Texas Mesothelioma Lawyer
Texas currently ranks fourth out of the 50 states for the highest number of asbestos related deaths from illnesses like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Much of the exposure in the state occurred with workers who inhaled asbestos fibers on the job, but residents living near industrial facilities that used asbestos were also exposed. Some of the industries that caused much of the exposure were shipbuilding and oil.
Texas mesothelioma lawyers are available to help the victims of asbestos exposure in the state who are now getting sick. They can help people file lawsuits, seek compensation, win settlements, and get money from asbestos trust funds. If you have become sick in Texas because of asbestos, you have a right to seek justice and an experienced lawyer can help you do it.
Asbestos in Texas
Texas is a big state with a big population and a diverse economy. These factors help to explain why so many people in the state have gotten sick with asbestos illnesses. Between 1999 and 2013, 1,675 people died from asbestosis and 2,064 people died from mesothelioma. Over 8,000 people died from lung cancer thought to be associated with asbestos. Much of the exposure and illness occurred in the more industrial eastern part of the state, especially around Houston, the coast, El Paso, and Dallas.
Industry likely accounts for most of the exposure that has occurred in the state, but a few natural deposits of asbestos can also be blamed for putting people at risk. These are in the far west of the state in El Paso County, and while they were never mined for asbestos, there were some former prospects there. Disturbing the earth where asbestos occurs can cause fibers to contaminate the air and soil, and even water.
Oil is big business in Texas. There are land-based oil wells, oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and a lot of refineries that process oil. Some of the biggest companies in the industry operate in Texas, like Shell, BP, Chevron/Texaco, and Citgo, just to name a few. Because asbestos is so good at protecting against fire and insulating against heat, it was used extensively in the construction of refineries and other oil industry facilities in the past. It was even used in protective gear for workers. Over the years, workers of all kinds in oil refineries were exposed to this asbestos, and today it still poses a risk and must be maintained carefully.
Even the family members of oil workers were put at risk of exposure. A woman named Ginger Hall, whose husband worked for both Texaco and ExxonMobil in Texas, developed mesothelioma. She claimed that the fibers of asbestos her husband brought home on his clothes got into the air of their home. She inhaled them over many years and eventually got sick. Hall filed a lawsuit against the oil companies her husband worked for, looking for justice and damages.
The Maritime Industry
The Texas coastline along the Gulf of Mexico has been a boon for the regional oil industry, but it has also made Texas an important player in shipping and shipbuilding. Many workers in this industry have been exposed over the years to asbestos. This is because the mineral was used heavily in ships for many decades. At one time ships were built with asbestos in nearly every component. It was so popular for shipbuilding because of its lightweight strength and ability to prevent the spread of fires. Anyone working in Texas shipyards could have been exposed.
Other Sites with Asbestos in Texas
Oil and maritime industries are big in Texas, but the state is also home to a number of other industries and many different factories, plants, and facilities that have used asbestos and caused workers to be exposed. These include chemical plants, power plants, manufacturing facilities, and others. Here are just a few of the known industrial sites that have contained asbestos:
- Coastal Refining, Corpus Christie
- Port of Houston, Houston
- Shell Oil Refinery, Deer Park
- Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio
- Todd Shipyard, Galveston and Houston
- Sun Oil, Beaumont
- Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio
- Cosden Petroleum Refinery, Big Springs
- Consolidated Steel Shipbuilding, Orange
- Bethlehem Steel, Beaumont
- Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio
- Diamond Shamrock Chemical, Houston
- Dallas Steam Electric Station, Dallas
Asbestos Laws in Texas
Texas has long had a big problem with asbestos, but the Department of State Health Services administers state and federal asbestos regulations in an attempt to protect people now and in the future. The laws require that any building project be surveyed by an asbestos professional before beginning, and if asbestos is involved to notify the state. Asbestos professionals must be certified through the state and hold asbestos insurance. These contractors also have to keep records of all asbestos work done. Residences of four units or fewer are exempt from these rules.
Cancer Care in Texas
If you have been exposed to asbestos in Texas and were diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, you have a choice of four excellent comprehensive cancer centers as designated by the National Cancer Institute: Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas in San Antonio, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Dallas, Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. All of these offer the best cancer treatment and support.
Statute of Limitations
Laws regarding the filing of asbestos lawsuits in Texas are strict since the adoption of new rules in 2005. The new rules require that a person have a disability at the time the suit is filed. In other words, you must be showing symptoms of your asbestos illness when you file a lawsuit. There is also a statute of limitations of two years from the time of diagnosis. So, you have two years to be diagnosed and to develop symptoms that are considered debilitating enough. You must also file within two years to start a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one.
Work with a Texas Mesothelioma Lawyer
Because the laws are restrictive and the time period short for filing an asbestos lawsuit, it is important that you act quickly after getting sick and that you work with a Texas mesothelioma lawyer. Without this experienced professional on your side, navigating the legal system can be difficult and fraught with the potential to make mistakes that will cost you the opportunity to recover damages. Let a good mesothelioma lawyer help you establish your case, file a lawsuit, and argue on your behalf, so you have the best chance for getting justice for your illness or family death.
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