South Carolina Mesothelioma Lawyer
In South Carolina, mesothelioma lawyers are hard at work getting big wins for victims of asbestos exposure and subsequent illness. These legal professionals know the laws and are able to help people who were unknowingly exposed to this harmful mineral get the justice they deserve. Thousands of people in the state have died in recent years because of asbestos exposure, and these deaths could have been prevented.
For South Carolina residents, asbestos exposure has mostly taken place on the job. Workers in many industries have been at risk for exposure, but those that worked in mining, vermiculite processing, shipbuilding and repair, and in textile mills have been some of the people most adversely affected by asbestos. Federal and state regulations have helped to protect residents, but people in South Carolina are still vulnerable to asbestos and the illnesses it causes.
Natural Asbestos Deposits, Vermiculite, and Mining
The western part of South Carolina, in the Appalachian Mountains, actually has several known deposits of natural asbestos along with a couple of former asbestos mining prospects. There never were any active asbestos mines in the state, but other types of mines and these natural deposits have combined to put miners and residents who live near these areas at risk of asbestos exposure.
South Carolina was home to a handful of vermiculite mines in that region, and vermiculite is a mineral that is often found with asbestos in it. In addition to the mines, the state had several plants for processing vermiculite. Workers in the mines and the processing plants were put at risk for being exposed to the contaminating asbestos. Some plants in the state also received shipments of vermiculite from the infamous W.R. Grace mine in Libby, Montana, which was known to have produced hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos-laced vermiculite.
The Savannah River Site
The DuPont Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy ran a nuclear materials facility in Aiken from the 1950s through the 1980s called the Savannah River Site. The site used a lot of asbestos as well as other hazardous materials, and today it is listed as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site. Thousands of former workers at the site have been screened and many were found to have been exposed to asbestos. Some of these people have developed symptoms and illnesses associated with that exposure.
Shipyards and Shipbuilding
South Carolina has a long coastline and a long history in the maritime industry. Shipbuilding and repair facilities in the state have long been sources of asbestos exposure because the mineral was used heavily in the construction of ships, especially beginning around World War II. Asbestos was used in ships to insulate and fireproof them. Fire on ships is particularly dangerous, so having a readily available and inexpensive material like asbestos was important. It was used in nearly every component of ships at one time. Any workers on ships or even around them in shipyards were likely exposed to asbestos.
Another big industry in South Carolina was textile manufacturing. Textile mills used asbestos in the buildings and the machinery and equipment that workers used, but they also actually produced asbestos textiles. These were fabrics that were mostly used for fire and heat protection. Workers in these facilities handled and worked directly with asbestos and were exposed to the harmful fibers.
One of these facilities was the Raybestos-Manhattan facility in Charleston. Workers here handled asbestos to make textiles and by the 1970s the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health was called in to test air samples. The agency found concentrations of asbestos fibers in the air that were much higher than what is allowed now by today’s standards. Workers there were also found to have higher than average rates of lung cancer.
Other Sites of Known Asbestos Exposure
There have been many facilities, workplaces, industries, and buildings in South Carolina that exposed residents and workers to asbestos. There are far too many to name, but these are some of the known sites where people were likely exposed:
- Zonolite, Enoree
- Carolina Vermiculite Mining Division, Enoree
- Patterson Vermiculite Company, Enoree
- Raybestos-Manhattan, Charleston
- Fiber Industries Textile Plant, Greenville
- Spartan Mill, Spartanburg
- Monsanto Chemical Plant, Anderson
- Celanese Chemical Plant, Spartanburg
- International Paper Mill, Georgetown
- Detyens Shipyard, Charleston
- Goose Creek Naval Shipyard, Charleston
- S. Naval Receiving Station, Charleston
- Georgetown Power House, Georgetown
Mesothelioma Care in South Carolina
Getting good care for mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses is so crucial for those who have been exposed. Get early screenings because an earlier diagnosis will help with treatment. Then, if the diagnosis is cancer, be sure to seek out top medical care. In South Carolina there is one facility designated as comprehensive for cancer care by the National Cancer Institute: Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Here you will find the most up-to-date treatment options and the best care from experienced medical staff.
South Carolina Asbestos Laws
Asbestos regulations are managed and administered by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The Department requires ten days written notice before any asbestos-related construction project is allowed to proceed. The Department also makes sure that federal regulations are followed, ensuring that only certified professionals work on asbestos projects and that any asbestos-containing materials are removed and disposed following guidelines.
Statute of Limitations
In South Carolina the state has set a statute of limitations of three years on lawsuits related to asbestos illnesses and asbestos-related wrongful death. If you are sick from asbestos exposure, you have just three years from the time your received a diagnosis to make your case and file a lawsuit. If you lose a loved one to one of these illnesses, you have just three years from the time of death.
A Legal Win for South Carolina Mesothelioma Victim
In 2015, the family of a former Celanese Corporation plant worker received a settlement in court of $14 million. The worker had been diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2013 and died in 2014. He worked at the facility and was exposed to asbestos for a period of about ten years. The company was ordered by a jury to pay $12 million to the family and $2 million in punitive damages for exposing workers to deadly asbestos.
Find a South Carolina Mesothelioma Lawyer
Getting a win for an asbestos lawsuit is not always as straightforward as it may seem. You may see it as only fair that you get justice and compensation, but there are many details to consider and easy mistakes to make. You need a South Carolina mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case and ensure you have the best chance of getting the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. When you have this professional by your side, you have an experienced advocate who can fight for you and make your case in settlements or in court.
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Page edited by Dave Foster
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