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North Dakota ranks near the bottom of the fifty states for asbestos-related deaths from mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis because of the limited number of industrial jobs. Some asbestos exposure occurred through agriculture and ranching, the military, and the oil industry. North Dakota mesothelioma lawyers help these victims seek justice and compensation.Get Financial Help Now
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Asbestos in North Dakota
The dangers of working or being around asbestos are well-known now, but North Dakotans worked with it for many years, not knowing the risk of serious illness. Workplace exposure is the most common way people suffer harm from asbestos.
In North Dakota, power plants and oil refineries exposed workers. Military installations and older buildings throughout the state have asbestos that can still expose workers and residents. Researchers are now studying erionite, a mineral similar to asbestos, in the western part of North Dakota.
North Dakota is one of many states with processing facilities that received shipments of vermiculite from the asbestos-tainted W.R. Grace vermiculite mine. The vermiculite mined there from the 1920s through 1990 was contaminated with asbestos and was processed at plants across the country.
Workers in these plants, and residents nearby, were all put at risk of asbestos exposure and illness. Many of these plants are abandoned and still require cleanup.
One North Dakota plant that received Libby vermiculite was the Robinson Insulation Plant in Minot. Thousands of tons of asbestos-tainted material were shipped here over a few decades. Not only were the workers at risk, but so were nearby residents. Eventually, the city purchased the abandoned plant and demolished all the buildings.
Minot residents were again put at risk of asbestos exposure in 2011 when floods swept through the town destroying many buildings. The older buildings contained asbestos, including the Zonolite insulation that was produced in the Robinson plant. The flooding spread asbestos around and put people at risk of being exposed to it.
Erionite – Asbestos Impostor
North Dakota does not have any naturally occurring asbestos; however, it does have plenty of erionite, a mineral similar to asbestos, that can release fibers into the air. People around it may inhale these fibers, accumulating in the lungs and other tissues, much like asbestos does.
The Kildeer Mountains in western North Dakota contain deposits of this mineral, which have been mined and used heavily in road building in that part of the state.
The state government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been trying to enlist volunteers in the region to undergo health screenings to find out the effects of breathing in fibers from the road materials.
Erionite was first implicated in behaving like asbestos and causing mesothelioma by researchers in Turkey. People there live around natural deposits of the mineral and use it for various purposes. Researchers found that these people had higher-than-average rates of mesothelioma diagnoses.
Other states in the west of the U.S. have erionite deposits, but North Dakota’s are among the largest, and the state has used the mineral on rural roads more than other states.
Sites Known to Have Asbestos
Vermiculite plants that received shipments from Libby, Montana, the erionite in the roads, and natural deposits of western North Dakota represent some of the biggest threats to North Dakotans; however, other buildings and work sites put people at risk.
These include industrial plants, power plants, and military buildings, but also just older homes and public buildings that were constructed with asbestos:
- M. Heskett Power Station, Mandan
- Otter Tail Power Company Coyote Station, Beulah
- Fargo Foundry Company and Mid-America Steel, Fargo
- F-M Insulation, Fargo
- Minot Air Force Base, Minot
- BP Amoco North Dakota, Mandan
- American Oil Refinery, Mandan
- North Dakota State University, Fargo
- Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks
- Northern States Power Company, Grand Forks
- Standard Oil Company, Mandan
North Dakota Asbestos Laws
North Dakota’s Department of Health oversees rules regarding the use and handling of asbestos in the state, including federal laws relating to asbestos. Renovation and demolition projects that include more than three square feet of asbestos-containing materials cannot proceed until the department has received notification.
The state also requires that these projects follow specific safety guidelines, including proper ventilation and the wetting of asbestos to prevent fibers from becoming airborne. The Department of Health also dictates proper protocol for disposing of asbestos materials.
Statute of Limitations
North Dakota’s statute of limitations is generous, allowing six years from the time of diagnosis for a victim to file a suit. This means that if you are diagnosed with a condition related to asbestos, you have six years to decide if you want to file a lawsuit against an employer or other companies.
For a wrongful death suit, if you lose a loved one, you have less time. The statute of limitations is two years from the time of death.
North Dakota Mesothelioma Lawyers Now Available
If you did become sick with mesothelioma or a similar illness because you were exposed to asbestos without being aware of or given the proper training and safety equipment, you can rely on a North Dakota mesothelioma lawyer to help you file a lawsuit. You need an experienced professional on your side to help you make your case and advocate for you. It is easy to make mistakes if you do not have the experience or try to take legal action alone.
When an experienced legal team makes a case, the results can be positive for the plaintiff. This was the case in North Dakota when Richard Anderson sued Owens-Corning over the exposure he experienced when working with their products as a boiler worker at Minot Air Force Base.
Anderson worked with insulation that contained asbestos and was eventually diagnosed with asbestosis. The jury awarded him $340,000.
You too could make a successful case against a company to get compensation, but you need the guidance of a North Dakota mesothelioma lawyer.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.