If you or your loved one has been affected by asbestos exposure in California, it is recommended that you contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible. Large corporations that used asbestos have sizable legal resources to limit how much they will have to pay out in asbestos claims.
It is important to retain a highly skilled, California mesothelioma attorney to help you get the settlement or verdict you deserve. Finding an experienced mesothelioma attorney in California is critical to obtaining the compensation you need to handle your medical expenses, pain, and suffering, loss of income and more.
As you or your loved one search for a qualified California mesothelioma lawyer, it is recommended that you follow these guidelines:
- Find an attorney with experience in handling mesothelioma litigation. The attorney’s primary expertise area should be mesothelioma and asbestos litigation.
- Find an attorney who is familiar with litigating cases involving trust funds that were set aside by a company that either went bankrupt or closed. He should know the details of these mesothelioma funds and should know how to file a claim effectively.
- Hire a lawyer who has a well-documented history of success in California mesothelioma litigation. How many cases has she handled in the past five years, and what were their outcomes?
- What is her experience in taking mesothelioma cases to trial vs. settling? Being highly skilled in both trial and settlement is important; some lawyers will have more skill and experience in one vs. the other. Many mesothelioma sufferers need compensation now, not in years. So, you may wish to focus on attorneys in California with a demonstrated success record in mesothelioma settlements.
- Gauge the lawyer’s skill at communicating with your about our asbestos case. You will rely on her to keep you updated and informed.
- Hire the mesothelioma attorney who will really work your case, not a junior attorney. You need the best, most experienced attorney on your asbestos lawsuit.
Our lawyers have a long record of success in handling challenging mesothelioma lawsuits in California. To schedule a consultation with an experienced mesothelioma attorney, please reach out to us today at 800-352-0871.
Asbestos Laws in California
Your California asbestos attorney also should be well versed in all of the pertinent California laws and regulations government mesothelioma cases.
California has robust laws regarding exposure to and mitigation of asbestos containing materials. The California Department of Health Services has put a warning on all homes and other buildings constructed after the 1950s that contain asbestos materials.
Asbestos commonly was mixed into various paper and fiberglass materials in this time period. One of them was ceiling insulation, and it also was used in patching compounds, stove insulation and floor tiles. Other products it was used in include shingles, heat resistant gaskets and various appliances until the 1970s.
California mandates that all contractors and employees who work with asbestos projects that have more than 100 square feet with a concentration above. .1% asbestos to be registered with the Asbestos Contractors’ Registration Organization.
If a site needs to have asbestos removed from it, all site workers have to take precautions to adhere to California regulations. Workers are required to wear respirators and many layers of protective clothes; the amount of protection depends upon the level of contamination. Other regulations that must be followed will depend upon if the project has been classified as a I, II, III or IV asbestos abatement project.
Asbestos History in California
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with asbestos cancer, you may speculate why these cases are so common in this state.
One of the reasons is that California has a high number of asbestos deposits occurring naturally. Most of the asbestos in the state is the chrysotile form of asbestos; this is better known as ‘white asbestos.’
White asbestos is formed in serpentine rocks; this form is greatly abundant in California. Serpentine rock is so common there that it was even named the state rock of California in the 1960s.
Due to so much asbestos in California forming in serpentine rock, the California Air Resources Board or CARB has established regulations governing its use. This board promulgates regulations for the use of white asbestos in various consumer products and applications, including:
Applications where the rock and asbestos is used in surfacing applications, such as gravel on roads that are unpaved
Construction applications where there are dust emissions; also in grading and mining on the surface
Asbestos deposits are located in 44 of the 58 counties in the state. Counties, where asbestos is most abundant, are:
- San Benito
- El Dorado
California Industry and Asbestos Exposure
Another factor in the high number of California asbestos cancer cases is the large, industrial economy of the state. This includes mining, building ships and generating electricity for the state’s large population. All of these businesses were once heavily using products and materials that contained asbestos.
During much of the last century, asbestos was thought to be one of the best materials to use in heavy industry because it was cheap and heavily resistant to heat and fire. The material also was widely available in natural deposits in the state, so it was a very inexpensive and convenient choice for many industrial purposes.
Some job sites and facilities in California that have had serious problems with asbestos contamination include:
- 20 shipyards
- Dozens of boat repair facilities
- 25 oil refineries
- 10 power plants
- Numerous mining and smelting facilities
Asbestos and California Power Plants
California currently has nearly 40 million residents and has a very strong industrial base. It has relied on several power plants for many decades to provide power to residents. However, those power plants also have been the cause of many deaths due to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions.
Many power plant workers over the decades were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos fibers and dust in their difficult work. This stems from asbestos-containing materials being used in power plants all over California.
Asbestos was used in many types of equipment, machines and insulation. Asbestos even was woven into the protective clothes that workers wore to protect them from dangerous heat and friction.
California Shipbuilding and Asbestos
The power plant industry is not the only one in California with asbestos mitigation problems. The shipbuilding industry in California is very important. Navy shipyard workers have historically been among the highest risk group for developing serious asbestos-related diseases.
People who served in the Navy from World War 2 until the Korean War may have been heavily exposed to asbestos in their work. It is highly possible that they may suffer asbestos-related complications as they age.
