Texas earned its spot on the map as a heavy hitter in the oil industry in the early 20th century when oil literally gushed into the state. Petroleum began to take over agriculture and quickly became the driving force of the economy after a well blew in Spindletop near Beaumont, spewing oil more than 100 feet into the air. The dramatic oil discovery had a profound effect on the economy and politics of the state; and greatly changed the lives of those who owned the land where the oil was produced as well as those who explored, extracted and processed it.
Although the oil industry has created thousands of job opportunities for Texas residents and has contributed to the growth of the state, it has also contributed to the death of thousands of workers and residents living near the plants. In fact, the oil industry is among the top three most dangerous industrial occupations in terms of asbestos exposure.
If you or someone you love worked for the Texas oil industry and have been diagnosed with an asbestos illness such as mesothelioma or asbestosis, you may be entitled to a significant amount of compensation. To learn more about how you and your family can benefit from financial compensation, contact our Texas mesothelioma lawyers today. We know the history of asbestos exposure in the state and can help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Asbestos Exposure and the Texas Oil Industry
During the time that Texas began to break away from its agricultural roots and move into the petroleum and industrial age, asbestos was considered a rock star material across several industries. The oil industry relied heavily on asbestos because, like stone, it is resistant to heat and flame and is impervious to chemical erosion. But, unlike stone, it is soft and pliable and can be used in various applications that would normally require a soft, flexible material.
Because of its resistance to heat and fire, asbestos was used by the oil industry for several different applications including:
- Insulation to protect distillation columns, pipes and conduits
- Insulation to protect work spaces from catching fire
- Protect workers from flame and injury
- Protect the plants from sustaining property damage
Other Asbestos Industries in Texas
The Texas oil industry isn’t the only industry in the state that has a history of asbestos use and exposure. Some of the other industries that have put workers and their families at risk for asbestos-related illnesses include:
- Power plants
- Chemical factories
Anyone who has worked for these industries may have been unjustly exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos and may qualify for financial compensation.
More About Shipyards in Texas
Texas has had many shipyards over the years. Asbestos was used for decades in insulation in all types of ships – everywhere from the crowsnest to the bilge. A National Cancer Institute study found that in 4700 shipyard employees at a Coast Guard base, many of them had higher mortality from both lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos Sites in Texas
The cities and towns below have been frequent areas where asbestos job sites have been located:
- San Antonio
- Grand Prairie
- El Paso
Asbestos Laws and Litigation in Texas
From 1998 to 2000, more mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits were filed in TX than in any other state. This fact was noticed by state legislators, and they started to enact legislation to deal with the onslaught of cases.
To cut down asbestos lawsuits to the more important and significant ones, lawmakers started to reform the laws in the 1990s. In 1997, the state passed a law to reduce asbestos claims by people outside the state. And in 2003, the state legislature came up with a multidistrict litigation procedure that set up certain courts to handle cases that were largely similar.
Some of the new asbestos laws included these:
- Case scheduling: The state authorizes the trial courts to give preference to the most serious cases, such as those with malignant mesothelioma. That way, the sickest plaintiffs can get hearings and trials done faster.
- Joinder of complaints: Some courts try to move cases more quickly by by joining cases that are dissimilar. Critics say that these cases might encourage defendants to settle faster, they do not deal well with the details of the specific claims and more lawsuits can result. TX avoids this and mandates that all parties consent to join multiple claims for one trial.
- Medical criteria: TX limits claims that do not involve actual physical illnesses. The law mandates that plaintiffs must actually be sick before they file suit. If they are not sick now but get sick later, they can come back and file suit at that time.
- Successor liability: TX law limits a company’s liability when there is a buyout or a merger.
There have been several new asbestos-related bills introduced in the legislature in recent years. One proposed law would require all plaintiffs to submit claims to a mesothelioma trust compensation fund before a trial starts. Defendants would have the ability to access information about the trust claims and get settlement credit if there were any trust claim payments.
This bill also would allow MDL courts to dismiss some cases that were pending for six months or more if the claimants cannot satisfy medical criteria. If this were passed, thousands of asbestos suits would be dismissed.
Mesothelioma Lawyers in Houston
With a population of more than 2 million, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in the U.S. Over the years, Houston has attracted people from all over to “live the American dream.” Houston’s economy has thrived because of its burgeoning port, railroad industry, oil discovery and shipbuilding activity during World War II. Today, Houston’s economy thrives on its industrial base in:
As the largest and most diverse city in the, the industrial hub has contributed to a great deal of asbestos exposure. Our Houston mesothelioma lawyers have researched the history of asbestos exposure in Houston and other major cities such as Dallas and are helping current and former workers as well as their families seek and recover financial compensation from the companies responsible for their asbestos exposure.
Get Help for Your Asbestos Cancer Disease
If you work or live in Texas and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or another illness, you should contact our asbestos attorneys for help. We will evaluate your work history and will help you recover compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, lost economic support of family members who have been diagnosed with and/or died from mesothelioma, and more. Because we are experienced with asbestos lawsuits in Texas, we can help you get the full amount of compensation you are owed. Call 1-800-352-0871 or email us for a free evaluation today.