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The state of Washington ranks high in the U.S. for the number of deaths caused by asbestos exposure. From 1999 to 2013, more than 7,000 residents died as a result of asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. These illnesses are progressive, difficult to treat, and almost always fatal.
Many Washington residents affected by asbestos are fighting back against the companies responsible for their exposure. They are relying on Washington mesothelioma lawyers to help them file lawsuits, get justice, and receive compensation for medical and other expenses through settlements, jury awards, and asbestos trust funds.
Schroeter Goldmark & Bender – Leading Washington Mesothelioma Lawyers
The Washington law firm of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender has a 40-year history of service and commitment to those who have been wronged by powerful interests, and nowhere is that more obvious than in their pursuit of justice for those diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
The firm’s founding principle is that ordinary citizens need first-rate lawyers, and in living up to that ideal, they prepare for every case with the result in mind. They have an in-depth knowledge of how Washington residents were exposed to asbestos and have used that knowledge to win multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of their clients successfully. The firm has taken more asbestos trials to verdict than any other Washington state law firm.
Examples of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender’s Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
- Negotiated a $2.5 million settlement on behalf of an insulator diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
- Negotiated more than $2 million on behalf of a short-term shipyard employee diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
- Recovered $1.3 million on behalf of a pipe fitter diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. This was the largest asbestos jury verdict in Kitsap County, Washington, and included the Washington Supreme Court affirming the verdict and striking down the legislative cap on damages.
- Recovered over $1 million on behalf of a retired naval supply officer diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos-contaminated insulation.
- Recovered a $1.5 million verdict on behalf of a ship worker diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
- Recovered a $1.3 million verdict on behalf of a sheet metal worker diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
Washington Office Location
Seattle Mesothelioma Law Office
810 Third Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104
Phone: (206) 622-8000
Meet the Attorneys
Lucas W. H. Garrett
Lucas has dedicated his legal care to the representation of those who have been harmed by the intentional or negligent wrongs of others. He has a successful record in the courtroom, having worked as both a public defender and in pursuit of justice for those who have been harmed physically and financially by others. His broad knowledge and reputation for creativity and diligence have led to him being asked to teach both evidence and trial advocacy to other lawyers.
Lucas is involved in several professional and civic organizations, including:
- After Jasper; Real Life Applications of the Right to Confrontation, April 2012
- Washington Impaired Driving Legislative Work Group, 2011-12
Bar Admissions: State of Washington; U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
Colin’s professional focus has long been on representing those harmed by exposure to industrial toxins. When pursuing justice in wrongful death or personal injury resulting from exposure to asbestos, he is diligent in researching all of the information necessary to ensure that his clients get the justice they deserve from the companies that have caused them harm. He is a diligent litigator who has considerable background knowledge in the intricacies of asbestos bankruptcy trusts.
Colin is involved in several professional and civic organizations, including:
- Washington State Association for Justice, EAGLE member
- American Association for Justice
- King County Bar Association
- Member, KCBA Judiciary & Litigation Committee
- Member, KCBA Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
Bar Admissions: State of Washington; U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
Tom focuses much of his legal representation on those who have been harmed by exposure to asbestos, and he has successfully represented many victims of malignant mesothelioma. He is a trial attorney who began his career as a Deputy King County Prosecutor, and he also served as lead counsel for the litigation team for a boutique law firm and as a trial attorney for a commercial litigation firm.
Tom is involved in several professional and civic organizations, including:
- Speaker, WSBA, Evidence and Objection Skills Boot Training CLE: “How to Prepare for the Unexpected at Trial” (2011)
- Speaker, WSBA, Jury Selection and Other Jury Skills CLE: “How to Avoid Having 12 Angry Jurors: The Fundamentals for Excelling In Front of a Jury” (2010)
- Speaker, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: “Effective Cross Examination” (2011)
- Member of the William L. Dwyer American Inn of Courts
- Adjunct faculty, University of Washington School of Law, Trial Advocacy
- Faculty member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
- Mock trial coach, University of Washington, American Association for Justice competition
Bar Admissions: State Bar of Washington; U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
More Information about Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Washington
Northern Washington has several natural asbestos deposits. While the state never produced significant amounts of asbestos, it does have formerly-active asbestos mines, as well as former prospects. Natural asbestos deposits pose health risks for residents whether those sites were ever mined. If natural asbestos is disturbed by construction or other activities, fibers can contaminate local air, ground, and water.
