Michigan is known for its automobile production. In fact, General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler – three of the top American carmakers – are all headquartered in Michigan. Although the prospering automobile industry has generated vital jobs and revenue for Michigan, it has also exposed thousands of factory workers, mechanics and other auto industry workers to dangerous levels of asbestos.
Michigan currently is ranked #10 in the US for deaths related to asbestos and mesothelioma.
Due to asbestos’ natural resistance to heat and friction, it was considered an ideal material for various automotive parts, including (but not limited to):
- Brake pads
- Exhaust systems
During the manufacture of these products and the assembly of vehicles that were built with them, the asbestos fibers were often abraded or chipped, creating a tiny dust that could be easily inhaled by workers. Overtime, exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of fatal cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Anyone who has worked in the Michigan automotive industry and has been diagnosed with an asbestos caused cancer may be entitled to financial compensation.
Mesothelioma in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland Counties in Michigan
The highest concentrations of asbestos related illnesses here are in the areas around Detroit and these highly populated counties. Each of these counties have reported at least 100 asbestos-related deaths from 1979 until 2001. Many experts believe that this is under estimated, as the US government did not start to record deaths from mesothelioma until the late 1990s.
Asbestos Litigation in Michigan
Large asbestos disease verdicts have come down involving the major auto manufacturers in Michigan, but the majority of the trials were done in other parts of the US. One asbestos cancer lawsuit involving Michigan and New York auto manufacturers led to a $53 million verdict for a brake mechanic.
A man in Michigan named Reed Avram won $542,000 in 2009 for his asbestosis, which was related to parts supplied by McMaster Carr Supply Co. This was the first asbestosis case that resulted in a successful verdict in the state since 1992.
The reason for a large number of brake mechanic lawsuits in Michigan is because brake linings often were lined with asbestos from the early 1900s. Chrysotile asbestos most often was used, and this type is particularly deadly. In fact, this form of asbestos was used in 50% of brake linings and shoes for many years in the US.
Only in the late 1980s was there a decline in the amount of asbestos used in brake parts. By 2004, there were few brake parts using asbestos in the US. However, they were still being imported from China, used and sold on US vehicles. Imports of car parts containing asbestos have actually risen in the last 20 years.
If you think that you have been affected by asbestos related diseases, note that you have three years after your medical diagnosis to file suit. Remember, even if the person who had the asbestos related disease dies, the statute of limitations still states that the family has three years from when the decedent knew/should have known that he had asbestos related illnesses.
Asbestos Deposits in Michigan
There are five areas in this state that contain natural deposits of asbestos. They are in the areas of Iron Mountain, Negaunee, Marquette, Niagara and Norway. Also, large amounts of ore containing asbestos fibers was brought into Michigan to be processed.
The Michigan Department of Community Health reports that the WR Grace Company in Libby MT sent 163,000 tons of contaminated ore to Michigan to be processed for its many auto plants. According to Michigan’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, people in seven Michigan cities processed vermiculite asbestos ore from 1948 until 1989.
Grace had to file for bankruptcy in 2001 because it was facing more than 200,000 asbestos lawsuits. However, the company is still able to produce $2 billion in revenue annually.
Mesothelioma Statistics in Michigan
There have been 1386 mesothelioma deaths reported in Michigan from 1999 until 2013, and 202 asbestosis deaths. This puts Michigan at #10 in the US for total number of asbestos related deaths.
Mesothelioma Lawyer Michigan
Our mesothelioma lawyers have vast experience representing current and former auto industry workers across the nation in asbestos claims. We understand the industry and the complex laws governing asbestos in Michigan and can help you seek out the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Factory workers, auto mechanics and more may be eligible for the following damages resulting from asbestos cancers:
- Medical bills
- Long-term treatments including drugs and therapies
- Lost wages and inability to work
- Emotional pain and suffering
Getting Legal Help for Asbestos Cases in Michigan
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis, it is important to contact an experienced asbestos attorney today who will ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
To schedule a private, no obligation consultation with an experienced asbestos attorney in Michigan, contact mesothelioma treatment centers today. Our attorneys have been successfully representing victims of asbestos exposure for many years and can help you get the justice you deserve.