Mesothelioma is one of the worst cancers that you can get. It is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, and most often occurs in the lining of the lungs, also known as the pleura. This cancer also can affect the membranes in the abdominal cavity, heart and testicles. But it is far and away most common around the lungs, and is called in this case pleural mesothelioma.
There are 3,000 or so new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in America every year, making it a very rare cancer. (cancer.org). Unfortunately, pleural mesothelioma is extremely aggressive, painful and treatment options are limited. Most patients do not know they have it until it is very painful to breathe. At that point, there is little doctors can do but administer painkillers. Five year survivability for this form of cancer is less than 5%.
Mesothelioma is an especially frustrating disease because it is almost always preventable. It is caused by exposure to asbestos-containing materials, which were often used in many industries in North Carolina over many decades. Asbestos was used as heat and fire insulation in industries as varied as shipbuilding, railroads and locomotive construction, and power generation. Millions of workers were unknowingly exposed to asbestos at work, and thousands over the decades have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
North Carolina and Asbestos Exposure
From 1999 until 2015, 696 residents of North Carolina passed away from mesothelioma. The state has a mortality rate of six per million from mesothelioma. Also, North Carolina has at least 49 sites that contain asbestos, so people who even live near these sites risk being exposed to the deadly substance. Most of the natural deposits are found in western North Carolina near the Appalachian Mountains. (CDC.gov)
If you worked in mesothelioma in manufacturing, power generation or other heavy industry occupations, you may have been unwittingly exposed to asbestos. If you think you were and you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you would be advised to talk to a mesothelioma attorney about your legal options. You have only a limited amount of time to file a claim after you have been diagnosed.
There are three mesothelioma claim law firms listed at the end of this article that can help to determine if you have a valid legal claim.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is caused almost always by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos is disturbed, processed, mined, etc., millions of tiny, sharp shards billow into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested by anyone nearby. The asbestos shards can get stuck in the lungs or abdomen where over many decades, they can cause genetic mutations and cancer to form. It can be up to 50 years from the exposure until you are diagnosed with the disease. (Cancer.org)
North Carolina Sites of Asbestos Exposure
Many workers in North Carolina faced serious asbestos hazards at work, putting them at major risk of mesothelioma and asbestosis:
Workers who were employed in steel mills over the decades were at high risk of asbestos exposure. Occupations in steel mills ranging from millwrights to furnace operators to welders could come into contact with materials containing asbestos. Steel producing companies used asbestos to protect workers, equipment and machinery from the extremely high temperatures required in steel production. Some of the steel mills in North Carolina that exposed workers to this danger were Nucor Corporation based in Charlotte, and J&H Power Group, Inc.
North Carolina has a lot of Atlantic shoreline, so it has been a natural place for shipbuilding to flourish. Shipyards are thought to be one of the most dangerous sites where asbestos exposure can happen. Asbestos was often used in ships through the 1970s. Workers who built the ships and repaired them all may have been exposed to asbestos. North Carolina Shipbuilding Company was known in particular to use a lot of asbestos in its ship construction.
Many manufacturing sites are located in North Carolina. No matter what products they made, some of them used asbestos in the construction of the buildings, and in the machinery they used along the production lines. Some of the manufacturers in the state that may have used asbestos in their operations were Beacon Manufacturing based in Asheville, Frito Lay in Charlotte, and Gaylord Container in Raleigh.
Fort Bragg is one of the biggest and most important military bases in the US. It is located in Fayetteville. It now has more than 50,000 active duty military. The base was built in 1918, and it continued to grow over the last century. Military based built before the 1970s often contained asbestos in their buildings. That is why military veterans comprise approximately 30% of all diagnoses of mesothelioma.
North Carolina Asbestos Exposure Laws
North Carolina features rules and regulations pertaining to asbestos abatement, asbestos accreditation and asbestos management plans, governed by the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act or AHERA. The state also has additional rules for asbestos permit procedures and accreditation that go above and beyond the federal requirements.
Further, the Asbestos Management Program at the DHHS’s Division of Public Health enforces the state’s asbestos regulations. (BLR.com).
North Carolina Mesothelioma Attorneys
Many workers in the Tarheel State were exposed to deadly asbestos on the job and possibly at home, given the fact there are so many naturally occurring asbestos sites in the state. If you have been diagnosed by a doctor with mesothelioma and think an employer exposed you to asbestos, talk to one of the mesothelioma attorneys below right away.
Crumley & Roberts Attorneys at Law
2400 Freeman Road
Greensboro NC 27406
Crumley & Roberts handles asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits in the Carolinas, and has an excellent track record obtaining compensation for victims so they can get the medical care they so need. They are experienced in asbestos workers compensation claims, third party lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims.
Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen
360 Lexington Ave, 20th Floor
New York NY 10017
This is a specialized asbestos and mesothelioma law firm that has handled hundreds of mesothelioma lawsuits and claims over the years. It is nationally recognized by other law firms for its effective management of these complex legal actions. The firm has represented mesothelioma clients in more than 30 communities in North Carolina, including Asheville, Raleigh and Charlotte. The attorneys here are experts in asbestos liability, litigation and legislation.
Simmons, Hanly and Conroy
One Court Street
Alton IL 62002
This mesothelioma and asbestos claim law firm is in Illinois, but it has handled dozens of cases in North Carolina in the past decade. Simmons, Hanly and Conroy has obtained $5 billion in compensation for personal injury victims over 30 years, and tens of millions of dollars in mesothelioma claim compensation. If you want a highly skilled mesothelioma attorney for your case in North Carolina, call Simmons, Hanly and Conroy for a free consultation today.
- Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality – 1999 to 2015. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a3.htm
- What Causes Mesothelioma? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html
- Asbestos Regulations and Laws in North Carolina. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.blr.com/Workplace-Safety/Hazardous-Substances-and-Materials/Asbestos–in-North-Carolina