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Washington, D.C. mesothelioma lawyers help victims of asbestos exposure start lawsuits and access asbestos trust funds to seek justice and recover damages. Washington, D.C. is relatively small but has seen its share of asbestos-related illnesses, including more than 200 between 1999 and 2017. Many industrial and construction workers in the city experienced exposure on the job.Get Financial Help Now
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How Top Washington, D.C. Mesothelioma Lawyers Help Clients
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, a mesothelioma lawyer can help. They work with clients to help them seek justice and recover damages. Getting compensation is so important when you have mounting medical bills.
Area asbestos law firms know Washington, D.C. and where companies here used asbestos. They will investigate your past asbestos exposure and find the companies responsible. They can then explain your legal options and help you take the next steps.
How to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Washington, D.C.
With an expert asbestos firm on your side, filing a lawsuit or claim is much easier. Rely on your legal team to act on your behalf. They will recommend one or more options for recovering damages:
- Personal injury lawsuit. Did you know that most cases of mesothelioma are caused by negligent asbestos exposure? An experienced lawyer will find out who is liable in your case and can help you file a lawsuit to get a settlement or jury award.
- Wrongful death lawsuit. The same is true if you lose a loved one to an asbestos illness. You have a right to take legal action and seek damages.
- Asbestos trust fund claim. You might also be eligible to make a claim for compensation through an asbestos trust. Companies that went bankrupt over asbestos lawsuits were required to fund these trusts to compensate future claimants.
- Veteran benefits claim. The Veterans Administration rates mesothelioma as 100% disabling. If you can show that your asbestos exposure occurred during active military service, a lawyer can help you make a claim for benefits, including disability compensation.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim?
If you have an asbestos illness, you have legal rights and are eligible to file one or more claim types. you might not know where you encountered asbestos, but your lawyer can help you uncover the companies responsible.
In D.C., older buildings, military sites, and industrial workplaces have been responsible for most incidents of asbestos exposure.
Public and Federal Buildings with Asbestos
Many buildings in Washington, D.C. were built before 1980, when asbestos was still heavily used in construction. Due to the number of people who frequent them, public buildings in the District are of particular note for asbestos.
If these older buildings are not maintained properly, materials could shed dangerous asbestos fibers into the air. Any renovation or demolition project could also affect people who work in these buildings.
People who work in construction or maintenance in these older buildings are particularly at risk of asbestos exposure. A 2007 report found that three out of ten men who worked in utility tunnels under Capitol Hill had been diagnosed with asbestosis. Four others were thought to have early signs of asbestosis.
This medical investigation came after workers complained of dangerous work conditions that included asbestos. The tunnels had been deteriorating, exposing asbestos and causing it to shed sharp microscopic fibers. Workers did not receive respirators until 2006. No one took their complaints seriously until the medical report was released.
Washington, D.C. is also home to many military bases constructed using asbestos, putting military men and women at risk of exposure.
One example is the Washington Navy Yard. At one time, the Washington Navy Yard was a shipbuilding site but ultimately became an ordinance plant. U.S. Navy veterans have some of the highest rates of mesothelioma due to the extensive use of asbestos in ships.
Facilities like the Navy Yard also exposed the men and women who built the ships. Other military bases in the District have resulted in asbestos exposure for military members through construction materials.
Vermiculite Plants in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is best known for its political economy. However, it is also home to an extensive industry. Industrial jobs are hotspots for asbestos use and exposure. One example in the District is vermiculite processing.
The Vermiculite Products Company, located on Kenilworth Avenue, processed vermiculite from the W.R. Grace mine in Libby, Montana. For decades, this mine produced asbestos-laced vermiculite. Eventually, the hazards were realized, and operations halted, but not before workers suffered harm.
