Mesothelioma is an aggressive, terminal cancer of the lung linings, and sometimes of the heart, intestines and stomach linings as well. It is nearly always caused by exposure to asbestos at job sites. It is almost always fatal and very painful. Long term exposure to asbestos in the air can lead to major health problems such as mesothelioma, other cancers and asbestosis.
Florida has seen more than its share of mesothelioma lawsuits in the past few decades because of high amounts of asbestos used in some industries in the state. In fact, Florida has suffered 2,801 mesothelioma fatalities from 1999 to 2015, according to national data. The death rate in Florida is approximately nine per million. (CDC.gov).
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lung lining and the linings of other organs. Smoking does not cause mesothelioma, but you can increase your risk of developing it by smoking. Many companies for years in Florida used materials and products made from asbestos. Company owners knew they were exposing workers to deadly asbestos and yet they continued to do so because it was profitable.
Asbestos has been very dangerous in Florida due to its heavy presence in factories, power plants, shipyards and more. The asbestos material features tiny, very sharp fibers that are easily breathed into the lungs. They get stuck there for decades, and in some unlucky patients, mesothelioma can form. (Cancer.org).
Mesothelioma tends to spread throughout the linings of the organs, and is very hard to treat. Many Floridians with this deadly, preventable cancer are unaware they have it until it hurts to breathe. At that point, there is virtually nothing to be done other than administer painkillers.
Florida Sites of Asbestos Exposure
While asbestos does not occur naturally in this state, large amounts of it were delivered here, and many contaminated products were used in construction and other industries. For many decades, many Florida products and buildings have used asbestos. Both Florida workers and residents may have been exposed to the deadly mineral and may be at risk of contracting mesothelioma. Some of the major industries where asbestos was used are:
Because of the large amount of coastal areas in the state on the Atlantic and Gulf sides, Florida has been home to many naval shipyards for decades. Some of them include naval air stations in Mayport, Pensacola, and Jacksonville. Commercial shipyards including the Miami-Dade Drydock also posed a high risk of asbestos exposure to workers because of the huge amounts of the deadly material that was used to build and repair ships.
One of the sites of high asbestos exposure was the Pensacola Naval Yard. It is the major training base for Marine and Navy aviators. It also is the headquarters for the Blue Angels. It is known to have exposed tens of thousands of military personnel and their families to asbestos.
Another is Tampa Bay Shipbuilding, which is the biggest shipyard between Virginia and Mississippi. Asbestos has been found in many components that were used in ships of all kinds and sizes. Many dock workers and shipbuilders probably have been exposed to asbestos in their work.
Florida has a large and growing population, and due to its warm, tropical climate, a strong need for electricity to run air conditioning systems. The power generation facilities in this state are many and have contained high amounts of asbestos to provide insulation against heat and the potential of fires. Companies such as the Florida Power and Light Company, the Lakeland Power Plant and the Crystal River Nuclear Plant all have had documented cases of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma among some workers.
Sugar processing is a major industry in Florida. This led to a lot of asbestos exposure over the years in the Sunshine State. Companies including US Sugar, Florida Cane Products, Atlantic Sugar Association and the Florida Sugar Corporation all have facilities in the state where it is known that asbestos exposure has happened.
Today, Florida has a 125 mile buffer that protects the entire state from oil platforms, but this was not always so. From the 1940s until the 1980s, 19 oil wells were drilled into the coastal waters of Florida. All of them probably contained asbestos in their construction because of the dangerous and volatile nature of oil drilling.
Florida Asbestos Exposure Laws
In the majority of cases, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or FDEP is the agency that handles the enforcement of asbestos regulations in Florida. Their work is guided by the EPA’s National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. Other standard that are important are those promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The FDEP issues harsh fines for companies that fail to with state asbestos regulations. Fines can vary between $500 and $10,000, depending upon the noncompliance and how many earlier violations the company has.
Also, the Florida Asbestos and Silica Compensation Act states the statute of limitations to make a claim for asbestos exposure only starts when the disease is discovered, which is usually confirmed by a medical diagnosis. Because it can take decades for the mesothelioma to develop after exposure, this law helps more Floridians to receive the compensation they deserve.
If your loved one passes away from the disease, you have two years in Florida to file a lawsuit from the date of death.
Florida Mesothelioma Attorneys
Were you a worker and/or resident of Florida and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition? It is advised to talk to an experienced, successful mesothelioma attorney in Florida. These skilled legal professionals can review your case at no charge. Here are some excellent Mesothelioma attorneys in Florida that can help you to determine your legal options:
The Ferraro Law Firm
600 Brickell Avenue #3800
Miami FL 33131
The Ferraro Law Firm focuses on handling the most serious asbestos and mesothelioma cases in Florida. For far too many years, Florida employers ignored the many warning signs and dangers related to asbestos exposure. The mesothelioma attorneys at this law firm have more than 30 years of experience and have recovered billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for their personal injury clients. If you do not win, you do not pay a dime with the Ferraro Law Firm, so you have nothing to lose by contacting their attorneys.
Goldberg, Persky & White P.C.
Detroit Law Office
One Towne Square
Southfield MI 48076
GPW has 40 years of mesothelioma lawsuit experience in Florida, Michigan, and other states. It has a proven record of success in assisting thousands of families in the state to receive the compensation they are entitled to. This firm is one of the few that has made multi-million dollar settlements for mesothelioma cases in Florida and across the country.
Ryes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A.
345 Palermo Ave.
Coral Gables FL 33134
This Florida mesothelioma law firm is known as one of the best in the country. It has received the coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest rating of legal skill based upon the opinions of other attorneys. Its skilled mesothelioma and asbestos attorneys have won million-dollar settlements and verdicts for its clients and is waiting for your call for your free consultation.
- What Causes Mesothelioma? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html
- National Mesothelioma Statistics. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a3.htm
- Best Mesothelioma Lawyers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mesolawsuitafterdeath.com/legal/best-mesothelioma-law-firms-navy-veterans/