There are two mines located in the state of Washington/ Located in Skagit and Okanogan counties, these mines are now inactive. Although these two mines did not produce significant amounts of asbestos, they could have potentially exposed workers and area residents during the years they were active.
Libby, Montana Vermiculite in Washington
Like many other states, Washington received shipments of vermiculite from the W.R. Grace mine in Libby, Montana. Vermiculite from this, mine was shipped to facilities where workers processed it to make insulation and other products. Libby vermiculite is notable because it was contaminated with asbestos. Decades of mining produced hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos-laden vermiculite before the harm was realized. By the time the contamination was detected, thousands of residents and workers who handled the vermiculite were exposed to asbestos. Multiple processing sites in Washington received Libby vermiculite shipments, most located in and around Seattle and Spokane.
Shipping and Asbestos Use
Washington, especially Seattle and the surrounding area, has strongly contributed to the maritime industry. Shipping, shipbuilding, naval facilities, and commercial fishing are all important industries in the state. Unfortunately, ships have historically contained significant amounts of asbestos. For many decades, anyone who built or repaired ships or worked in shipyards were put at risk for asbestos exposure.
Other Sites in Washington with Known Asbestos
Washington has also been home to other important industries that potentially exposed workers and residents to asbestos. Many industrial and manufacturing facilities used asbestos in their buildings, machinery, equipment, and protective gear. In some of these industries, employees directly handled asbestos in the manufacturing process. Some of the many sites in Washington that were known to have asbestos include:
- Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane
- Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill, Camas
- Alcoa-Wenatchee Aluminum Plant, Malaga
- Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, Harbor Island
- Puget Sound Bridge and Dredge Shipyard, Seattle
- United States Naval Air Station, Seattle
- Boeing Aircraft, Seattle
- Vancouver Shipyard, Vancouver
- Atomic Energy Plant, Pasco
Asbestos Laws in Washington
Laws relating to asbestos use, abatement, and disposal are administered by Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries. The department enforces state regulations as well as those set by federal agencies. The department trains and certifies professionals who inspect buildings for asbestos as well as those who work with and abate asbestos materials. Construction projects must be inspected for dangerous asbestos before they begin. Projects involving asbestos must be disclosed to the state at least ten days in advance. Although private homeowners are exempt from many restrictions, they still must use trained professionals to remove any asbestos.
Cancer Care in Washington
Diagnosing and treating mesothelioma is challenging. This is an aggressive cancer that requires specialized expert care. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can seek expert care and treatment by looking for a National Cancer Center-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. These facilities are staffed by cancer experts who use cutting-edge treatments and participate in the latest research. In Washington, the Fred Hutchison/University of Washington Cancer Consortium in Seattle is one of these cancer centers.
Statute of Limitations
Like other states, taking legal action over asbestos exposure and illness has a time limit in Washington. Washington’s statute of limitations is three years. If you want to file a lawsuit to seek damages for your illness, you must do so within three years of diagnosis. For wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is also three years from the time of death.
A Major Washington Mesothelioma Lawyer Victory
Lawyers in Washington have been helping residents find justice for the harm they suffered from asbestos exposure, and there have been many success stories. One of these victories occurred in 2009 when a jury awarded a plaintiff $10.2 million. The victim was a former paper mill worker who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Although he worked for Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill, he sued the makers of the materials he used on the job. The jury agreed the products had design flaws that caused his asbestos exposure and resulting illness.
Work with a Washington Mesothelioma Lawyer
To increase your chances of a successful lawsuit, you need expert advice and guidance. Fortunately, the help you need can be provided by the Washington mesothelioma law firm of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender. Schroeter Goldmark & Bender specialize in asbestos litigation and settlements, know the laws related to asbestos and mesothelioma, and have a proven success record of winning many multi-million dollar verdicts for their clients.
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.