Iowa Mesothelioma Lawyer
Iowa mesothelioma lawyers have been helping residents in the state, and those that worked in the state, who were exposed to asbestos and got sick as a result get the justice they deserve. Mesothelioma settlements and asbestos trust funds are available to those who qualify or who can make a case that an employer or other institution was responsible to the asbestos exposure.
Although Iowa ranks lower on the scale of number of asbestos-related deaths as compared to other states, there have been thousands of people who became sick and hundreds who died because of asbestos. These include 397 people between 1999 and 2013 who died from mesothelioma, 114 who died from asbestosis, and more than 1,500 who died from non-mesothelioma lung cancer.
Asbestos in Iowa
The asbestos exposure that led to these people becoming ill and even dying mostly occurred in workplaces. A lot of industries, from chemical production to construction, and so many others, used asbestos for decades before it became well known that this mineral could cause so much harm to human health. Since the 1970s, regulations have been put in place at the federal and state level designed to protect workers and residents from asbestos. However, people are still at risk with asbestos lurking in older buildings, and people who were exposed decades ago could be getting sick now.
Some of the kinds of industries and workplaces that have used asbestos in Iowa and which put workers at risk for exposure include power plants, metal foundries and steel works, construction, demolition, chemical plants, railroad companies, manufacturing, agricultural products manufacturing, rubber processing, insulation manufacturing, and coal and gas companies, among others.
Mining in Fort Dodge
Iowa is also home to natural deposits of asbestos, which can lead to exposure for workers at mining companies, but also for residents living near mines. Fort Dodge, Iowa has been a major site of asbestos exposure over the years 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 asbestos added 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 that mined and manufactured gypsum products from the Fort Dodge mines filed for bankruptcy because of asbestos claims. The company was headquartered 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 sick because of their gypsum products.
Floods, Tornadoes, and Asbestos Exposure
All older buildings, those in Iowa and in any other state, are likely to contain asbestos because the mineral was used extensively in construction before the 1970s regulations were set. 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 a number of 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. It can get into the air, the ground, and water and cause harm when people inhale or ingest it. After a flood, like the major flood that occurred in Iowa in 2008, the major concern is that asbestos materials strewn around the ground will dry out and the fibers will become airborne where they can really do a lot of damage to residents.
Other Sites in Iowa with Asbestos
In addition to Fort Dodge and areas affected by destructive floods and tornadoes, 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,
- American Herbicide Plant, Muscatine
- National Gypsum, Fort Dodge
- Mississippi River Power Company, Keokuk
- Sioux City Coal and Gas, Sioux City
- Taylor Insulation Company, Cedar Rapids
- Whitehead Machinery Company, Davenport
Iowa Asbestos Laws
The use of asbestos, and how people work around it, 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 a demolition, even if no asbestos was found during the survey, notification must also be sent to the state. Workers who must work around 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
Getting the best medical care for mesothelioma and other types of asbestos-related illnesses is crucial. If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos in Iowa, get screened for mesothelioma and other types of cancer regularly and then look for the best cancer centers in the state to help manage your treatment if you are diagnosed with an asbestos disease. There are many great medical centers in the state, but only Holden Comprehensive Care Center has been designated by the National Cancer Institute as a superior location for cancer patients to get care from medical staff with expertise in cancer.
Statute of Limitations
If you have become sick because of exposure to asbestos, make sure you get the best possible medical care. If you are also considering filing a lawsuit against those you believe to be responsible for your exposure, know that there is a statute of limitations that 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.
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 to a court or in a settlement out of court. 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. Lawyers who have the experience are able to win significant amounts for their clients. 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 34 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. The judge awarded them the damages because of the strong case their lawyers were able to make. This is what an Iowa mesothelioma lawyer could do for you, if you have a similar case to make.
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