Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyer
The state of Alabama ranks number 19 in terms of numbers of deaths related to asbestos out of all 50 states. It ranks higher on the list for a number of reasons, including industrial workplaces and shipyards that put workers at risks of asbestos exposure. For a long time in Alabama’s history the state relied largely on agriculture. From the 1940s on, however, the economy diversified and industrialized. This time period also coincides with heavy use of asbestos. Many workers in the state have suffered as a result and were diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other related illnesses. If you were exposed in Alabama, you may need to find an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case and seek compensation.
Known Alabama Workplaces with Asbestos
There are many locations in the state in which asbestos could be a problem. Older homes, anything industrial, or any kind of work with ships, even automotive workplaces, could have put workers at risk of asbestos exposure if regulations on safety were not followed. There are also several known locations that exposed workers, caused many to become ill, and were involved in lawsuits for workers to seek compensation:
- McClellan U.S. Army base
- Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery
- Rucker U.S. Army Aviation Base
- S. Army Depot, Anniston
- Redstone Army Arsenal, Huntsville
- Gulf States Steel Mill, Gadsden
- Steiner Shipyard, Bayou La Batre
- Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding, Mobile
- Gulf Shipbuilding, Chickasaw
- Hunt Refining Company, Tuscaloosa
- Republic Steel Corporation, Alabama, City
- S. Pipe and Foundry Co., Birmingham
- Watermans Shipyard, Mobile
- International Paper, Selma and Mobile
Alabama Industry and Asbestos
Alabama was, at one time, a state that relied almost entirely on agriculture. As the U.S. entered World War II, though, the state became an important location for the manufacturing of materials and ship building for the U.S. Navy. After the war the industrializing boom kept growing in the state and oil refineries, shipyards, and factories making all kinds of materials continued to operate in the state.
It was during this time that asbestos was in heavy use in all kinds of industries in the U.S. Thanks to its ability to resist fire, heat, electricity, and most chemicals, as well as being lightweight, but strong, asbestos was useful in many different applications. It was used as insulation in refineries and factories, as fireproofing in ships, and even in cars and airplanes.
Many workers were at risk of being exposed to asbestos as industrialization in the state grew. Pipefitters, sailors and other military workers, shipyard workers, electricians, plumbers, fire fighters, and even the people who did not perform these jobs, but worked in the same industrial settings, were all at risk of asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma or other illnesses.
Mobile and Asbestos in Shipyards
One of the biggest sources of asbestos exposure in Alabama is the shipping industry. Mobile is Alabama’s major port, and situated on the Gulf of Mexico, is one of the biggest most important ports in the U.S. Beginning with World War I, Mobile became a crucial port for building ships for the military, and it continued on after the second World War to be an important industrial port.
Ships have been a major source of asbestos exposure over the years because asbestos was used so extensively in nearly all parts of a ship. Asbestos was particularly well suited for ships because it is light in weight and because it resists fire. Materials used on ships need to add minimal weight and preventing fires is important for crew safety and the integrity of a ship. Both private shipbuilding and repair companies and military installations in Mobile were heavily involved in the use of asbestos and represent a major source of asbestos exposure for the state of Alabama.
Alabama Asbestos and Mesothelioma Deaths
The Environmental Working Group has ranked Alabama 19th out of all 50 states for number of fatalities related to asbestos. As many as 900 people in the state died because of some type of asbestos illness between 1979 and 2001. Nearly half of those deaths are attributed to mesothelioma. Statistics collected for the 2000s have shown that the number of fatalities related to asbestos is not going down. They may be reaching a peak, but because mesothelioma is an illness with a long latency period, more people are expected to be diagnosed as time goes on.
Alabama Asbestos Laws
If you lived and worked in the state and need an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case for a workplace causing you to get sick from asbestos, it is important to act quickly. Alabama laws regarding the statute of limitations for asbestos cases are complicated, but there are definite time limitations. At one time the state limited lawsuits to two years after the last exposure, but this proved problematic. Most people do not even experience symptoms until decades after exposure to asbestos.
Now, the law holds that a suit must be filed within two years of signs of manifest injury. This may still be problematic, though, because the symptoms of mesothelioma are not necessarily troubling until they have become severe. They may be mistaken for symptoms of another illness, so a diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness could be delayed two years or more. An Alabama mesothelioma lawyer may use the strategy of getting a case tried out of state to get around this problem.
Current regulations on the use of asbestos and workplace practices are in line with federal regulations to help keep workers and others safe. For instance, Alabama requires that before any asbestos is removed from an old building a form must be sent to the state to describe what kind of asbestos it is and how it will be removed. Anyone removing that asbestos must also be certified by the state.
Working with an Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyer
In spite of changes that have been made over the years, in Alabama and in other states, to help protect people from asbestos, the material has not been banned, is still in use, and has caused untold harm to many people. If you were made ill because of asbestos in Alabama, a lawyer experienced with asbestos laws can help you file a lawsuit and take all necessary steps to get the compensation you deserve. This professional can navigate the laws for you, make sure you work around statutes of limitations, and help you make your argument while also ensuring you get the medical care you need.
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