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In South Carolina, mesothelioma lawyers work hard to help victims of asbestos exposure. These legal professionals know the law and can help those unknowingly exposed to the toxic set of minerals get the justice they deserve. In recent years, thousands of people in the state have died due to asbestos-related diseases 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 of exposure, but those that worked in mining, vermiculite processing, shipbuilding and repair, and textile mills have been most affected by asbestos. Although federal and state regulations have helped protect residents, people in South Carolina are still vulnerable to asbestos and the illnesses that often result from exposure.
Natural Asbestos Deposits, Vermiculite, and Mining
The western part of South Carolina has several known natural asbestos deposits along with several former asbestos mining prospects. Although there were never any active asbestos mines in the state, other mines and these natural deposits have combined to put miners and nearby residents at risk of asbestos exposure.
South Carolina was once home to a handful of vermiculite mines. Vermiculite is a mineral that often has asbestos deposits contained in it. The state also had several vermiculite processing plants. Workers in the mines and processing plants were put at risk for asbestos exposure. Some plants in the state also received shipments of vermiculite from the infamous W.R. Grace mine in Libby, Montana. This specific mine was known to have produced hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos-laced vermiculite.
The Savannah River Site
The DuPont Corporation and the United States Department of Energy ran a nuclear materials facility in Aiken, SC, from the 1950s through the 1980s. This site was called the Savannah River Site. The site used asbestos as well as other hazardous materials and today is listed as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site. Thousands of former workers have been positively screened for asbestos exposure. Some have developed symptoms and illnesses associated with that exposure.
Shipyards and Shipbuilding
South Carolina’s long coastline has made its history rich with the maritime industry. Asbestos was once commonly used in the construction of ships, especially during World War II. Asbestos was used in ships for insulation and fireproofing. Fire on ships is particularly dangerous, so having a readily available and inexpensive material like asbestos was important. At one time, this natural mineral was used in nearly every component of ships. Any workers on ships or even around them in shipyards were likely exposed to asbestos. Because of these previous use, shipbuilding and repair facilities in the state have long been sources of asbestos exposure.
Another important industry in South Carolina is textile manufacturing. Textile mills once used asbestos in the buildings and equipment workers used. Many of these mills also produced asbestos textiles. These fabrics were mostly used for fire and heat protection. Workers in these facilities handled and worked directly with asbestos. As a result, they were exposed to harmful asbesots fibers.
One of these facilities was the Raybestos-Manhattan facility in Charleston, SC. Workers here handled asbestos during manufacturing. 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 much higher than what is allowed by today’s standards. Workers there also had higher than average lung cancer rates.
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. While there are far too many to list individually, here are just a few 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 crucial for those exposed. Early screening leads to early diagnosis, which is essential for receiving proper treatment. In South Carolina, there is one facility designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer care center. This facility is the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Here you will find the most up-to-date treatment options and excellent 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 enforces federal regulations, ensuring only certified professionals work on asbestos projects. Also, the Department ensures any asbestos-containing materials are removed and disposed of following specific guidelines.
Statute of Limitations
The state of South Carolina has set a statute of limitations of three years on lawsuits related to asbestos-related illnesses and wrongful death. If you have developed an illness as a result of asbestos exposure, you have three years from the time of diagnosis to 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 court settlement of $14 million. The worker was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2013 and died in 2014. He was exposed to asbestos while working at the facility for approximately ten years. The company was ordered 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
Asbestos lawsuits are not always as straightforward as they may seem. While it seems only fair that you get justice and compensation for your exposure and resulting illness, there are many details to consider, and mistakes are easily made. You need a South Carolina mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case and ensure the best chance of getting compensation. When you have an experienced professional on your side, you have an advocate to fight for your case in settlements or court.
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.