Ohio Mesothelioma Lawyer
Thanks largely to its industrial work force, the state of Ohio has seen more deaths from asbestos exposure than most other states. It ranks six out of the 50 states for most asbestos-related deaths from mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Between 1999 and 2013, nearly 10,000 people died from illnesses that were attributed to being exposed to asbestos, mostly while on the job.
Ohio has a long history of industry, especially manufacturing. Industrial workers in all kinds of facilities have been put at risk of asbestos exposure and illness because the mineral has been used so heavily, both in the facilities and equipment and the products being manufactured. An Ohio mesothelioma lawyer can help any resident in the state who was exposed to asbestos and became sick as a result, get the justice they deserve and the compensation they need for good medical care.
Asbestos in Ohio
Ohio has no documented naturally-occurring asbestos, although the state does have mining operations in the southeast region. The state has seen so much exposure to asbestos, and the resulting illnesses, because asbestos has been brought into the state to be used in a variety of industries. From power plants to manufacturing plants to steel mills and chemical plants, asbestos was once heavily used all over the state. Ohio also has seen asbestos used extensively in past construction, leaving many older buildings as ticking time bombs for asbestos exposure. Some sites in Ohio were so contaminated by asbestos and other toxins that they have been designated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites.
Industrial Jobs and Asbestos Exposure
Ohio’s economy once thrived on industrial work and these are still important jobs in the state, despite the downturn in manufacturing and other industries. During Ohio’s industrial heyday, the state had a rich economy and high employment. It also had a lot of people exposed to asbestos. All kinds of industrial jobs used asbestos. Power plants, oil refineries, manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, and other types of industrial facilities used asbestos in the machinery and equipment, and in the building itself, for instance in insulation. Many also used asbestos in the products being made, like insulation factories, and workers actually had to handle the asbestos to do their jobs.
Ohio Superfund Sites
Some of the industrial sites in Ohio became so contaminated with toxic materials that they were named Superfund sites by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many of these include asbestos and require millions of dollars to be cleaned up and to remove the threat of residents being exposed to asbestos and other harmful substances.
One of these Superfund sites in Ohio is the former site of Ohio Cast Products, a car parts manufacturing facility in Canton. It went bankrupt in 2004, leaving behind a toxic wasteland. In 2008 a fire ravaged the abandoned site and firefighters reported that there were many toxic and flammable materials on the site. The EPA investigated and fund asbestos and other substances requiring cleanup.
The cleanup of the former Ohio Cast Products Superfund site is ongoing, but the discovery of asbestos there means that former workers were likely exposed, even those working up until the bankruptcy in 2004. Residents near the facility may also have been exposed if the asbestos got into the surrounding soil, air, and water.
Vermiculite from Libby, Montana
Another example of an industrial workplace in Ohio that exposed workers to asbestos was the Scotts Company facility in Marysville. The lawn and garden products manufacturer used vermiculite in the processing of their products. Some of that vermiculite came from the W.R. Grace mine in Libby, Montana, which operated for decades, producing a mineral that was laced with asbestos.
The extent of the asbestos in the Libby vermiculite did not come to light until the late 1980s, after decades of sending the material to processing facilities around the country, including Scotts Company in Marysville. The facility received 430,000 tons of Libby vermiculite between 1967 and 1980. This put workers during that time at risk of asbestos exposure, along with residents living nearby and anyone who bought the garden and lawn products.
Known Sites of Asbestos Risk in Ohio
There are so many industrial sites in Ohio that are known to have contained or used asbestos. All of these could have potentially exposed workers, but many are known to have exposed workers and even to have made them sick later. There are far too many to list, but some of the sites in Ohio responsible for asbestos exposure include:
- Dayton Power and Light Company, Dayton
- Armco Steel, Middletown
- Mead Paper Company, Chillicothe
- Proctor and Gamble, Cincinnati
- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton
- Republic Steel Corporation, Cleveland and Warren
- NASA, Cleveland
- Firestone Tire and Rubber, Canton and Akron
- Sun Oil Company, Toledo
- Wheeling Steel Corporation, Martins Ferry
- LTV Steel Mill, Canton and Cleveland
Cancer Care in Ohio
For the many people in the state who were exposed to asbestos, regular medical care is important. If you think you may have been exposed, you need to be screened regularly so that if you do get sick it can be diagnosed early for the best treatment options. If you do get a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer, there are several great facilities in Ohio that can provide excellent care. The National Cancer Institute has designated two medical centers in the state as comprehensive cancer centers: the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University and the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at Ohio State University. Both offer cutting edge care and treatment, and lead the way in cancer research.
Ohio Asbestos Laws
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for administering and managing state asbestos laws and ensuring that federal regulations are also followed. Laws require that only certified asbestos professionals work on asbestos projects and that these contractors notify the state before projects begin. They must follow certain procedures for working with asbestos, including the process for disposing of waste material.
Ohio also has laws that were introduced in 2004 to reform asbestos litigation. The reforms were put in place because asbestos illnesses and resulting lawsuits reached high numbers in the state and frivolous lawsuits were becoming more common. Filing an asbestos lawsuit in the state requires that you show medical proof of an illness related to asbestos and that you show that the symptoms cause physical impairment. Victims of exposure must also prove how long they were exposed to asbestos and that an employer or other part was aware of the exposure.
Statute of Limitations
The state of Ohio also places a statute of limitations of just two years on people filing lawsuits over asbestos illnesses. If you were diagnosed with an illness, you have just two years from that point in time to file a lawsuit. Likewise, if you lost a loved one to asbestos, you have only two years from the time of death to start a wrongful death case.
Finding an Ohio Mesothelioma Lawyer
The reforms of 2004 have made filing and winning an asbestos illness lawsuit in Ohio much more difficult for victims. They put a lot of burden of responsibility on the sick victim to prove that asbestos exposure caused the illness and that an employer or company was negligent. To avoid the easy pitfalls in this legal system, you need an Ohio mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case. Find a legal team that has experience working in the system and successfully winning cases for people like you.
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