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Iowa mesothelioma lawyers help residents who became ill because of asbestos exposure take legal action. Between 1999 and 2017, more than 500 people in Iowa died from mesothelioma, 150 from asbestosis, and more than 2,000 from non-mesothelioma lung cancer.Get Financial Help Now
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How Iowa Mesothelioma Lawyers Help Asbestos Victims
Iowa mesothelioma lawyers work with clients in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Dubuque, Council Bluffs, and other cities.
Iowa workers and residents have come into contact throughout the state. They were put at risk of developing mesothelioma and other related illnesses. Mesothelioma lawyers and asbestos firms help these victims by:
- Providing free initial consultations and answering questions
- Offering representation at no cost until they win
- Using investigators to track down the companies that exposed them
- Building a case to hold those companies accountable
- Taking legal steps to get victims’ compensation
- Maximizing compensation amounts
Am I Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Iowa?
Anyone exposed to asbestos who later got sick in Iowa has a right to take legal action or file for compensation or benefits. An asbestos attorney can help you understand your options and advise your decision. You might qualify for one or more of these actions:
- Personal Injury Lawsuit. You can sue the companies responsible for exposing you to asbestos without warnings or protections.
- Wrongful Death Lawsuit. You can also sue the companies responsible for asbestos exposure if your family member dies from mesothelioma.
- Asbestos Trust Fund. When asbestos companies go bankrupt, they have to set up trusts to compensate victims. You might be eligible to make a claim.
- VA Benefits. Veterans who encountered asbestos during active service may be eligible for one or more VA benefits, including healthcare and disability compensation
Where Was I Exposed to Asbestos in Iowa?
The asbestos exposure that led to people becoming ill and even dying happened mostly in workplaces. A lot of industries, from chemical production to construction and more, used asbestos for decades.
Some of the industries and workplaces that have used asbestos in Iowa, which put workers at risk for exposure, include:
- Power plants
- Metal foundries and steelworks
- Railroad companies
- Agricultural products manufacturing
- Rubber processing
- Insulation manufacturing
- Chemical plants
- Coal and gas companies
Mining in Fort Dodge
Iowa is home to natural deposits of asbestos, which can lead to exposure for workers at mining companies, but also for residents living near the mines.
Many people suffered exposure near Fort Dodge, Iowa because of its gypsum mines and the manufacturing that goes along with mining.
Products made with gypsum often contain contaminating asbestos or may have had added asbestos intentionally. Workers who mined the asbestos around Fort Dodge and who worked in the processing plants were exposed to asbestos.
In 2001, the USG Corporation which mined and manufactured gypsum products from the Fort Dodge mines filed for bankruptcy because of asbestos claims.
The company had headquarters in Chicago, but operated mines and plants around the country, including in Fort Dodge. The company set up an asbestos trust fund to help pay settlements to people who became ill because of their gypsum products.
Iowa Natural Disasters and Asbestos Exposure
All older buildings, those in Iowa and any other state, are likely to contain asbestos because the mineral was used extensively in construction up until national regulations were placed on asbestos use in the 1970s.
This can be a problem anywhere if an older building is demolished or if asbestos materials are damaged during renovation projects; however, in Iowa, there is another major concern: weather and natural disasters.
Iowa has experienced several serious floods and weather events, especially tornadoes, that destroy buildings. When older buildings are destroyed, the asbestos in them becomes exposed and contaminates the surrounding environment. People can inhale or ingest it when it gets into the air, the water, and the ground.
After a flood, like the major flood that occurred in Iowa in 2008, the large concern is that asbestos materials strewn around the ground will dry out. The fibers can then become airborne and do a lot of damage to residents and those involved in cleanup efforts.
Other Sites in Iowa with Asbestos
In addition to Fort Dodge and areas affected by destructive tornadoes and floods, there are many worksites and industrial areas in Iowa known to have asbestos contamination and to have possibly exposed people to harmful asbestos fibers:
- Alcoa Company, Davenport
- DuPont Chemical, Fort Madison
- Fort Neil Army Base, Sioux City
- Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Des Moines
- Iowa Power and Light, Des Moines
- Chevron Chemical Company, Fort Madison
- Sioux City Coal and Gas, Sioux City
- American Herbicide Plant, Muscatine
- National Gypsum, Fort Dodge
- Mississippi River Power Company, Keokuk
- Taylor Insulation Company, Cedar Rapids
- Whitehead Machinery Company, Davenport
Iowa Residents Are Still at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
Because asbestos materials can still be found in older buildings throughout Iowa, some workers and residents are still at risk. If you live in an older home, hire an asbestos professional before doing any renovation work.
