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Alabama mesothelioma lawyers help the many victims of asbestos exposure seek justice and make asbestos claims. Alabama ranks 19th for the number of deaths related to asbestos out of all fifty states. For a long time in Alabama’s history, the state relied mainly on agriculture, but from the 1940s, the economy industrialized, leading to asbestos exposure in many workers.Get Financial Help Now
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Attorney Lawrence Holcomb – Leading Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyer
Lawrence Holcomb’s dedication to protecting the rights of mesothelioma victims has deep roots. He first learned of the dangers of asbestos as a young man when his family founded a company specializing in the safe removal of carcinogenic material. After years of working as a licensed asbestos abatement supervisor, a licensed RRP (Renovation, Repair, and Painting) instructor, and a NIOSH 582 microscopist, he pursued his law degree to use his extensive expertise to help those harmed by the toxic material. Today, he helps people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases. He also helps maximize the compensation victims receive from those responsible for their asbestos exposure.
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Alabama
- Cumberland School of Law, Juris Doctor
- University of Alabama, B.S.
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS
- American Bar Association
- Alabama State Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Association
Alabama Office Location:
Mobile Mesothelioma Law Office
11 N. Water Street, 10th Floor
Mobile, AL 36602
Phone: (251) 237-8340
How Do I File an Asbestos Claim in Alabama?
Victims of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma have legal rights. Unfortunately, Alabama courts do not have a history of favoring victims. This doesn’t mean you can’t get justice and compensation. The best way to make a claim is to work with an experienced asbestos attorney in the state.
Many workers and their families throughout Alabama suffered from asbestos exposure. From job sites in Mobile, Huntsville, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and military bases like Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker, innocent victims encountered harmful asbestos.
Those people now have options when it comes to filing an asbestos claim in Alabama:
- Personal injury claim. If companies responsible for exposing you to asbestos still exist and operate, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Most such claims end in settlements, but some go to court and result in jury verdicts and awards.
- Asbestos trust claim. If the company responsible went bankrupt, they likely set up an asbestos trust fund to compensate victims. You can file a claim to get your share.
- VA claim. If your exposure occurred during military service, the VA offers several options for claims and compensation.
Please keep in mind that you need expert legal advice before selecting and pursuing any of these options. Talk to an attorney with experience representing Alabama asbestos victims.
What Are Alabama’s Asbestos Laws?
Several laws in Alabama affect victims of asbestos exposure and aim to protect any more people from exposure.
Statute of Limitations
If you lived and worked in the state and need an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer, it is important to act quickly. Alabama laws regarding the statute of limitations for asbestos cases are complicated, with definite time limitations.
The state’s statute of limitations indicates that a plaintiff must file a lawsuit within two years of experiencing signs of manifest injury. The law is problematic because the symptoms of mesothelioma are not necessarily troubling until they have become severe.
They can be mistaken for symptoms of another illness, so a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease can easily 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.
Secondhand asbestos exposure often occurred when a worker brought asbestos fibers home on their body and clothing. Some spouses and children later developed mesothelioma because of exposure to those fibers. Whether the company is liable for secondhand cases of exposure varies by state.
An Alabama court ruled that companies are liable in these cases. This means that the state recognizes take-home duty, that the company had a duty to warn families of the risks of asbestos exposure.
The decision came during a case in which an Alabama woman sued the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for her secondhand exposure and mesothelioma. Her husband worked at a TVA nuclear power plant and brought fibers of asbestos home on his clothes, which his wife laundered.
The TVA tried to dismiss the case under Alabama law at the time. The Eleventh Circuit Court ruled in 2017 in favor of the victim and found TVA liable for her illness. This set a precedent for future victims of secondhand asbestos exposure.
Alabama’s contributory negligence law does not favor victims. It states that in cases of personal injury, a company can avoid liability if the victim is partially responsible for the injury.
Even if the victim’s responsibility is partial, this law can bar them from recovering any damages. This is just one reason that asbestos victims need experienced lawyers on their side when making a claim.
Asbestos Safety Laws in Alabama
Current regulations on asbestos use and workplace practices are in line with federal regulations to help keep workers 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 the asbestos must also be certified by the state.
