Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyer
The state of Alabama ranks number 19 for the number of deaths related to asbestos out of all 50 states. It ranks in the top half of states 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 asbestos-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.
Alabama Workplaces That Used Asbestos
There are many locations in the state in which asbestos is known to have been present. Older homes and construction sites, any industrial site, and any workplace within a shipyard or on a ship, even automotive workplaces, could have put workers at risk of asbestos exposure. There are also several locations that have been identified and that are known to have exposed workers. These workplaces caused many to become ill and 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
Alabama Industry and Asbestos
For many years Alabama was 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 in Alabama were at increasing risk of being exposed to asbestos as industrialization 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. This activity continued during and after the second World War as it became an important industrial port.
Ships have been a major 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 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 between 1979 and 2001 because of some type of asbestos illness. Nearly half of those deaths are attributed to mesothelioma.
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, but because mesothelioma is an illness with a long latency period, more people are expected to be diagnosed before that number is reached.
Alabama Asbestos Laws
If you lived and worked in the state and need an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case against a workplace that caused you to get sick from asbestos, it is important to act quickly. Alabama laws regarding the statute of limitations for asbestos cases are complicated, and 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 state’s statute of limitations states that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of experiencing 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 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.
Current regulations on the use of asbestos and workplace practices are in line with federal regulations to help keep workers in the state 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 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 can help you file a lawsuit and take all necessary steps to get you the compensation you deserve. This professional can navigate the legal system for you, make sure you file within the statute of limitations, and help you make your argument while also ensuring you get the medical care you need.
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Page edited by Dave Foster
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