Asbestos use has created a tragedy of illness in hundreds of thousands of American families. The Texas Department of State Health Services (TSHS) explains, “Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of Fibers. These Fibers can be separated into thin, durable threads that are flexible enough to be spun and woven. They are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals, and do not conduct electricity.” Because of these features, asbestos has had many industrial uses since the late 1800s. A study published by The Mesothelioma Center in 2017 revealed the annual global death rate caused by asbestos exposure is 237,000. Another study published in 2018 by The Mesothelioma Center reported asbestos-related diseases killed 39,275 people in the United States and 222,321 people across the globe in 2016. Here are some breakdowns from the 2018 report:
Asbestos related Disease Number of Deaths in 2016 Number of Global Deaths in 2016
- Lung Cancer 34,270 181,450
- Mesothelioma 3,161 27,600
- Ovarian Cancer 787 6,022
- Laryngeal Cancer 443 3,743
- Asbestosis 613 3,495
Other asbestos-related diseases include, but are not limited to:
- Pleural Effusions
- Pleural Plaques
- Diffuse Pleural Thickening
The deaths and injuries caused by asbestos exposure have been called one of the largest human-made epidemics in U.S. history. Tragically, this epidemic could have been prevented, if companies hadn’t knowingly concealed the dangers of asbestos exposure.
California, New York, and Illinois are among the top states with the most lawsuits for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Between 1998 and 2000, more asbestos lawsuits were filed in Texas than in any other state.
How You Can Be Exposed to Asbestos?
The Texas Department of State Health Services explains, “In order for an exposure to occur, material containing asbestos must be disturbed in some way that would release the fibers.” This could be “when doing home maintenance, repairs, and/or remodeling, if building materials inside the home contain asbestos.” Another way could be “ the demolition of older buildings that contain asbestos products.” Texas Department of State Health Services states that exposure to asbestos fibers could also happen on the job, “through inhalation in workplaces that make or use asbestos products or mine for asbestos.” Not only is the family member that is working in these spaces at risk, but also their family members as “Family members of asbestos workers can also be exposed to higher levels of asbestos if fibers are carried home on the workers’ clothing.” TSHS concludes that while many people are “exposed to asbestos in the air, most people do not become ill from these low level exposures. Health effects from asbestos exposures are seen in people who are exposed to asbestos on a regular basis, most often in a job setting.”
Asbestos Exposure in Texas
There are 6 naturally occurring asbestos deposits in the state of Texas. Yet, exposures causing asbestos related diseases and mesothelioma are mostly caused due to repeat exposures, like those in the workplace settings. Specific industries such as, but not limited to the following are known for using asbestos products:
- Oil Refining – Oilfield Brake Block Repair
- Power Generation
- Chemical Processing
- Metal Works
- Insulation Installation
- Construction – Renovation & Demolition
- Automotive Repair
- Building and Equipment Maintenance
- Sheet Gasket Use
Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to Texas Workers
- In 2013, a Dallas jury awarded $11 million to a painter who developed mesothelioma after working with asbestos products during the construction of malls, skyscrapers, and homes.
- In 2012, a Dallas County jury awarded $8.4 million to the state of a Dow Chemical refinery worker who developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos-containing pipes.
- In 2011, a Dallas jury awarded $9 million to the widow of a refinery worker who developed mesothelioma after working with asbestos insulation as a contract employee for Dow Chemical.
- In 2002, a Texas jury awarded $11.6 million to a man who developed mesothelioma after working with Georgia-Pacific drywall joint compound during his employment at Knox Glass Company.
- In 2001, a jury in Orange, Texas, awarded $130 million to 5 plaintiffs who developed asbestos-related diseases after exposure to products made by NARCO and Dresser during their employment at a pipe plant in Birmingham, AL.
Mesothelioma and asbestos exposure lawsuits can provide compensation for medical and travel expenses, pain and suffering related to the illness and can give the security of a better financial future for your loved ones.
An experienced mesothelioma and asbestos exposure attorney at Herrman & Herrman can help you decide whether to move forward with a lawsuit and help to guide you through the entire process.
Asbestos Companies Knew the Risks
Despite medical reports published in 1942 exposing the risks of asbestos exposure, many companies continued to manufacture and sell asbestos products. They continued to expose workers to the asbestos without providing proper protective gear to prevent inhalation of the toxic fibers. Get more information here.
Companies Known For Asbestos Lawsuits:
- Air & Liquid Systems Corporation
- AK Steel Corporation
- Allied Manufacturing Company
- American Export Lines, Farrell
- American Optical Corporation
- Anheuser-Busch Llc
- Apex Oil Company
- At&T Corp.
- Bayer Corporation
- Boeing Company
- Brake Parts Inc. Llc
- Caterpillar Inc.
- CBS Corporation
- Central Electric Power Cooperative
- Certain-Teed Corporation
- Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
- Colgate-Palmolive Company
- Conocophillips Company
- Crane Co.
- Cummins Inc.
- Daimler Trucks North America
- Deere & Company
- Drilling Specialities Company
- Eaton Corporation
- Electric Boat Corporation
- Exxon Mobil Corporation
- Fisher Scientific Company
- Ford Motor Company
- General Electric Company
- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
- Gould Electronics Inc.
- Hennessy Industries Inc.
- Hill Brothers Chemical Company
- Honeywell International Inc.
- Industrial Holdings Corporation
- Ingersoll-Rand Company
- International Paper Company
- IPA Systems, Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson
- Kelly Moore Paint Company Inc.
- Kerr Corporation
- Kohler Company
- Kraft Foods Global Inc.
- Lennox Industries Inc.
- Mack Trucks Inc.
- Marathon Oil Company
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Co
- Nissan North America, Inc.
