Mesothelioma is a terrible cancer of the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart that is caused only by exposure to asbestos. The lungs are the most commonly affected by mesothelioma, which is called pleural mesothelioma. The tiny asbestos particles are breathed into the lungs by the millions day by day and become lodged in the lung tissue. After many years, scarring and cancer can occur.
The American Cancer Society reports there are 3,000 new mesothelioma cases annually. While it is rare cancer, it is among the deadliest; most victims are diagnosed in the late stages and may not live more than a year. (Cancer.org)
Alabama and Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos exposure mostly occurs on the job. Residents who do not work around asbestos-containing products generally do not have a high risk of asbestos exposure.
Naturally occurring asbestos deposits in the state lie near the border with Georgia. Some asbestos deposits in this area were mined, but not heavily.
However, it was very common for many manufacturing and industrial companies in Alabama to use asbestos for its heat and fire-resistant properties. It was often used for insulation and to prevent many dangerous chemical reactions. People who worked in manufacturing and industrial settings, such as construction and factory work, had a higher chance of being exposed to asbestos before it became tightly regulated in the 1970s. (asbestos.com)
What Causes Mesothelioma?
The only cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. The question comes down to where and how the victim was exposed to the carcinogen. Mesothelioma usually occurs decades after the person is exposed to the asbestos. Invisible asbestos particles are breathed into the lungs or swallowed into the digestive system. Some of those particles become stuck in delicate body tissue, which leads to scarring. After many years, some people undergo DNA changes and it leads to pleural mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma. (Cancer.org).
Alabama Sites of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos was once often used in Alabama shipyards, power plants, steel mills, and other industrial settings. Anyone who was employed by the government, military, manufacturing or construction fields could be at risk for asbestos exposure, especially before 1980.
Government and Shipping
Government facilities in Mobile and NASA buildings in Huntsville often were built with asbestos. Unprotected workers were exposed to asbestos during the construction and renovation of these properties. Also, employees at the Alabama Drydock and Shipping Company in Mobile have filed personal injury lawsuits against the shipyard for exposing them to asbestos.
Veterans who were employees at Fort McClellan, a training installation for the Army in Anniston were at high risk of asbestos exposure and other dangerous substances. Fort McClellan was the home of the Chemical Corps and its school, which trained the military in chemical warfare. The soil and water supply there was contaminated with toxic waste and asbestos waste, which may have exposed some military members to mesothelioma dangers.
Factory and steelworkers in Fairfield, Birmingham, Ensley, and Irondale risked exposure to asbestos. Thousands of tons of raw asbestos from the notorious vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana were delivered to US Steel Corporation plants, as well as Zonolite exfoliation factories in these cities until 1980. Asbestos exposure in facilities that worked in Zonolite exfoliation was very high because they processed the raw ore in a way that produced high amounts of contaminated dust.
Workers who were employed at Shook and Fletcher, an insulation maker based in Birmingham, faced heavy asbestos exposure until 1980. The firm used asbestos insulation from the 1950s to 1970s. The company was forced into bankruptcy in 2002 because of many asbestos lawsuits.
The Birmingham News in 2004 printed several reports on bad asbestos problems in Alabama. One story mentioned how Rock Wool Manufacturing, a cement company based in Leeds, added dangerous asbestos to its products to make it bond better. When unprotected employees handled the product, they were exposed to asbestos. The company has been hit with more than 140,000 asbestos lawsuits because of asbestos exposure.
Sports and Entertainment
A 2010 report in the Huntsville Times stated that workers found heavy asbestos contamination during work on the Von Braun Center. The assistant director of the sports and entertainment facility noted that workers had found asbestos in four parts of the building. Crews also said they found asbestos dust in ductwork, in tiles and exterior panels.
Many schools in the state have had to take asbestos out of their buildings. In 2017, several schools said they planned to remediate or remove asbestos-containing materials, including asbestos piping and pipe insulation.
Alabama Jobsites with Asbestos Exposure
Some of the companies and sites in Alabama that have been confirmed to have asbestos present are:
- Rock Wool Manufacturing
- Alabama Power Plant
- Ingalls Steel Construction Co.
- Gulf States Paper Mill
- Union Carbide Chemical Plant
- Farley Nuclear Plant
Tornadoes in Tuscaloosa
In April 2011, there were several deadly tornadoes in Tuscaloosa that exposed thousands of residents to asbestos that had lain dormant in buildings for more than half a century when the use of asbestos was very high. The tornadoes that swept through Tuscaloosa were some of the biggest incidents of asbestos exposure in modern history. It was estimated that at least 6,000 buildings were damaged in the storms, with most of them containing asbestos.
Alabama Asbestos Exposure Laws
Alabama state laws once made it hard for mesothelioma victims to file claims against the organizations that caused their asbestos exposure. Alabama once had a ‘last exposure rule’ that had just a one-year statute of limitations on people who were filing asbestos lawsuits. This meant that asbestos exposure victims could file a claim only within one year of their last asbestos exposure, no matter when they were diagnosed with cancer.
This prevented most victims from filing lawsuits because most people did not know about their disease until decades after their asbestos exposure.
The law has been changed to the more reasonable ‘discovery rule.’ The one-year statute of limitations goes into effect on the date that the victim discovers they have mesothelioma.
Alabama Mesothelioma Attorneys
Many workers in Alabama’s industrial and manufacturing economy were exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma. If you think you were exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Alabama, it is recommended that you speak to one of the skilled mesothelioma attorneys below.
Keahey Law Firm
1 Independence Plaza #612
Birmingham AL 35209
The Keahey Law Firm has offices in Birmingham and Mobile, and work to get the best cash settlement for victims of mesothelioma and asbestosis. For more than two decades, these lawyers have helped people who have become ill and their loved ones.
Morris, King & Hodge P.C.
200 Pratt Avenue NE
Huntsville AL 35801
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge are here to help you. Their attorneys are very familiar with the legal angles of pursuing a claim for mesothelioma victims. The firm is recognized as one of the best personal injury law firms in the country, and they are ready to help you if you have a mesothelioma diagnosis.
The Dilorenzo Law Firm LLC
2545 Highland Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35205
The Dilorenzo Law Firm LLC has handled many mesothelioma cases throughout Alabama and the southeastern US. They have the experience to help you getting justice for your asbestos-related injury. They also have the resources available to take large companies responsible for asbestos exposure all the way through trial if necessary. See all Birmingham Mesothelioma Lawyers.
Alabama Cities with Known Asbestos
- Phenix City
- Vestavia Hills
Alabama Mesothelioma Get Legal Help Now
With over $30 billion available for Alabama victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial mesothelioma victim compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll free (800) 352-0871