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New Jersey has a long and terrible history of asbestos use, exposure, and illnesses. The Garden State ranks in the top ten out of all 50 states for the highest number of asbestos-related deaths. Between 1999 and 2013 over 9,000 people died because of asbestos exposure and resulting illnesses, including 1,679 deaths caused by mesothelioma. The state has a large number of natural deposits of asbestos, but overwhelmingly the exposure can be blamed on industry.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in New Jersey, while on the job or in another way, and then you became sick with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may want to file a lawsuit. Follow the example of others and choose a New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case and get you the justice you deserve.
Asbestos in New Jersey
The most common way people are exposed to asbestos anywhere is on the job. Nearly every industrial job, from working in a power plant to a factory line, put workers at risk for asbestos exposure. New Jersey has a long history of industry, which made it an economic powerhouse, but which also sickened thousands of people. New Jersey’s many ports and shipyards have been yet another source of asbestos exposure.
Although no asbestos mining took place in the state, naturally-occurring asbestos may have put residents at risk of exposure. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 38 recorded occurrences of natural asbestos in New Jersey, more than any other state on the east coast. This asbestos can cause harm if it is disturbed during construction projects or roadbuilding.
Johns Manville, Manville New Jersey
The Johns-Manville Corporation, today known just as Johns Manville, used asbestos in many of its products, including insulation and construction materials. The company had factories around the country and for decades workers in all of them worked with and around asbestos and were put at risk of becoming sick.
New Jersey was a hotspot for the company and even has a town named for it, Manville. A large factory there employed many residents. The facility, which shut in 1982, exposed workers years ago. Today, the legacy of the factory can be seen in the many residents who now live with asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. The site had to be carefully cleaned up, during which some of the buildings were remodeled and reopened as new facilities, like movie theaters.
In 2014, several families won a lawsuit over the wrongful deaths of loved ones who either worked for Johns Manville in New Jersey or whose family members worked for the company and brought asbestos contamination home. The families won over $90 million to be paid by the companies that provided Johns Manville with asbestos between the 1950s and the 1980s.
W.R. Grace Vermiculite Processing
Another big industry in New Jersey that led to major asbestos exposure was vermiculite processing. This natural mineral can be used in many of the same ways as asbestos, and it is often contaminated with asbestos. From the 1950s to 1990s, the W.R. Grace mine in Libby, Montana produced vermiculite that contained asbestos. It was shipped around the country to processing facilities, including seven in New Jersey, where workers were exposed to asbestos as a result.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of this contaminated vermiculite made its way to these plants. Some of them were named Superfund sites by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the site at Wayne, New Jersey. It took nearly three decades to clean this site, and now it is being redeveloped into park space and public lands.
Other Sites of Asbestos Exposure in New Jersey
New Jersey is a major region for industry and manufacturing. Sites like the vermiculite facilities and Johns Manville factories were among the worst for asbestos exposure, but many other industrial workplaces and even public buildings in the state are known to have contained asbestos, used asbestos, and exposed people to asbestos. Some of these are:
- Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Hoboken
- Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Kearney
- McGuire Air Force Base, Wrightstown
- Toms River Chemical Corporation, Toms
- U.S. Naval Air Station, Lakehurst
- New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden
- New Milford High School, New Milford
- New Jersey Training School, Totowa
- Ridgewood High School, East Orange
- New Jersey State Reformatory, Bordentown
- Hercules Powder Company, Gibbstown
Asbestos Laws in New Jersey
Several state departments and agencies enforce both federal and state asbestos laws in New Jersey. The Department of Labor licenses asbestos abatement professionals. The Department of Community Affairs certifies asbestos safety technicians and regulates remediation of asbestos. The Department of Health administers the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act.State laws include guidelines for certifying asbestos professionals, for surveying and removing asbestos from schools, and for the proper and safe disposal of asbestos.
Asbestos Cancer Care in New Jersey
Residents who were exposed to asbestos may get cancer. Regular screening is crucial to diagnose mesothelioma or lung cancer early, as is expert cancer treatment. The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute — it provides cutting-edge treatments and does research about all types of cancer and treatments.
Statute of Limitations
In New Jersey, residents have just two years from the time of a diagnosis of asbestosis, mesothelioma, or asbestos-related cancer to file a lawsuit. This statute of limitations puts the pressure on victims of asbestos exposure to move quickly after receiving a devastating and life-threatening diagnosis. For those grieving the loss of a loved one to an asbestos illness, the statute of limitations is the same. There is a time limit of two years from the time of death to file a lawsuit. These limits means that action must be taken quickly and carefully to seek justice for asbestos exposure.
Find a New Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you have been a victim of asbestos exposure in New Jersey, like so many other people, or you have lost a loved one because of asbestos, you have a right to file a lawsuit against an employer or other party you believe to be responsible. Too many people were exposed without knowing the risks and without being given the option of protective gear. To make your case, rely on the help of a New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer, an experienced professional who knows what steps to take to file your lawsuit on time and with the evidence needed. Your lawyer will guide you through the process, give you advice, do the difficult legwork, and advocate for you to help you win compensation.
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.