- Occidental Petrolium Corporation
- Pep Boys
- Pfizer Inc.
- Rockwell Automation Inc.
- Shell Oil Company
- Sherwin-Williams Company
- Sunoco Inc.
- Texaco Inc.
- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
- Union Pacific Railroad Company
- United States Steel Corporation
- And many more!
About Mesothelioma Lawsuits
If you or your loved one is suffering from mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease, an asbestos exposure lawsuit can help you get justice for your illness and grant you the peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of.
Types of Mesothelioma or Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits
Mesothelioma and asbestos exposure lawsuits fall under personal injury or wrongful death claims.
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related illness, you may have a personal injury lawsuit. If you lost a loved one to mesothelioma or an asbestos-related illness you may have a wrongful death lawsuit. The steps for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit are dependent on the type of claim filed.
Mesothelioma or Asbestos Exposure Personal Injury Lawsuit
A mesothelioma or asbestos exposure personal injury lawsuit allows the injured victim to seek compensation from the company or companies responsible for the asbestos exposure. Compensation for a mesothelioma lawsuit trial can be in the millions.
When a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos-related illness, they need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company or companies responsible for exposing them to asbestos. Asbestos liability is usually based on companies’ failures to warn employees and consumers about the dangers linked to inhaling the toxic mineral. If the lawsuit is successful, the victim receives compensation for their injury.
Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If a family member or loved one has passed away due to mesothelioma or an asbestos related disease, the estate may file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost income. Similarly, if a victim files a personal injury lawsuit but passes away before it is resolved, the estate may continue to move forward with claim. When compensation is awarded in wrongful death lawsuits, the estate is the recipient.
Am I Eligible to File an Asbestos Lawsuit?
To file a mesothelioma or asbestos-related lawsuit, you need documentation of the diagnosis. This would include any medical reports from the hospital or medical center where you or your loved one was treated. You must also have documentation to show the asbestos exposure history that caused the illness. This can be anything from employment records to detailed descriptions and testimony about the exposure.
Alternatively, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a loved one to mesothelioma or asbestos related disease. You would serve as the representative of your loved one’s estate.
You are able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit outside of the state in which you live depending upon the details of your case. An experienced mesothelioma attorney at Herrman & Herrman can help you and your family decide the best way to file your asbestos claim. According to an industry report, over 3,600 mesothelioma claims were filed across the U.S. in 2020.
How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit:
1. Choose an Attorney
The first step is choosing an attorney that has experience in asbestos litigation. Herrman & Herrman attorneys will provide you with a free consultation to talk about your case and go over your legal options.
2. Case Review and Preparation
You’ll meet with your attorney so he/she can gather information from you about your asbestos exposure history, work history, and medical history. This is considered the “case review process.” You will work closely here with your attorney here and add additional testimony for your case. Your attorney will then research what claim and compensation options best fit your needs. In both a personal injury lawsuit and wrongful death lawsuit, a skilled attorney will prepare all the documentation needed to support your claim.
3. Filing The Mesothelioma Lawsuit
After all the information is gathered, your attorney will file the lawsuit on your behalf and will handle all the legal proceedings. All settlement offers will be brought to you for your approval, however your attorney will be there to offer advice on whether to take the settlement or continue negotiations for additional compensation. Your attorney cannot make any decisions on acceptance/denial without your approval.
4. Responses & Discovery
Each defendant in your lawsuit will get a copy of the complaint. They will have a specified amount of time (this is usually 30 days) to respond. It’s rare for a defendant to admit fault. More times than not, defendants will deny the claims and argue the complaint is not valid or they contend that someone else is responsible for your exposure to asbestos. Your attorney will handle the responses to the defendant/defendant’s attorney. Here, Lawyers from both sides will gather more information and participate in depositions. This is information and evidence that may be used in a trial. You could be asked to participate in a videotaped deposition to answer questions under oath from the defendants’ lawyers. This can usually be done at your home and under the guidance of your attorney.
5. Settlement or Trial
Before any trial starts, Defendants can offer to settle the case by offering money. If you decline a settlement offer, your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to come up with a settlement amount you want. If your case does go to court, you may not be required to appear. If you win the trial, and the defendant does not appeal, you can expect to start receiving payments a few months after the verdict.
If you win the trial, defendants can choose to file an appeal. There is a limited amount of time to file an appeal, usually between 30 and 190 days from the time the verdict is given. This will delay any monetary award, but defendants are required to post “bond” for the amount awarded for the duration of the appeal proceedings. If the defendant loses the appeal, you will start receiving payments. If the defendant wins the appeal, the defendant may end up paying a lesser amount or nothing at all.
How Long Does a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Take?
The legal process for an asbestos-related lawsuit may depend on the health of the plaintiff. If you are in poor health, the process may be expedited. If there is no urgency, the process can take several months or more. In most cases, the defendant will attempt to delay progress of the case. Your attorney will work to resolve your case as quickly as possible. Your attorney will handle each step and keep you informed so that you can spend the time with your loved ones.
How Much Do Mesothelioma Lawyers Cost?
Mesothelioma lawyers at Herrman & Herrman work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that your attorney gets paid, if you accept a settlement or win your lawsuit. When you settle or win your case, a percentage of the award is paid to the lawyer. If you do not get compensation, you pay no attorney fees.
Contact Texas Attorneys Investigating Asbestos Exposure
If you have questions about whether you or a loved one has a mesothelioma or asbestos exposure case, call us for a free initial consultation and explanation of your legal rights.
The attorneys at Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. offer more than 100 years of legal experience in representing people who have been harmed by unsafe products. Our legal team is ready to fight hard for the full compensation that you will need after an asbestos related diagnosis.