Examples of Successful Asbestos Claims in Alabama
Despite the laws that favor defendants in these cases, asbestos lawyers have been successful in getting justice and compensation for their clients:
- $3.5 Million. The TVA case that set the precedent for take-home duty resulted in a $3.5 million judgment for Barbara Bobo who ultimately died of mesothelioma. She washed her husband’s asbestos-laden work clothes for years.
- $115.6 Million. A group of 21 U.S. Steel workers sued the company and others over their asbestos diseases resulting from working in a Birmingham plant. A jury awarded the group over $100 million finding the companies grossly negligent for the exposure.
- $450,000. In 1995, four victims of exposure from asbestos insulation sued and won awards from Owens-Corning. The company made Kaylo, a brand of asbestos insulation. Each victim received $100,000, while two spouses also won $25,000 each.
Where Could I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos in Alabama?
There are many locations in the state in which asbestos is known to have been present. Asbestos was often used in older homes and construction sites, any industrial site, and any workplace within a shipyard or on a ship, even automotive workplaces.
Any of these could have put workers at risk of asbestos exposure. Several locations have been identified that exposed workers. These workplaces caused many illnesses and eventually were targeted in lawsuits brought by 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
How Alabama Industries Used Asbestos
For many years, Alabama relied almost entirely on agriculture. As the U.S. entered World War II, though, the state became an important location for manufacturing materials and shipbuilding 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.
During this time, 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. Asbestos was useful in many different applications. Asbestos was used as insulation in refineries and factories, as fireproofing in ships, and even in cars and airplanes.
Many workers in Alabama were at increased risk of being exposed to asbestos as industrialization grew. Pipefitters, sailors and other military workers, shipyard workers, electricians, plumbers, firefighters faced high risks of exposure.
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 most significant sources of asbestos exposure in Alabama is the shipping industry. Mobile is the principal port and is situated on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s of the biggest and most important ports in the U.S.
Beginning with World War I, Mobile became a crucial port for building ships for the military. This activity continued during and after World War II as it became an important industrial port.
Ships have been a significant source of asbestos exposure over the years because the mineral was used so extensively in nearly all of a ship’s materials and parts. Asbestos was particularly well suited for vessels because it is light in weight and because it resists fire.
Materials used on ships need to add minimal weight, and preventing fires is essential for crew safety and the integrity of a vessel. Both private shipbuilding and repair companies and military installations in Mobile put workers at risk. They were heavily involved in the use of asbestos and represent a major source of asbestos exposure for the state of Alabama.
Alabama Veterans and Asbestos Claims
Veterans exposed to asbestos cannot sue the military or government, but they are often eligible for benefits and compensation. A lawyer or Veterans Service Officer (VSO) can help victims determine eligibility and file claims.
If you are a veteran with an asbestos disease, contact VSOs at the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars offices in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Decatur, and other Alabama locations.
You can also find Veterans Benefits Administration offices in Montgomery and at the Fort Rucker, Maxwell Air Force Base, and Redstone Arsenal locations in the state.
Alabama Asbestos and Mesothelioma Deaths
The Environmental Working Group has ranked Alabama 19th out of all fifty states for the number of fatalities related to asbestos. As many as 3,845 people in the state died between 1999 and 2017 because of an asbestos illness.
Statistics collected for the 2000s have shown that the number of fatalities related to asbestos in Alabama is not going down. The number of deaths may be reaching a peak. Still, because mesothelioma is an illness with a long latency period, more people are expected to be diagnosed before that number is reached.
How Do I Find an Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyer Near Me?
In spite of changes made over the years to help protect people from asbestos, the material has not been banned. It’s still in use in some applications and still has the potential to cause harm. If you became sick because of asbestos in Alabama, a lawyer experienced with the state’s asbestos laws could help you file a lawsuit.
Look for firms and lawyers who have proven experience helping asbestos victims. Because Alabama laws often favor defendants, you need this expertise on your side.
The right asbestos attorney will take all the necessary steps to get you the compensation you deserve. This professional can navigate the legal system for you, make sure you submit within the statute of limitations, and help you make your argument while also ensuring you get the medical care you need.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Rod De Llano was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics, and earned a law degree from the University of Texas. After working for an international law firm for several years, Rod formed a law firm dedicated to representing persons injured by exposure to asbestos products. For over 20 years, Rod has fought for persons diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. His clients have recovered over $1 billion over the years.