Mesothelioma is a painful, deadly cancer of the linings of the internal organs, especially the lungs. According to the American Cancer Society, almost 3,000 new mesothelioma cancer cases are diagnosed annually. This cancer is very hard to treat, and is caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos.
Thousands of workers over the years have been exposed to asbestos in their jobs in Minnesota. The northeastern region of Minnesota has over the years been the home of industries that exposed workers to materials containing asbestos, such as ship building in Duluth, ceiling tile production in Cloquet and mining all through the region.
Mesothelioma Statistics in Minnesota – Worst in Northeast
The state reports the incidence rate of mesothelioma in NE Minnesota is double the rates in other areas of the state for men. (State.mn.us). From 2013 to 21015, there was an average of 56 cases of mesothelioma in men and 18 cases in women diagnosed per year in the state. Over the last decade, the age-adjusted rate of mesothelioma in NE Minnesota is four new cases per 100,000.
If you have worked in an industrial occupation in Minnesota in the past and think you suffered asbestos exposure, you could be entitled to compensation IF you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. Talking to a mesothelioma attorney in Minnesota is a good idea. At the end of this article, we offer contact information for several prominent attorneys who handle mesothelioma cases in Minnesota. Also below is more information about the problem of asbestos exposure in Minnesota and other important information about mesothelioma.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
This deadly cancer of the mesothelium, the protective lining around the organs, is caused by exposure to asbestos. The victim either breathes in or ingests the deadly tiny shards of asbestos that become lodged in the organs. Over many years, the asbestos can cause changes in the body’s DNA, which can cause mesothelioma. (Cancer.org).
Asbestos exposure without protection is dangerous to humans, and many companies in Minnesota knew well the many risks, and still exposed their workers to those risks.
Minnesota Sites of Asbestos Exposure
Several occupations in Minnesota have been at higher risk for asbestos exposure for decades. Most of the reports exposure incidents have been in mining. Asbestos was used often in buildings, machinery and protective suits worn by workers. Other risky occupations in the state include plumbing, power plants, and construction and maintenance.
Road workers in the Duluth area have recently faced exposure to asbestos when they ran into asbestos containing pipes while on road construction projects. Asbestos abatement professionals were called in May 2018 to rid the site of asbestos safely.
According to research done by the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System, asbestos exposure has been higher for miners in Minnesota than the overall population. It was reported by that System that rates of mesothelioma were 70% greater than the state average in the northeastern counties of Minnesota from 1988-94. This part of the state is called the Iron Range. It is a rural part of the state with four huge deposits of iron, with mining going on there since the late 1800s.
Asbestos exposure has been a serious concern for Iron Range miners for years. But there also is a danger of being exposed to taconite at the same time as asbestos. This is a low quality iron ore that fueled the iron industry after the higher quality iron was mined out. Extracting this low quality ore from the taconite rock requires heavy processing that exposes workers to dust and fibers that behave similarly to asbestos.
While the hazards of inhaling and ingesting taconite dust are not conclusive, more than 80 workers in these Minnesota mines have developed mesothelioma. Thousands of others have developed various types of lung cancer, per the University of Minnesota. Currently, the MN Department of Health has been looking at exposure to taconite and asbestos dust to decide which is more likely to cause mesothelioma.
Reserve Mining Company
A lawsuit was filed in Minnesota in 1973 by environmental groups against Reserve Mining Group for the pollution of Lake Superior. The mining company is based in Silver Bay. Reserved Mining Co. processed raw iron ore by separating good ore from other materials. The plant dumped waste rock into Lake Superior at up to 47 tons per minute.
During the lawsuit, the EPA discovered that asbestos-like fibers from the mine and plant contaminated the lake. Duluth residents were horrified to learn that the mining firm was dumping a likely carcinogen into their drinking water.
Eight months into the legal action, the judge on the case issued an order to the company to cease dumping rock into the lake. This decision reduced the nation’s supply of iron ore by 10% and made 3000 workers unemployed. Reserve did appeal the decision and was later allowed to keep dumping waste rock into the lake.
Minnesota has continued to perform studies to determine if the contaminated water in Lake Superior led to any cancers in the population that drank the water in those years. But not all of the studies have been finalized at this time. And, asbestos exposure effects may not be known for years, so the damage that the contamination in Lake Superior did is hard to quantify.
Minnesota Mesothelioma Attorneys
If you are a worker or miner from Minnesota and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition such as mesothelioma, you would be wise to talk to a mesothelioma attorney in your state. Most mesothelioma attorneys provide a no-cost consultation to determine if you have a legal case. Some of the best mesothelioma attorneys in Minnesota to consider are:
Schroeder & Mandel
219 Little Canada Road East
St. Paul MN 55117
Richard Schroeder is a local mesothelioma attorney who is currently accepting new clients in this highly specialized area of the law. He can help Minnesota residents get a better understanding of what their legal rights are regarding asbestos exposure in the state. He offers a free consultation, and you will pay anything unless you win a settlement or verdict.
Shermoen Jaska Law, PLLC
11 East Superior Street #542
Duluth MN 55802
This law firm specializes in cases of mesothelioma in northeast Minnesota, which have been becoming more common in the last 20 years. If you think that you have been exposed to asbestos in taconite mining or paper mills or another industry in Minnesota, this experienced mesothelioma law firm is ready to help you.
Simmons, Hanly and Conroy
One Court Street
Alton IL 62002
Since 1999, this mesothelioma and asbestos exposure law firm has obtained at least $5 billion in settlements and verdicts. Many of them were Minnesotans who suffered from mesothelioma. They have recovered $79 million in settlements for mesothelioma victims just in Minnesota in the past decade. If you are looking for a highly skilled mesothelioma attorney, Call Simmons, Hanly and Conroy for a free consultation today.
- What Causes Mesothelioma? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html
- Mesothelioma Cancer Data in Minnesota. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://data.web.health.state.mn.us/cancer_meso
- Best Mesothelioma Lawyers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mesolawsuitafterdeath.com/legal/best-mesothelioma-law-firms-navy-veterans/