Before the mine shut down, places like the Kenilworth Avenue facility received hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated vermiculite. Workers who handled asbestos to manufacture insulation were put at risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Residents who lived near these plants were also put in harm’s way. The D.C. plant used the exfoliation process to work with vermiculite, a heating process that increased the likelihood of exposure for its employees.
Capitol Tunnel Workers
Several workers in the utility tunnels that run under the U.S. Capitol were found to have signs of asbestos disease in 2007. Three men were diagnosed with asbestosis and others showed troubling signs of lung disease.
Prior to this, the workers had complained of dangerous conditions in the tunnels, including deteriorating ceilings and thick dust. When asbestos materials deteriorate, they release fibers that cause harm when inhaled. Anyone who worked in the tunnels was at risk of exposure to asbestos.
Other Sites in Washington, D.C. Known to Have Asbestos
Although the city is not as large in terms of area, it has been a major site for asbestos use and exposure. Many federal buildings, public buildings, industrial workplaces, and military facilities have known asbestos exposure sites.
Sites with documented asbestos include:
- Alexandria Power Plant
- Atlantic Perlite Company
- Bolling Air Force Base
- Naval Research Laboratory
- Treasury Department
- Department of Justice
- Washington Navy Yard
- Rock Creek Railway Company
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Agriculture
- State, War, and Navy Building
- District of Columbia Paper Company
- Potomac Electric Light and Power Company
Is Asbestos Exposure Still a Danger in Washington, D.C. Today?
Yes, residents and workers in Washington, D.C. continue to be at risk for asbestos exposure today. Even though most exposure occurred in the past, asbestos lingers in older buildings, worksites, and abandoned industrial sites.
In 2017, a man received a 20-month sentence after violating the Clean Air Act and putting people at risk of asbestos exposure. James Powers was part of a renovation project at the Friendship House, a historic building. He knew the building contained asbestos but did not have it abated before beginning work.
Some people are at risk of exposure in their own homes. In 2022, residents of Marbury Plaza, an apartment building in Southeast Washington, D.C. complained about bad living conditions, including the presence of asbestos.
The long-abandoned McMillan Sand Filtration site has finally been purchased. Nearby residents have long faced the risk of exposure to deteriorating asbestos materials on the site. Demolition work for new development could also cause exposure.
Washington, D.C. Asbestos Laws
Laws in the city cover safety regulations to protect people from ongoing asbestos exposure and how victims of past exposure recover damages.
Asbestos Safety Regulations
Although the District of Columbia is the seat of the federal government, it also functions independently with its laws and regulations, including those that apply to asbestos. The city’s Department of Energy and Environment administers and enforces both District and federal regulations regarding asbestos.
The District has an Asbestos Abatement Program that outlines safety measures for asbestos removal, keeping the public safe, and ensuring contractors have permits for abatement jobs. Residences with fewer than five units are exempt from the rules.
Statute of Limitations
Washington, D.C. has statutes of limitations on asbestos and related lawsuits. You have three years from the time of diagnosis to file a lawsuit.
Additionally, if a loved one has died from an asbestos-related illness, you have just two years from the time of death to begin legal action.
Cancer and Mesothelioma Care in Washington, D.C.
Mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, and asbestosis are serious illnesses that require specialized treatment. The National Cancer Institute designates comprehensive cancer centers, facilities with expert staff that engage in leading cancer research and offer cutting-edge treatments.
The Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University is the only facility in Washington, D.C. that has this designation.
The Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center also treats patients with mesothelioma. Dr. Paul Sugarbaker, who developed one of the most effective treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma, heads the Center for Gastrointestinal Malignances.
Talk to a Washington, D.C. Mesothelioma Lawyer for Free Today
To make the most of the time available to start a lawsuit, you need the guidance of a Washington, D.C. mesothelioma lawyer. Look for a legal team that has worked with other victims of asbestos exposure and has recovered damages for them. You need a lawyer who understands laws relating to asbestos and has experience winning cases. Your lawyer will allow you to rest while fighting on your behalf.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.