It’s not just older homes, though. Staff and students in Cedar Rapids were put at risk of asbestos exposure in school buildings just last year. The district alerted parents that their children could have been exposed for months before the problem was addressed.
Union workers recently alleged unsafe working conditions at the Fort Des Moines Corrections Complex. The workers’ allegations included exposed asbestos in the buildings. These are just a couple of examples of how people in Iowa can still encounter asbestos.
Iowa Laws and Asbestos Precedents That Could Affect Your Claim
It’s so important to have an asbestos firm on your side because the laws can be confusing. Additionally, as cases make their way through the courts, they set precedents that impact future cases. These are some of the laws and cases that set precedents that could affect your compensation:
Statute of Limitations
Make sure you get the best possible medical care if you have become sick because of asbestos exposure. If you are also considering filing a lawsuit against those you believe to be responsible for your exposure, the statute of limitations extends to two years after the time of your diagnosis.
If you have lost a loved one to asbestos illness, you have a period of two years after the time of death to file a lawsuit.
Secondhand Asbestos Exposure and Take-Home Duty
Most people are exposed to asbestos directly and in the workplace. Some people, however, experienced secondhand exposure. This most often occurred when a worker unknowingly brought asbestos fibers home on their clothing, exposing family members.
Some states recognize that asbestos companies had the same duty to warn family members about risks as workers directly exposed. This is known as take-home duty and ensures secondhand victims can also seek compensation.
Unfortunately, Iowa does not recognize take-home duty, limiting a secondhand exposure victim’s ability to take legal action.
The Iowa Supreme Court set the precedent in a 2009 case involving a woman who died of mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos on her husband’s work clothing.
The Supreme Court said the husband’s employer and their asbestos suppliers had no duty to extend the warning of asbestos risks to family members of employees.
Tort Reforms Loosened
In recent years, Iowa legislators passed laws restricting victims’ abilities to sue over asbestos exposure. One law, in particular, stated that a defendant in an asbestos case cannot be liable for a product or part made or sold by a third party.
This law led to some cases being dismissed in lower courts. But in good news for asbestos victims, higher courts are overturning those dismissals.
One case came from the family of Charles Beverage, who worked at an Alcoa plant in Bettendorf and died from mesothelioma in 2015. A court dismissed the case filed by his children due to the tort reforms.
However, they persisted and took the case to the Iowa Supreme Court. The Court decided that the dismissals were not in the spirit of the law and that the restriction should not apply to workplace safety.
The Beverage family and others are now able to continue their cases against past employers and asbestos manufacturers.
Iowa Asbestos Safety Regulations
Iowa laws also seek to protect current residents and workers from existing asbestos in older buildings. Asbestos use is regulated by state laws in Iowa through the Department of Natural Resources.
Before any building can be demolished or renovated, an asbestos survey must be done by a professional who has been licensed through the state. If asbestos is found, notification of any renovation project must be sent to the state.
For any demolition, even if no asbestos was found during the survey, notification must also be sent to the state. Workers must be near asbestos have to be specially trained, as laid out in the state law that passed in 1984, called the Asbestos Removal and Encapsulation Act.
Cancer and Mesothelioma Centers in Iowa
For anyone who has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, getting top-notch medical care is essential. While there are many great doctors and hospitals in Iowa, only Holden Comprehensive Care Center has been designated by the National Cancer Institute as a location for the best care for cancer patients, including those with mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos in the state, talk to your doctor about screenings for cancer and consider contacting the experts at Holden.
Finding an Iowa Mesothelioma Lawyer
To make sure you do not miss your opportunity to win justice or compensation for your asbestos-related illness, rely on the expertise of an Iowa mesothelioma lawyer. With this professional guidance, you will be able to make the best case in court or an out-of-court settlement agreement.
A knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer not only understands state laws regarding asbestos but also has experience winning cases for people like you. As you look for your Iowa mesothelioma lawyer, make sure you seek out a legal team that has won asbestos cases in the past.
This also goes for wrongful death cases. Experienced asbestos attorneys can help you win significant compensation. As an example, plaintiffs won $4 million in compensatory damages in Iowa for a deceased loved one. The man died of mesothelioma in 2008 after working for thirty-four years with boilers made by Weil-McLain.
The plaintiffs filed the wrongful death suit claiming that it was these boilers that had made him sick. Their experienced legal team was able to make the case in court and prove that Weil-McLain was negligible.
Because of the strong case their lawyers were able to make, the judge awarded them the damages. If you have a similar case to make, this is what an Iowa mesothelioma lawyer could do for you.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.