families who suffered cardiac arrest and/or died after dialysis with GranuFlo or NaturaLyte. One of our class action lawyers, Burton LeBlanc, was appointed to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee that oversees all litigation surrounding the GranuFlo and NaturaLyte litigation.
Unfortunately, other areas contaminated with asbestos on the EPA’s superfund list in California still stand as a potential hazard to the public, including the South Bay Asbestos Area in Santa Clara County. According to the EPA, this 550-acre location served as an asbestos dumping ground for a manufacturing plant for nearly three decades during the mid to late 1990s. Consequently, airborne exposure to asbestos fibers that enter the atmosphere after being disturbed by truck traffic and other activity stands as a potential risk for people who live in and around the site, located specifically at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay.
Asbestos exposure also occurred at the California Zonolite facility in Glendale. Zonolite, the commercial name for vermiculite collected at the infamous Libby, Montana mine, was acquired by the W.R. Grace Company in 1963. Vermiculite is a mineral that often contains asbestos, ultimately posing a significant health threat to the employees of W.R. Grace & Company, as well as citizens who lived in close proximity to the 2.75-acre facility. The California Zonolite location alone received more than 120,000 tons of asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.