Although asbestos use in job sites has ceased substantially since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented strict regulations in the late 1970s, Virginians still face asbestos exposure via natural mind deposits all across the state. However, most people in Virginia were exposed to the dangerous mineral much more often while working jobs that used asbestos in products, building, machinery, and equipment. In fact, the exposure in Virginia has been so significant that it currently ranks in the top 10 in the United States for the most asbestos-related deaths.
If you have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for significant compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Virginia, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
DuPont Chemical, Richmond, Virginia
One company in particular, DuPont Chemical, was known for its strong use of asbestos use in a plethora of products, clothing, machinery, and equipment. According to the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts (UMASS), DuPont was once an industry that produced the largest amount of pollution in the United States. In 2009, it was listed on the Top 100 Toxic Corporations. Its largest plant, located in Richmond, Virginia, not only exposed its workers to asbestos, but also put residents in direct dangers.
The use of asbestos went on from the 1930s until 1980. Consequently, in 2010, during a lawsuit, a representative of DuPont admitted that the company used asbestos in pipes, burners, boilers, tanks, ovens, and furnaces for decades. In addition, the required clothing provided by DuPont and worn by employees was riddled with asbestos. Several employees were filing lawsuits throughout the years before the 2010 lawsuit after they became ill. In fact, one victim who lost his lawsuit died of mesothelioma in 2008. Most already suspected asbestos was the culprit, but the company initially denied the allegations even though there was evidence stemming back to the 1930s. Even after asbestos was found to be harmful, DuPont didn’t let their employees knos. Other victims were able to settle out of court, while some ended up going to trial. Finally, in 2011, a judged granted a new trial to the man who died in 2008.
Dow and DuPont Corporations have large facilities in this state. Several types of asbestos are strongly resistant to chemical corrosion, which is the reason these firms’ facilities used asbestos so much. The deadly substance was often used on laboratory surfaces and in protective clothing.
Asbestos is also an outstanding insulator for electrical current. Virginia has several power plants where asbestos exposure has been a serious problem. This dangerous situation has been confirmed in several studies, especially one that was published in 2008 that found that 13% of power plant workers had chest x-rays that showed signs of asbestos disease.
Asbestos insulation usually was used in building power plant buildings and also the turbines and generators. As the material got older, it would crumble and the movement of the machines would blow the deadly fibers into the environment.
Virginia is home to several naturally-occurring asbestos deposits, scattered throughout the Appalachian Mountains. Asbestos deposits can be found along the Maryland state line and along the Blue Ridge. In addition to the deposits, Virginia was once home to two asbestos mines. The mines have been closed since the discovery of the dangers of asbestos exposure; however, before their closures, they were responsible for numerous deaths and asbestos cancer illnesses such as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma cancer, a rare and fatal cancer is directly caused by exposure to asbestos. The mineral is comprised of several tiny fibers, and when it is disturbed, the fibers separate and can be easily inhaled through the mouth or nose. When a person inhales the asbestos fibers, they can become lodged in the lining of the chest, and overtime can result in the development of mesothelioma.
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Occupational Asbestos Exposure in Virginia
The primary regulator of asbestos in Virginia is the state’s Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). Specifically, this state agency enforces regulations set forth in the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) law. The agency oversees the EPA’s NESHAP standards, as well as the rules around asbestos notification that are included in the Labor Laws of Virginia (§40.1-51.20). DOLI also manages the process for notifying residents, employees, and visitors of buildings of activities that could lead to asbestos exposure, including renovation, remediation, or demolition. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) supervises landfill operations. Asbestos waste must be disposed of only in designated landfills, although owners of non-designated landfills can request to accept asbestos-containing materials in some circumstances.
Licensing of Virginia Asbestos Professionals
Virginia asbestos inspectors, abatement specialists, and contractors must be licensed. Asbestos licensing and testing are directed by the Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors, a division of the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The rules and requirements around asbestos licensure are found in Chapter 5 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.
Asbestos Exposure And Mesothelioma In Virginia
Our previous experience representing mesothelioma victims in Virginia is important because it means we are familiar with Virginia job sites where asbestos exposure occurred. Asbestos is a deadly mineral that has been used in thousands of products in multiple industries. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested they increase a person’s risk of contracting an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma.
Our mesothelioma lawyers have helped past Virginia clients identify their asbestos exposures and they are ready to help you and your family as well.
Mesothelioma Cases in Virginia
Between the years of 1999 and 2015, there have been 1,248 Virginia resident deaths from mesothelioma. The state has a relatively high mesothelioma death rate, with about 15 deaths per million people annually. Vermont also has the highest concentration of deaths occurring in the National Capital Region and around Chesapeake Bay.
Natural asbestos deposits have been discovered in at least 24 of Virginia’s counties, with man-made asbestos use in a variety of different industries such as shipbuilding, mining, oil and gas.