Steve McQueen, the famous actor, eventually died from asbestos-related cancer in the 1970s. He served extensively in the Navy in the 1950s; it is speculated that asbestos exposure may have led to his early demise.
Former Navy workers who were employed in the building and maintenance of ships are often at risk of developing serious asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis. Some of the most common jobs where workers were at risk are:
- Asbestos insulator
- Cleaning crews
- Superfund Sites
Many workers and residents living near asbestos Superfund sites also have been diagnosed with asbestos cancer in recent years. Some of the sites have been at least partially contaminated by asbestos. For example, Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard was a major user of asbestos for building ships and several related industrial purposes. This led the EPA to get involved as there has been a serious endangerment of Navy veterans due to asbestos contamination.
Another reason that some areas in California have been deemed Superfund sites is due to naturally occurring asbestos. According to the California Department of Public Health, 45 counties in California have large deposits of asbestos. One city – Coalinga – actually has been declared in its entirety as a Superfund site; it was used heavily to process and mine asbestos, and the deadly fibers were spread throughout the entire area. There also were asbestos mines operating in Coalinga in the 1960s and 1970s.
Another city at risk is El Dorado Hills. It has one of the world’s largest asbestos deposits. A San Francisco judge found that mesothelioma and asbestos cases made up 25% of his case.
San Diego Mesothelioma Cases
San Diego is a large, thriving city in California; it is 120 miles south of Los Angeles and is close to the border with Mexico. It currently is the #8 biggest city in the United States, and the second biggest in the state.
While San Diego is well known for its beauty, weather and casual lifestyle, it also has long been associated with the Navy.
One of the biggest Navy bases is the Naval Shipyard, also known by the name the Naval Base San Diego. The base is 97 acres and has more than 60 naval vessels. It was built in the early 20th century, with its ‘glory’ days in the 1940s and 1950s. The base grew to 1100 acres as it was used for heavy fleet training. The workforce at the base during this period was more than 14,000.
This San Diego shipyard was made into a naval repair base in 1943. Its new purpose was to overhaul, maintain and repair 5,000 ships, many of which had a vital role in World War 2. It also was used to train and employ workers at power plants, dry docks and fabrication facilities.
It was documented in 2006 that there were several parts of the shipyard contaminated with asbestos. So, potentially thousands of workers at the base were put at risk of developing fatal mesothelioma.
While California has long since established regulations for the safe handling of asbestos, much of the long-term health damage has been done. Many Navy personnel and shipbuilders were exposed to asbestos 40 or 50 years ago and put in serious risk. Some other occupations where workers may have been exposed to asbestos are:
- Auto mechanics
- Construction workers
- Demolition workers
- Power plant workers
- Factory workers
Workers were not the only ones put at risk. Some family members who were indirectly exposed to asbestos fibers also are in danger. The tiny, sharp and deadly asbestos fibers can cling to clothes and be introduced into the home. People who reside near the shipyard also can be exposed to extensive job site asbestos dust.
Anyone who has come down with mesothelioma in the San Diego area needs a top mesothelioma attorney.
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
This is a shipyard located to the southeast of San Francisco. It is more than 100 years old, established as the first dry dock on the entire west coast. It only was used for Navy repair and shipbuilding in the 1940s. Asbestos containing materials were used throughout the shipyard.
After World War 2, there were many vessel repairs being done here, and also extensive submarine servicing. In the 1980s, there tests done that showed there was a large presence of asbestos, dangerous chemicals and other toxic substances, such as lead. EPA put the contaminated site on its Superfund National Priorities List. The yard was closed in 1991.
More than 226,000 so. feet of asbestos containing materials were remediated and removed from the site in 1990. The process was ongoing until 1995.
Over 226,000 square feet of material containing asbestos were removed from the yard in 1990. This process continued for many years and the process was finished in 1995.
It is important to note that asbestos still was at this site as late as the 1990s. It is possible that asbestos exposure could have occurred among those in that area a mere 20 years ago.
Moore Dry Dock Company
California juries are continuing to award verdicts to people whose lives have been affected by asbestos exposure against Moore Dry Dock Company. In the early 2000s, a man died from asbestos cancer after working at the dry dock company; his family received $700,000 after the man’s death.
The jury found that there was ample evidence that the US Maritime Commission told Moore in the 1940s that there were real dangers of people being exposed to the deadly material.
In 2000, a jury gave a verdict providing $10 million to a widower who worked at Moore during World War 2. The jury found that the victim was exposed to asbestos fibers that had contaminated the man’s clothes when he was a pipefitter.
Mesothelioma Statistics in California
Experienced mesothelioma attorneys usually have extensive cases in certain parts of the state. From 1979 until 1999, the majority of asbestos cancers in the state were in the following counties:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
These counties made up as many as 25% of all asbestos deaths. Mesothelioma led to 50% of the fatalities. The rest died from complications from asbestosis. People who reside in big cities are more likely to have mesothelioma; people in rural areas are more susceptible to asbestosis.
Contact a California Mesothelioma Attorney Now
Our California asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers are tough, experienced and successful in this type of difficult litigation. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced mesothelioma attorney, call us at 800-352-0871.