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South Carolina’s Asbestos History Has Led to High Mesothelioma Rates

high-risk-area navy asbestosCharleston is a bustling seaport in the state of South Carolina, and like many others of its kind, its history includes building and repairing ships of all kinds, and even submarines, for decades. Though this is a point of pride and interest, it has also led to the county in which it is located having the dubious distinction of having one of the nation’s highest rates of asbestos-related mortality. The county rate of 8.8 deaths asbestos-related deaths per 100,000 residents is double that of the rest of the state, as well as the national average, and many of those deaths are from the rare and fatal form of cancer known as mesothelioma. The reason for all of these deaths is exposure to asbestos, which was widely used as insulation in the vessels. It was not until the 1980s that asbestos’ dangers became widely known and its use discontinued, and by then hundreds of workers had been exposed.

In response to the tragedy, South Carolina’s lawmakers passed a bill leading to the creation of special foundations rules for asbestos cases, allowing hearings to be expedited. Unfortunately, with just one judge assigned to hear the cases and aggressive defenses mounted by asbestos companies, many cases waited years before being heard, and victims died before being able to tell their story.

Some of the people diagnosed with mesothelioma have turned to asbestos bankruptcy trusts for compensation for their medical expenses. Though these often pay just a fraction of what a plaintiff may receive in a lawsuit, the process is generally faster and less arduous. But now a bill being considered in the state Senate would make even that process more difficult and time consuming. The bill would require plaintiffs to submit complete lists of all asbestos trust claims as part of the discovery process in a mesothelioma lawsuit. Though proponents of the bill insist that it simply provides transparency, those opposed insist that it is simply giving an opportunity for defendants to accuse a mesothelioma victim of failing to disclose a claim, and thus opening the suit to further extensions. With mesothelioma patients surviving an average of two years after diagnosis, the proposed law would almost guarantee that victims would never see justice.

Despite the actions being taken on behalf of asbestos companies, mesothelioma law firms are still successfully fighting for the rights of victims – and winning. At the mesothelioma law firm of Danziger & De Llano we are passionate about getting those who have been hurt by asbestos the compensation they need and the justice they deserve. We are available to answer any questions you may have at no charge. Call us today.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an experienced blog writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of expertise include health, medical research, and law.

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