The response towards mesothelioma cases in Virginia is promising, however. In March of 2011, a Virginia jury awarded a former shipbuilding worker $25 million in a lawsuit against Exxon after he developed mesothelioma in the 1960s and 1970s working as a shipfitter on multiple Exxon oil tankers.
Other Asbestos Uses in Virginia
Several construction and industrial occupations used asbestos-containing materials as well as protective gear that placed their employees and their families at risk of mesothelioma. Because it can take upwards of 20 years for mesothelioma and asbestos-related complications to arise, many individuals that were exposed to the toxin decades ago could experience health issues now.
Miners, shipyard workers, power plant and mill employees are some of the most prominent types of workers that may have been exposed to asbestos in Virginia.
Asbestos in Virginia
Between 1999 and 2013 Virginia has seen over 6,000 residents die as a result of becoming sick from asbestos exposure. This figure includes over 4,500 people who died from lung cancer, over 1,100 who died from mesothelioma, and more than 700 who died from asbestosis, the scarring of the lungs caused by asbestos fibers. Much of the exposure that led to illness and death occurred where these people worked.
For decades many industries used asbestos without paying any attention to the harm it was causing workers. Nearly all industrial facilities used asbestos in machinery, equipment, buildings, and even protective clothing, mostly to insulate and protect against heat and fire. In Virginia, mining and shipping are big industries and both of these were heavy users of asbestos.
Mining and Naturally-Occurring Asbestos in Virginia
With the Appalachian Mountains running right through the state, Virginia has long been an important area for mining, mostly for mining coal. The state is also home to several natural deposits of asbestos and former asbestos mines and asbestos mine prospects. Even when a mine is not specifically producing asbestos, because there are natural deposits, asbestos can be disturbed by mine activities. This can result in fibers mixing into the air and soil, and even water, and contaminating and exposing workers and anyone living near the mine.
Virginia Asbestos Laws
In Virginia, the Department of Labor and Industry enforces the regulations set by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health department and by federal agencies. The department has to be notified at least ten days in advance of projects removing asbestos from spaces greater than ten square feet. An exception to notification is if the asbestos is non-friable. Any kind of deterioration in the asbestos means that notification is needed before the project can begin. Permits are also required to begin working with or around asbestos, and professionals abating asbestos must be certified.
Cancer Care in Virginia
Getting good medical care after exposure to asbestos is important. If you have been exposed, see your doctor to be screened for any damage it caused and get regular checkups. If you do get a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer, you want to choose the best possible cancer care for the best treatment. In Virginia there are two facilities that have been designated by the National Cancer Institute as comprehensive cancer centers. These facilities have experts in cancer treatment, top treatments, and are working on the latest cancer research: Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and the University of Virginia Cancer Center in Charlottesville.
n the state of Virginia, Hatten and his co-counsel created the Virginia Asbestos Victims, Inc., a non-profit organization to promote the interests of asbestos victims. This organization has successfully lobbied the Virginia General Assembly to change the Virginia statute of limitations so that all asbestos victims would have a fair day in court, and it also succeeded in persuading the Virginia General Assembly to enact numerous other reforms for the benefit of asbestos victims. These reforms include the right to consolidate large numbers of cases for trial to avoid repetitive, expensive and wasteful litigation. In 1986, Hatten received the Virginia Trial Lawyers’ Association’s first award for Courageous Advocacy for his representation of asbestos victims in Virginia, and he served on the Board of Directors of the VTLA for many years. Hatten is a member of the National Trial Lawyers (limited to The Top 100 Trial Lawyers in each state in the nation). In 2010, Hatten was inducted into the International Association of Trial Lawyers (limited by invitation to the Top 500 Lawyers in the World.)
During the past several years, Hatten has continued to win multi-million dollar verdicts for mesothelioma victims in Virginia including $25,000,000 (2011); $5,977,482 (2010); $3,800,000 (2009); $4,390,000 (2008); $9,300,000 (2007); and $10,000,000 (2006). In 2006 Hatten won the landmark case of Jones v. John Crane in the Virginia Supreme Court which established that admiralty jurisdiction and maritime law applied to the claims of all shipyard and Navy asbestos victims. This legal precedent established the rights of family members of mesothelioma victims to receive compensation for the pain and suffering of their loved one after his death, it lessened the burden of proof for establishing liability of asbestos manufacturers, it extended the time allowed for filing asbestos lawsuits and it provides that the liberal remedies of maritime law would control the rights of shipyard and Navy asbestos victims—not state law. For this pioneering work Virginia Lawyers Weekly designated Hatten as one of the top 7 leaders of the law in Virginia for 2007.
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state, and you may be running out of time to file a lawsuit for compensation. That’s why it’s important to learn about your legal options as soon as possible.
Not all lawyers are created equal. Mesothelioma lawsuits are complex and time sensitive. A lawyer with a history of successful asbestos litigation makes the process simple and hassle free, giving you more time to focus on what matters most: Your health and family.
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will handle your case from start to finish and explain your options along the way. They are familiar with other avenues of compensation and will help you make the right decision.
RICHMOND, Virginia – Mesothelioma lawyers from the national asbestos litigation firm of Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK”) are continuing to help Virginia mesothelioma patients and families obtain legal compensation from companies who manufactured, sold or used asbestos-containing products.
Every year, thousands of men and women across the country are diagnosed with mesothelioma, including many in Virginia. Even more are diagnosed with lung cancer and asbestosis. According to statistics compiled by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Virginia ranks thirteenth in the nation in mortality for mesothelioma. All of these asbestos-related diseases could have been prevented if workers had been properly protected from exposure to asbestos.
Due to the presence of sprawling shipyards and numerous power plants, automotive plants, oil refineries other industrial employers throughout Virginia, mill workers, powerhouse employees, insulators, plumbers, laborers, electricians, pipefitters, chemical operators, machinist, boilermakers, engineers and many other trades were routinely exposed to asbestos on a daily basis at their places of employment. Mesothelioma lawyers at LK have extensive experience in investigating these occupational exposures.
Mesothelioma lawyers at LK are experienced in investigating powerhouse worksites. Due to the presence of various pieces of equipment and machinery throughout a power plant, there are many sources of exposure which must be investigated. During your free consultation with an LK lawyer, we will explain the traditional and unique exposures suffered by individuals present at a powerhouse.
Virginia Auto Plants – At one time, many automotive plants were operated throughout Virginia. Companies such as Ford, Volvo, General Motors, ABEX, and Firestone operated manufacturing plants throughout the state, producing different pieces of equipment or components incorporated into automobiles. Individuals present at these worksites were potentially exposed to high levels of asbestos dust on a regular basis. Machinery and products installed throughout these plants commonly contained asbestos. Mesothelioma attorneys at LK will investigate all possible asbestos exposures you or your loved one suffered at a Virginia auto plant.
When present, tiny particles of asbestos can enter the air and be ingested into the body. The mesothelium is the lining which protects the body’s organs. When exposed to asbestos, the healthy cells of the lining are transformed into unhealthy cancerous cells. It is uncertain why this happens, but there is no longer doubt of its cause. As a result, Mesothelioma occurs in the linings of many critical internal organs such as the lungs and heart among others.
Treatment is contingent of what form of Mesothelioma you have, and where exactly the disease is located. The symptoms can be a bit nebulous in nature and difficult to diagnose in the beginning stages of the disease. These symptoms can include anything from abdominal pain to shortness of breath.
There are many current treatments for Mesothelioma such as chemotherapy, radiation and even surgery. However, there is no known cure. The highest incidents of the disease has been found among the asbestos miners who ingested the mineral in vast quantities over sustained periods on the job. The cost for treatment is extreme. If you or a loved one has Mesothelioma as the result of another party’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation to cover treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with disease.
West Virgina Mesothelioma Lawyer
A West Virginia personal injury attorney can help you establish responsibility, and present a case that establishes liability for the cause of your suffering. On some occasions, settlements occur out of court. However, a qualified attorney will ensure you do not settle for less than you deserve. Mesothelioma is a serious disease, and compensation due to another’s failure to act properly should be awarded accordingly.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in Virginia
In Bobby’s hometown of Newport News, nearly one thousand people have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the last thirty-five years. Bobby has represented most of these victims and hundreds of victims who were diagnosed in other Tidewater Virginia hospitals including Hampton, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.
Asbestos is the only cause of malignant mesothelioma. Unfortunately, in the 19th and into the 20th century, asbestos was very popular with manufacturers due to its resistance to heat. Even after asbestos companies learned that it caused mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other lung diseases, they continued to manufacture asbestos products, such as gaskets, packing, pipe covering, asbestos insulated equipment, brake pads, and drywall.
Does Workers Compensation Pay for Asbestos-Related Injuries?
Yes, workers compensation pays for asbestos-related injuries such as mesothelioma. A claim for benefits under workers’ compensation law will be granted where an asbestos-related injury interrupts a period of employment. To succeed in making a claim, a person must present adequate proof of an asbestos-related disease. These types of claims must be filed against the employer who caused the illness. The employer or insurance carrier will be required to pay weekly compensation. In some cases involving an asbestos-related death, the surviving family members of a worker are also sometimes able to obtain compensation under workers’ compensation law. It should be noted that individuals can also pursue a third party lawsuit.
Despite the great reduction in the use of asbestos for certain occupations and products, symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can often be mild for many years until the cancer begins to worsen. This means that even now, there are still many residents of Alexandria, Virginia, who were recently diagnosed by an oncologist and are now seeking the assistance of experienced mesothelioma lawyers. The attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel have years of experience serving the needs of families who are facing new medical expenses because they handled contaminated products or worked at a contaminated jobsite.
If this sounds similar to your situation, then reach out to an asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you file a claim for your occupational or nonoccupational asbestos exposure and start the process of requesting an asbestos settlement.